Tourists, Tours and Tears: the latest own goal from Rangers FC.
A meeting that I expected to last no longer than 30 minutes progressed to over two hours.
One of the areas highlighted was our lack of involvement with tourist organisations not only within Glasgow but around the country. I made sure that I had done my background work, and through contacts that I have due to previous employment within the industry I discovered that groups like City Tours would be more than happy to expand over the river to the Ibrox area.
Only problem they have is a continual one : Ibrox Stadium is closed.
Anywa, I brought this up and asked about us producing a leaflet, talking to these organistions and getting Rangers/Ibrox on the tourist radar.
''Anyone who wants a tour of Ibrox is catered for'' I was assured.
I came home after the meeting, and that one comment above all else kept ringing in my head. Next day I rang the 0871 number and got through to 'Stadium Tours'. The following is a rough transcript :
Rangers : ''Hello Stadium Tours can I help you?''
Bluebear : '' Hello there i'm looking to make a block booking for a Stadium Tour.''
Rangers: ''What day are you wanting the Tour Sir ?''
(I was aware that they only do them on a Friday and a Sunday)
Bluebear : ''Next Monday please.''
Rangers: ''Can't help you we only do them two days a week, not on a Monday.''
Bluebear : ''Listen, I operate a Tour company ( false of course) and I have 50 American Tourists arriving on Sunday, they're only in Glasgow for two days and some have expressed a wish to visit the Stadium.''
Rangers: ''I'm sorry, we can't help you.'
Bluebear : ''Listen mate, between you and I, I'm a bit of a Rangers man myself and I would also look at taking my party through the Rangers Shop and maybe up to the restaurant for some lunch, you know what these Americans are like with their money.''
Rangers: ''We only do Tours on a Friday and a Sunday.''
I thanked him, hung up and rang Celtic, whose number I had beside me, gave them the exact same story and got this :
Celtic : ''No problem mate, listen just give us 24 hours notice and I'll have someone at the front door to greet them, we can also do a discounted lunch.''
Who cares, I hear many of you say?
Believe me when I say that phone call and response is only scratching the surface.
We're losing out big time in many areas within our own city, simply because the people at our Club can't be bothered. This is a Club that is in the financial grubber.
Our city is gearing up for the Commonwealth Games and a major influx of tourists.
Are and will Rangers be 'READY' ?
I'll let you make up your own minds.
See the link below for more.