Wanted – One football mad billionaire to invest in well established and popular club with significant history of success. Glasgow Rangers is looking for a buyer who can end the non football related turmoil at the club and restore it to its former glory. Must be able to handle boardroom drama, petty bickering and fat cats lining their pockets with cash. New owner will be expected to clear house (and the board), restore pride and invest in the future. Millionaires will be considered unless they are Craig Whyte and/or wanted by the authorities for any illegal activities.
It seems like this is the only option left to Glasgow Rangers now who continue to be in disarray due to boardroom squabbles and dodgy book keeping. Posting an ad in the wanted section of a newspaper appears to be the only remaining way of finding someone who genuinely wants to help the fallen giants of Scottish football instead of helping themselves. The fans are disillusioned over what has happened, former players are dumbfounded and the football world shocked by what appears to be a group of devious businessmen pretending to care about the future of the Glasgow club whilst secretly raiding the coffers for every last penny. How this club, who went into administration in 2012 a year after being bought by corrupt businessman Craig Whyte before appearing to be rising back up like a phoenix from the flames, is once again in financial peril is anyone’s guess. Despite relegation to Scotland’s third division in 2012 following administration, Rangers have rallied and the revenue continues to flow in. Significant money has been generated through yearly ticket sales, merchandising and sponsorships, yet the Rangers board continues to complain about a lack of funds that are available and that the club is living dangerously close to the edge of yet another administration. The truth is that the men placed with responsibility for running Rangers are not doing so with its best interest at heart. How a chief executive and his staff can take full bonuses when a club is close to another financial meltdown or why a club would sell the naming rights to an investor for pittance behind the fans back is unknown but what is known is that the fans have had enough.
The Rangers fans have stayed loyal to the club despite its problems, turning out in force to support them despite their fall from grace. Where else in the world will you see 50,000 people turn out for a third division match against Berwick Rangers or any other team for that matter? But enough is enough from their prospective. As yet another wealthy investor with criminal connections is touted at being interested in plunging money into the club, the fans are wondering at what cost does this investment come? Maybe their training ground, Murray Park which is one of the best in the country will be used as a bargaining chip to secure it or perhaps the stadium itself, that is if it hasn’t been flogged already. The fans have been waiting for some time for someone to rescue the club from the board that currently residing at 150 Edmiston Drive. The Blue Knights led by Paul Murray have long but disappeared over the horizon whilst South African based businessman Dave King continues to wait with his rumoured £30million investment with the fans unsure why he is not making more aggressive moves to seize control. Now Newcastle owner Mike Ashley appears to be taking up a dominant position in exchange for very little in.
What is needed is a single owner of power and stature to come in and make sweeping changes. He or she must clear the board of its corruption and instill hardworking honest people who want to build the club back into a force both domestically and in Europe. Secondly they will need to balance the books and clear the mess that has been created by the current and past owners. And finally they must return pride and faith back to the fans by showing them that they are serious about the club and passionate about its future. Reinstalling former Rangers legends like John Greig, Walter Smith, John Brown, Arthur Numan and Brian Laudrup into key roles at the club and its board will help this process and give the new owner a sense of history about what this club used to be like. Memories of special title wins like 9 in a row will spark discussions whilst talk of European adventures including champions league upsets, UEFA cup runs and Cup Winners Cup glory will reignite the passion.
Many will argue that Scottish football doesn’t make economical sense but the draw of Europe and its potential windfalls do. A smart business person will be able to operate the club within its means, learning from past mistakes and using the clubs global footprint to identify and maximize other revenue opportunities. There is also still the potential for Rangers to join the English Premiership or a much talked about Atlantic League, neither of which has been ruled out fully. The history of the club alone is enough to pull on someone’s heart strings and invest for the love of the game. For a club that has won more league titles than any other team in the world, has a fan base that stretches far beyond its Scottish borders and has seen a host of great players like Greig, Baxter, Cooper, McCoist and Gascoigne to name a few who have pull on its famous blue shirt, it is a shame that it has fallen on such hard times. But that doesn’t need to be the case. Rangers can be saved, it can be reborn and it can rise again to once again become a force in world football.