There is a solution - sign a cheque Mr Chairman

Last updated : 14 January 2009 By Grandmaster Suck
Since Advocaat left, since John McClelland became Chairman, we've been told that the skills the Chairman has so diligently applied to all his other businesses throughout his life would now be applied to Rangers.

After all this time, after all that money, is anyone mad enough to accept that Rangers are being competently run if half-way through a season and after years of a bread and water diet it's suddenly announced that to make ends meet we're going to have to flog those players - and they are all up for sale at knock-down prices - who might just be able to win the league for us and stop Celtic steamrollering to four-in-a-row and another Champions League jackpot?

It smacks of incompetence.

And along the way all the family silver has been sold, leased or tied up in deals - the Rangers Shops, land, contracts for umpteen areas of the business.

This summer we saw a high-risk gamble fall flat on it's face in Kaunas. The board thought they could save a few bob by getting to the Champions League on the cheap, save a few months wages and then sign a few bargain basement players ahead of the Champions League deadline. We fell flat on our faces and then indulged in a panic buying spree to keep the punters away from the front door.

For all the money that was spent in the summer how many have been even qualified successes? It hardly looks, smells or feels like a sleek operation. Yet we've paid our Chief Executive over £1.6million in the last three seasons to preside over this shambles. If he can't budget better than that what is the point of having him? At any price.

Selling our top goal-scorer in a league we're only won on the last two occasions on goal difference half-way through the season when Celtic have just thrown us a lifeline is utter madness.

It started last night on BBC Scotland apparently with Pat Nevin effectively telling the country Rangers fans are ungrateful. How long before Wee Chick, Traynor, McInnes and the usual suspects all pen similar to try and set the mood music?

The Bears have played our part - we pay top dollar for season books - compare the prices in England with those at Ibrox, consider the difference in player quality, and you can't but conclude we pay way, way, way over the odds for what we get. Fact.

Pundits say we don't understand how football works, We don't need freebies and exclusives to help us 'understand.' In fact we understand perfectly.

We understand the unwritten contract - we pay, you deliver.

We can rehash the arguments for or against Sir Dave being good for Rangers. Certainly winning Nine In A Row when we never lost more than £825,000 in a season compares favorably with recent performances!

The Chairmen of Rangers have rarely been weaklings or fools. And that's how it should be - hard-bitten men who know how to turn a coin. But, and it's a big but, they also need to be problem solvers. And this current solution won't wash.

There are times in life when the only way to solve a problem is to sign a cheque.

In the past the Chairman has put in money - either to maintain his shareholding above 50% or to stave off financial meltdown.

The £50m put in a few years ago was not from the goodness of his heart. It was necessary to solve the problem of £11,000 a day in interest payments which simply weren't getting any better. Former Trust Chairman Colin Glass had got wind that Ibrox was to be leased back and the fans would effectively have to cough up the £70million generated over the following 25 years. None of us thought giving the Chairman £70million to play with and mortgaging our future was a good idea. So, we argued and campaigned and in the end there were two options left - hope a dual miracle would happen (players improve and fans stay quiet) or put in capital.

Today we again find ourselves at a crossroads. There are four options.

1/ Outside investors
2/ Get the punters to cough up to higher prices
3/ Sell more assets
4/ Inject more capital

I recall a conversation with one of the older and wiser heads on the Trust Board ahead of a meeting with Rangers when we discussed how we would hand it. He said to me - 'Murray's a man who understands he has to pay for his fun. If he has to he'll solve this problem the way he solves other business problems - he'll sign a cheque.'

Rangers fans have more than played their part in the last 20 years. The Chairman took the risks, he reaped the rewards and now he has to pay the bill when things have gone so disastrously wrong. He has to sign a cheque.