The events of the past few weeks have emphasised just how essential it is that such forums exist because if all there was to go on was Club announcements and publications then we would have nowhere to combat the spin and - yes, it has to be said - outright lies that have emanated from certain employees within Ibrox Park.
We'll start with matters on the park though. The European exit was a shattering blow for the Club in terms of prestige and the financial ramifications of that have yet to be seen but they will inevitably be very unpleasant for those of us who hold Rangers dear. I have a very strong suspicion that a number of our first team squad will be moved on in January as a direct result of our early exit as Rangers set out to combat this horrific debt we find ourselves in as income from glamour European nights was thrown away mainly because of a ridiculously unprofessional performance in the Czech Republic which ranks alongside the defeats to the likes of Sparta Prague and Levski Sofia from recent years as Rangers committed footballing hari-kiri.
It is the opinion of this Bear that the Club stand accused of gross underestimation of the opposition and paid the heaviest price possible. While Zizkov were by no means World-beaters, they were also far from the quality of a team from say, Malta or the Faroe Islands but a professional, committed performance from Rangers should have seen us through. However, all the bad habits of slackness and loss of concentration re-emerged with a vengeance and ultimately cost us the chance to progress in the tournament. Forget the inadequacies of the referee at Ibrox; the reason we are out is because of the shocking performance from Rangers in the away leg, which we proved unable to overcome.
The recent draw at Parkhead proved that when the players apply themselves they have the necessary qualities to perform well and are capable of providing the commitment needed but that needs to be on show in EVERY game. (Incidentally, the fact that Celtic were reduced to appalling cheating and fouling to attain a draw at their cesspit of a home shows
THEM up for what they are and the limited ability of their collection of hatchet men and thugs was all too apparent.) The quartet of Ferguson, De Boer, Arteta, and Lovenkrands are among the most talented players in Britain just now but whether we can hold on to them should bids come in for any or all of them once the transfer window re-opens remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: if we have to sell our best players to generate income then the defeat to the team from Prague is going to haunt us for a long, long time.
Am I still optimistic? If we manage to hold onto our players then I see no reason not to be. We have the players and the manager to be successful. It is up to them to show they have the necessary desire.
Onto matters away from the field of play now. At the recent AGM a Rangers employee told a lie to the Rangers shareholders in particular and the Rangers support in general. Martin Bain denied making the quote where he clearly stated he does not want to employ Rangers supporters at Ibrox. Simply put, he should have had his arse kicked out the door when he made that comment but for him now to deny even making it is a scandalous insult to the people who pay his wages.
His quote is in the Glasgow Herald last August in black and white. To compound matters further, and to illustrate his obvious dislike for the Rangers support he mumbled some flannel about "Freedom of the Press" when asked if the Club would take action against the likes of Leckie and Spiers and similar scum who make a living out of writing anti-Rangers bigotry.
It's pretty obvious now that the Club have absolutely no intention of taking any action at all against those who besmirch OUR Club so I am yet again issuing an appeal for a campaign of whatever form to get some sort of supporter representation inside the Stadium. We now have to take matters into our own hands.
The presence within of the likes of Bain and Jardine who are happy to associate with a paper - Sunday Herald - who laughed at the Ibrox Disaster is an insult to the people who died that day and it is now up to the Rangers support as a whole to take up the challenge the Club so meekly surrendered to so that we can ensure Rangers legends like Jock Wallace and people who have died following Rangers are no longer to be ridiculed by scum like Ron McKay and Graham Spiers. The Club have shamefully failed in and neglected to attend to their duty in these instances. As Rangers supporters it is incumbent upon us to fight to preserve the memory and good name of our fallen friends. Maybe, just maybe, by fighting a dignified fight and leading by example, we can embarrass the Club into taking the appropriate action in expelling the journalists responsible from Ibrox Park forever.
People power CAN work and who better to illustrate this than THE People - The Rangers support? It is perfectly obvious that Bain and co are terrified of the Fanzines. Why else would they try to obtain editorial control? They fear the truth; they fear the support uniting against them; they fear the Rangers support will unite against them and remove them from their well-paid cushy employment; they fear the Rangers support having an independent voice.
Nonsense like "The fanzine is banned due to sectarian content" is an insult to the intelligence of the Rangers support and yet one more bullet for our enemies to shoot at us. Sectarian content? I'd pay good money to see Bain try and wriggle out of THAT one when confronted and asked for an example. Sectarian? Not one sectarian word has been written in the 130+ issues of Follow, Follow.
Several unashamedly pro-Protestant/Loyalist/Unionist/Royalist articles have been printed along with plenty pointing out the bigotry and hypocrisy that hangs like a pollution around Celtic Park and their incestuous sister organisations that masquerade as the rags that make up the Scottish media but only a moron would try to put some sinister spin on that.
Or is Bain simply saying that Follow, Follow in defending the name of Rangers and Rangers supporters is in some way performing a bigoted act?
It looks very much like it and sums him up to perfection. His presence at Ibrox Park is an insult to the memory and achievements of the REAL Rangers men of the past who made the Club what it is. He must be removed from office.
It is absolutely essential that Bain and his ilk are removed forthwith and replaced with people who DO hold the Club's interests at heart and don't merely express patronising sentiments at Rangers supporters' functions.
For the sake of the people who built Rangers up into the greatest football Club the World has ever seen we must remove those of today who have no respect at all - and maybe even harbour a dislike - for their predecessors.
It is sad to say, but I now find myself dreaming of a day where Rangers legends like Moses McNeil, Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell, William MacBeath, Sammy English, George Young, Bill Struth, Jock Wallace, and so many others who have had their name besmirched by enemies of Rangers - internal in some cases - will look down upon Rangers Football Club and Ibrox Park where they devoted huge chunks of their lives and see that their memory and good name is being defended by people within the Club that they served with so much love and distinction.
Together, we can make that day one we will all celebrate in the very near future.
Yours in the cause,
Ayrshire Billy Boy