The Clumpany is feeling quite emotional this morning.
After the drama of Sports Direct securing an injunction at the High Court, and an interim interdict at the Court of Session, last night we were treated to the heart-rending spectacle of a letter from the Komedy King to the beleaguered fans of Charles Green FC.
It was posted on fans’ forums last night, and really is worth a read…
In it, the ‘Realest Of All Real Rangers Men’ (at least until the wheels fall off ‘project King’…) sets out the emotional case for the deferential fans to put their hands in their pockets and buy season tickets…
A large number of Clumpaneers felt that the letter may as well have just said “Giz yer cash or we’re stuffed”. But that would not have been be dignified.
No, the ‘same club’ which was assembled from the dismembered body parts of creditor-stiffing Rangers FC is better than that.
It requires a narrative of specialness and inherent superiority.
And of course, a colossal amount of fiction about ‘history’.
The letter begins with a full historical tour de farce:
“Rangers Football Club is about to commence the next chapter of a remarkable 143-year-old story that has spanned the ages and inspired countless supporters over many generations. Our Club has a deep and rich history but Rangers is as much about its future as its past. It is in remembrance of past generations and my hope for future generations that I write to you today. I am immensely proud to be Chairman of this wonderful Scottish institution and I am mindful of the delicate situation the Club is in at this critical juncture in its history”.
And if you aren’t already saying “hang on a minute, Dave”, you are certainly about to…
“I have always taken pride in being a Rangers supporter. It is something I inherited from my father who, in turn, inherited the legacy from my grandfather. This is what Rangers fans do. We pass on our pride and belief in Rangers to our children. That is why Rangers truly is a Club for generations”.
Hang on a minute, Dave? if that is true, then how do you explain this from 28 March 2014?
“King: My father was so anti-football he didn’t want me to be a Rangers fan”
Wherein we were told that:
“My father wasn’t at all keen on me becoming a Rangers supporter. He was a Glasgow policeman and because of that he resented the whole football scene in Glasgow.
He was actually very anti-football. When we were kids growing up he was very vocal on his dislike of the bigotry in football. The police in Glasgow at that time saw it as a basis for thuggery.
He saw what it did from a crime and disorder point of view in Glasgow. And as a family we were taught to reject the whole bigotry aspect surrounding football. That has stayed with me through the years. My father took me to that first game reluctantly”.
Well that’s a bit awkward!
But back to the letter…
King refers to the various crises that have engulfed the ‘club’ since Craig Whyte “acquisitioned” (sic) it, the failure to properly rebuild over the past three years, the disappointment of remaining in the Championship for another season, and the scale of the challenge ahead. However, nothing is said about the glorious efforts of the pre-Whyte Rangers boards.
I wonder why?!
However, it is not all bad news!
“It is a Board that will ensure sufficient funding will be in place for Rangers to compete for the Premiership in the coming seasons and the Board will do so in a manner that does not take the Club back to the financial precipice”.
And there is a ‘plan’ to do it!
“We must target players who have the quality and desire to play for Rangers. We must also ensure that the football structure we put in place provides a sustainable and successful future for the Club”.
“Our club cannot, and must not, get to the point where we celebrate mediocrity. The Rangers Football Club has, for over a century, been the biggest Club in Scotland and will be again. That is a non-negotiable for me”.
Yes, that’s a ‘plan’ isn’t it?
Good. Now we can get to the inevitable punch-line…
“However, even with new investment your Board cannot do this on its own. That is why I am asking you to take season ticket sales to a record level”.
BOOM! Please part with your cash!
“The football you have watched over the last season does not justify the price you have paid but we want and need to do better. . Our Club stands at a crossroads and the next season is critical to our future”.
“I ask you to buy season tickets for two important reasons… It is vital to the rebuilding of the Club that Rangers is restored to its natural economic power in Scottish football and internationally. As stated above, this is fundamentally derived from supporters attending games because investment from shareholders can make a difference when dealing with funding shortfalls but is not a long-term solution”.
“This is an opportunity your father never had and one that your children should be spared. There is nothing like watching Rangers playing and winning and it is our duty to make sure our children can experience and enjoy that special feeling without suffering as you have done. In addition to the need to rebuild the first team squad we must stop merely paying lip service to youth development. Auchenhowie must become the envy of all and it is equally important that Rangers recruiting systems are also fully restored after years of neglect”.
I am welling up reading this guff! But before I get too carried away, I really must remember to bow before the awesome awesomeness of our betters:
“The wrong types have been removed from the Club and for the first time in years there is hope. We can all be confident that there will be no more squandering of money. Hopefully we can share the vision to return Rangers to the pinnacle of the domestic game within two or three years and thus become European regulars again. We can and we must do that because our Club is too big to settle for anything less.”
The wrong types?! No more squandering of money?
Where do you even begin analysing these comments? Particularly coming from someone who was on the board that took Rangers to its debt-ridden doom?
But back to the punchline…
“All of this will require money and that is why I am urging every supporter to buy into what we are trying to achieve for Rangers. All season ticket proceeds will be fully invested in the footballing activities of the Club”
“So, the average price for a ticket for season 2015-16 is £411 representing a relatively modest 5% increase”.
At this point in proceedings, even the more eager forelock-tuggers on planet Sevco might be inclined to ask (again) “so how much are you putting in, Dave?”.
Thankfully, Dave has a response. If not necessarily an answer…
“I do not believe we should talk in exact numbers because we do not know precisely how much it will cost to rebuild and restore this wonderful Club”
“The required funding for this new season alone could change significantly depending on how discussions with our retail partners are concluded. We have to spend immediately to rebuild the football staff at all levels but we can’t say for certain how much it will cost to forge a team to win the Championship. What I can say, however, is that if I, and other investors have to put in an extra £5m for this season that’s what we’ll do. If it requires more, for instance £10m, so be it”.
So… if they have to chuck in an extra £5m or £10m to win the second tier of Scottish Football they will?
And assuming that is true, what kind of sustainable rebuilding ‘plan’ would involve spending such eye-watering sums in the lower leagues?
How about spending wisely and rebuilding carefully? I am sure there was a team in Sevco’s division last season which could give them a few pointers about how to do it.
One that utterly crushed them by 24 points and managed to rebuild without an arrogant swagger, and without constant entitlement-laden guff appearing in the media.
Each to their own, I suppose. Just as long as the rest of Scottish football doesn’t end up having to pick up the pieces and then bend over backwards to accommodate another iteration of the PretendyGers…
That couldn’t happen though. Could it?
But for now, you should stand and salute during the 21-gun salute which accompanies King’s closing comments
“We can only do this together. We must all invest in our Club’s future. This is the only way we will regain our pride, status, position and credibility. This is our Club, our time and we must make sure we succeed for the generations who have gone before and for those who will follow us”.
What could possibly go wrong?