The clock is ticking down and as it does a lot of questions are finally being directed at the Ibrox club.
Two major developments have happened in recent days which raise serious doubts about where they are and what they are doing.
The first is the re-emergence of Dave King, who has used the opportunity afforded him by their fan’s fury over the Australia trip to launch another all-out assault on the board.
And this assault has been on more fronts than some of the Peepul seem to realise.
Take the story which appeared last week about how Gerrard’s path out of Ibrox started with a summer argument with the board over their failure to sign Kevin Nisbett. Now, Ibrox fan media reps have been steered towards dismissing this story as nonsense, but they never asked how this narrative got to the press in the first place.
But how smart do you have to be to figure that out?
In his public attack on the club, King suggested that the Ibrox board had “un-necessarily lost” their “title winning boss.”
Nobody asked him to elaborate on that, but they should have.
Is it a coincidence that a story about how Gerrard was thwarted over his top signing target in the summer appeared in print the very next day? Of course it isn’t.
King is working these people like a fiddle.
Everything he says is designed to cause their board maximum embarrassment and he used the moment of their greatest weakness and fan discontent to strike last week. And he was still at it today.
Because the second major development was that Keith Jackson was substantially briefed prior to his column today and given a target to shoot at; James Bisgrove, their commercial director. One of the lines of attack was about his flash car … I known nobody who would even care, but this highly personal dig at him was done purely to stir up resentment.
So who briefed Jackson?
Well one of the people who did was clearly Stewart Robertson, who the article paints as a man in a boardroom full of people ready to knife him in the back.
Some of them want him out to appease the anger of the fans. Others – presumably including Bisgrove – want his job for themselves. It seems clear that he spoke to Jackson and conveyed to him the view that he believes he’s being targeted.
How do we know that? Because Jackson suggested that he had no involvement in the board’s decision to play the Australian friendly. Which when you consider that he’s the club CEO is absolutely preposterous.
This is Robertson trying to cover himself from criticism from the fans even as he takes a shot at his internal enemies.
Someone else briefed Jackson though, and it’s equally clear who that was; it was King himself.
The article states that he was in Scotland last week after being told that the board had rejected his “application” to re-join it. That isn’t exactly a shock. But the article also says that club even snubbed him for a seat with the rest of them for the Motherwell game; King, it seemed, sat on the other side of the pitch, in an executive box.
And how does Jackson know that? He knows it because King himself told him that, and is clearly the real driving force behind today’s piece in The Record.
As The Record article makes clear, there is more than one faction in the Ibrox boardroom.
One wants to blame Robertson for all their ills and the other wants to blame Bisgrove. Robertson and King have openly told Jackson that the club finances are still a mess and that Bisgrove is to blame for that. The article lists, again, the sheer number of commercial deals he has made none one of which, as Jackson points out, has helped them out of their hole.
Indeed, on this blog we’ve pointed out that although their strip and their stadium now has more names on it than a Formula One car the average valuation of all these deals is in the tens of thousands … it’s chump change, but the operative theory in signing this legion of them is that it all adds up to real money. And it might.
But this is the club which is spending £2 million on Scottish football’s most expensive ever bench warmer.
Reports last week about how he was spending £30,000 of his own money – little over a day’s salary for this guy – to “get fir for the run in” were hilarious. He’s trying to get fit for Wales’ World Cup play-offs, and then for the finals, and he’s using Ibrox as a stepping stone along the way to that. If he never plays 90 minutes for them he won’t care much.
Jackson says they are still in a dire position, and for once he’s correct. Mainly because the word on that is coming from those close to the centre of the club as they look to undermine Bisgrove and turn the fans decisively against him.
But of course, he’s not the real target for King and Robertson; the Park’s are and Graeme Park in particular who Jackson spares a lashing in this piece but who King certainly did not in his assault on them in the last week.
It’s all getting very messy over there.
And in the meantime, there’s Van Bronckhorst who is under pressure already as the manager who squandered the lead in the league and who faces a summer rebuild on minimal funds where the only way to raise them is to sell the key players … and they pretty much have to with a slew out of them entering the final year of their deal.
We were able to do our rebuild primarily because the club was secure and unified behind the scenes.
Imagine trying to do it at the helm of a financial basket case, where you need to sell in order to buy and where the board above you is at war with itself and your own position isn’t exactly secure.
It’s the stuff of nightmares.
And that’s the scenario facing them this summer if, as we all expect, Ange goes on and finishes the job and wins this title.
Their club is in a bad place, far worse than it appears on the surface, and King is waiting in the wings and fully prepared to burn it all down in order to get what he wants.
Anyone who doubts that should remember, he’s done it before.