Roll on February, hopefully not false hope!
The quote attributed to Ms Colette has never been so relevant to many Rangers fans; I say many as quite a number are still oblivious as to our plight, in light of the recent revelations of Rangers ambitions during this transfer window. The normal, often unrealistic, conjecture as to who will be paraded in Rangers colours has been, largely, superseded by hysteria over who may be "moved on". Debates regarding funds available have been substituted by debates concerning our very existence. Even some, of course not all, of the most hubristic forum contributors are becoming a tad anxious. Quelle surprise!
Unsurprisingly, Sir David has resorted to Machiavellian type to pacify the servile and unquestioning, the "real supporters." He has cited the economic downturn, coupled with the European exit, as the main reasons for his act of desperation this month. He has trotted out his obsequious staff members, his sycophantic buddies and his media allies to back his line. We are subjected to unsubstantiated nonsense, I paraphrase, "short term pain will make us stronger", "the best interests of Rangers at heart", "98% of time devoted to Rangers" etc, along with various sycophants telling us, again paraphrasing, "David Murray along with Walter and his team are the best men to see Rangers through these tough times". Really? Who, in the name of God, got us into this mess then?
In my opinion, the previous paragraph raises some questions…
1. The economic downturn was forecast, and being experienced, before Rangers exit from European competition. Why then did Sir David sanction the summer spend and increased squad numbers? (The squad could have been enhanced without , necessarily, being increased)
2. If Champions League involvement is so vital to Rangers financial security, albeit we were previously advised that this wasn't budgeted for, why not strengthen the, one or two, weakest areas of the squad first to maximise qualification opportunity? (Midfield and central defence should have been priorities).
3. Perhaps Sir David could define "short term pain"? Two league titles in eight years, downsizing for ten years and the ongoing media circus. How long is short term?
4. Even worse, is Sir David indicating the "short term pain" is just beginning?
As custodian of Rangers FC, it is incumbent on Sir David to ensure the well-being of the club in each and every regard. To this end, he is responsible and accountable. However, no one man is an island, he has to delegate some responsibility to his subordinates, are they failing him and consequently us, the supporters?
Let's start with the CEO, Mr Martin Bain. I'm lead to believe he is responsible for contract negotiations and transfer fees. Is he efficient or negligent? Is he competent enough to recognise residual values of signings? Does he possess the business accumen to recognise commercial opportunities attached to potential targets? Granted, he has to respect the manager's needs, but should do so with diligence to ensure we reach a level of quality whilst controlling squad numbers and costs. In my opinion, Mr Bain has failed and I'd accuse him of dereliction of duty, I feel the fact that we have so many average players sitting tight on lucrative contracts, and the failure to realise transfer fees for many who move on, substantiates my feelings. Yes, he has failed Sir David; however Sir David has failed the support by persisting with Bain.
On then to the manager, Mr Walter Smith, a legend to many a Bear for his contribution to nine in a row. Conversely, there are those who have, whether historically or recently, doubted his qualities and abilities. For every "wiley old fox" compliment, there's a "dinosaur" perception, for every "Walter knows the score" statement, there's a "Walter's lost the plot" retort, however forget about his previous stint for a moment, has Walter contributed to our present predicament? Well, I ask you this, if you were having a house built, would you employ a gang consisting entirely of brick layers? Hopefully, your answer would be no, you'd also need plumbers, electricians, roofers, carpenters etc. Now be honest with yourself, from our 28 man squad, could you pick a first eleven you'd be entirely happy with? If you can, are they all naturals in the positions you've selected?
It would seem to me that Walter is a man without a plan. His deployment of certain individuals is rivaled only by his non selection of players, whom he signed, when it comes to bewildering a section of the Rangers support. Furthermore, Walter's short term fixes can extend to medium to long term and this, coupled with contract extensions given to peripheral players, has lead to Rangers having an overly large and inflexible squad, resulting in our present inability to address problematic positions. Yes, Walter has failed David Murray, however, yet again; David Murray has failed the support through "funding" mediocrity without question.
If you still have faith in Messrs Murray and Smith (nobody, surely, has faith in Bain!), and are surprisingly still reading, you'll undoubtedly ask if I complained throughout the "golden years"? No I didn't, I trusted Sir David. Was I concerned about Rangers debts then? No, I trusted Sir David. So what's changed, why have you lost faith in David Murray?
I'm not attempting to convert, God knows more coherent and articulate than I have tried, but a number of FF posters/contributors, possessing the quality of foresight, could be forgiven for saying "I told you so"; they have been warning us for years where continued mismanagement would lead. These same posters were often subjected to ridicule no matter how damning the evidence that they were able to provide. All I ask is that you consider possibilities and acknowledge some of the facts, it could make a difference.
Yes, January is a horrible month, let's hope February through May, and God forbid thereafter, doesn't prove to be worse.