Last updated : 06 September 2002 By Grandmaster Suck


Over the summer there was a very unpleasant incident when the club decided, without any consultation, to effectively disband the Rangers Supporters Association. The Association had been on the go since just after the war.

Being a Rangers Supporters Club you used to have two choices - you could join the Association or register directly with Ibrox. Traditionally it was clubs who had social clubs or larger memberships who tended to join the Association, not a strict rule but that¹s how it used to go. In the last 20 years more clubs were registering direct at the ticket Office as the Association was ‘full up’. The Association has, or had, about 80 clubs while at Ibrox there are around 500.

A group of four or five pals can register as a club with the Ticket Office and build themselves up, with the Association you really had to have been running and have a track record before you got in. The benefit at Ibrox was you could get tickets right away (for less important games - you had to prove yourself over a few seasons before you could get a sniff of Old Firm briefs), you could also get organised without having to go through the mandatory four meetings and an AGM the Association demands.

The way the Association distributed tickets was more democratic - the more tickets you took for the less glamourous games the more you got for the high demand games like Celtic, Aberdeen and Hibs away for instance - whereas with the Ticket Office even very large clubs would get bit with only 2 tickets for the Cup Final.

This summer the Association were called to a meeting at Ibrox and told that the would no longer be given tickets to distribute to their members and instead all RSA clubs would transfer their registrations to the ticket Office. There was no prior consultation to this ultimatum and it was presented in a take it or leave it manner. There was some eyewash about the RSA, registered clubs, NARSA, etc all being brought together in a Rangers Supporters Alliance with a yearly convention in Glasgow being thrown in for good measure.

Make no mistake this is being done for the purpose of making more money for the commercial arm of the club and saving money by providing less of a service to fans - you now have to order tickets for all games at the start of the season!

The contemptuous way this was foisted in a disgrace - but in forcing everyone under the same roof there may be a silver lining to it. In recent years the more organised and independently-minded clubs registered direct have set up their own organisation (Official Affiliated RSCs) which has been meeting with the club and pushing over various issues - bringing in the Association in the way it¹s been done had certainly shaken the RSA leadership and membership out of any lethargy they may have had and removed any misconceptions about the people in charge at the club. I like the style of the people who are involved with the independent organisation - they have been patiently raising issues, offering solutions and not taking no for an answer. Likewise the Ulster RSCs have been working in a similar vein.



There¹s always some fools who will allow themselves to be used – some through fear, some through jealousy, some for personal gain. In this regard it¹s been disheartening to listen to what Lenin called ³the useful idiots² doing the dirty work of club functionaries. A story put about is that an Association club with 35 members got 28 Cup Final tickets whilst clubs registered at Ibrox only got 2 each. This is utter nonsense - the means by which tickets were distributed by the RSA means this is an impossibility. I asked the first bloke who put this to me if he really thought that next year his club would be getting 15 tickets? Not a chance - the club officials are laughing at you as you fail to campaign for more tickets for your members and instead try to steal them from out of the hands of your fellow fans. You will never see those tickets - they will disappear into the hands of their corporate pals. Where were those corporate pals for the last few games of last season? Like snow off a dyke.

The ticket office gets all Bolshy when supporters clubs don¹t take huge numbers for Stirling Albion midweek - do they get Bolshy when their pals turn up looking for Cup Final briefs?



In this particularly unpleasant course of affairs Rangers appear to be following in the none-too-fragrant footsteps of Manchester United.

It¹s long been a cliche that more Malaysians than Mancunians support United. In fact the Malaysian Reds support their team with a fervour we would die for. United have had a huge support in Malaysia since English football started being televised there in the 1960s. In the Kuala Lumpur United Supporters¹ Club opened their social club in 1991 occupying several large rooms in a middle-class suburb to cater for their 6,000 fans.

United stripped them of their official title last year and put fans relations in the hands of one of their retail partners - the firm of FJ Benjamin - and handed the running of the club to picked appointees whose job it is to squeeze ever last penny out of their fans - including shifting club meetings and match screenings to the newly opened Red Café. In response the real fans have decorated their HQ with ³No to Merchandise United² posters.

Likewise in South Africa, United took away recognition from their long-standing fan club in the country on the grounds that Œit wasn¹t making enough money for the club.¹ Hardly surprising as the main point of joining a supporters club is to try and keep the cost of supporting down!

United put in their own management and the head honcho in South Africa turned out to be a Chelsea fan - hardly likely to inspire confidence in those already disillusioned with the treatment of people who had loyally served the club for up to 30 years.


This is the future as they corporate suits see it - the club will decide for you what you want, how much you will spend, how you will support, where you will support and allow no room for loyalty and passion.

The choice is yours.