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TOPIC: The Possible Dream: Fan Ownership

The Possible Dream: Fan Ownership 7 years 2 months ago #2589

Scenario one: It’s the 24th of whenever 2013, Paul Murray, Scott Murdoch, Malcolm Murray and Alex Wilson have failed in their bid to be put on the board at Rangers at the much delayed AGM and the bad/good guys, depending on which side of this lunatic spectrum you fall on, have prevailed. Three strikes and you’re out Mr Murray we need to move on.

What now? Do we sit back and wait and see if the doom prophecies are true or someone on the board produces the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and finds new backers? Do we let the board sell and leaseback the assets after a failed round of funding being supported by city or the fans due to the level of mistrust? Do we just sit and bitch at each other on twitter and actually contribute the square root of Craig Whyte’s wealth, zero?

Scenario two: The good guys/bad guys have won. Dave King rides along Edmiston Drive on his Springbok weighed down with Rand closely followed by Cash McColl and their trusty retainers the Blue Knights plus one. What now? Do we get fobbed-off with a membership scheme allowing you a discount off a Rangers garden gnome in the club shop? Do we get fan representation in the form of a Director hand-picked by the board? Do they lose interest when their other business interests start going down the Swannee and Rangers are the last thing on their mind?

I’ll tell you what we do, for either scenario, we buy the Club.

Impossible you say, really?

If Hearts or Dunfermline fans had been as negative/apathetic/disinterested as many in the Rangers support appear to be, Foundation of Hearts would not be the preferred bidder to take their club out of administration and Dunfermline supporters wouldn’t own their club. Neither would fans of Portsmouth, Stenhousemuir, Clyde, Darlington or many others I’ve never heard of like Eastbourne Borough!

I would hazard a guess that if all their supporters decided to visit Ibrox en masse there would still be enough room in the Director’s box for the requisitioners and the current board to trade insults and flick bits of pie at each other.

Look at the numbers, Foundation of Hearts have 7,500 members all paying on average, I would give an educated guess, £18 per month, that’s £135,000 per month and £1,620,000 per year straight into the Club’s coffers and that figure is the icing on the cake of season ticket sales etc. Their average attendance was 15,300 last season.

Let’s apply that level of uptake (49%) to Rangers. Average attendance so far this season has been 43,000 supporters. Ok so 49% of that is 21,070, yet again we’ve beaten Hearts already! I digress. Let’s say Rangers fans were a tiny bit more generous than Hearts fans and paid £18.72, the date of our founding.

So that’s 21,070 members all paying on average £18.72, that’s £394,430 per month.

£4,733,164 per year, I’ll let that sink in, £4,733,164 per year. Unreal £4.7 million pounds per year!

In two years that’s £9,466,329, three years £14,199,492 it is absolutely mind blowing and that is only with 21,000 fans doing this. Ah, but we’re not going to be able to buy the club from the administrators, we’re not in administration, the board are doing a splendid/rubbish job (delete as appropriate).

This is where we have a massive advantage over Hearts, Dunfermline and any other clubs previously mentioned: our shares are listed on the AIM so anyone can buy them! On current prices after one year we could own at least 13% of the stock in Rangers, year two 26% etc etc.

If we got really organised we could realistically demand a Director or two on the board and have properly run elections for these posts and ANY member could put themselves up as a candidate. You could be the head honcho in the Blue Order or even an ordinary season ticket holder as long as you were voted in by a majority of the members.

The potential for a scheme such as this knows no bounds. Guys who can’t buy season tickets because of location can have a say in how the Club is run. NARSA and ORSA members could all join and even Bears living in Baku or Timbuktu. If guys from these places got enough votes they’d could sit on the board alongside Bears from Glasgow, Belfast London or wherever you are from.

What do I get for my £18.72 I hear you ask? You get a restful night for the remainder of your life knowing you have secured Rangers for your children and your children’s children.

It really is the possible dream; anyone can buy shares in Rangers, if only there was such a scheme in place.

Graham McLaren is 46 and taking a self-imposed twitter break, when he’s back he can be followed @gazborangers.

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The Possible Dream: Fan Ownership 7 years 2 months ago #2590

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Graham,

This is a great article and is something I've been talking to my mates down here in Oxfordshire about as they are wanting the same thing for Oxford United.

IMHO the reason we as a support have not gone for this is because of the huge divides that are now easy to see since the end of last season.

We appeared to be a fan base united in the early days and this seemed to continue till mid season when results weren't going well in the cups and then defeats in the league at Ibrox.

Soon all the so called True Blues started screaming for McCoist out and forming fans action groups.....when that happens a club membership scheme has no chance as one lot will love it another will hate it and the rest will not trust it.

The Club needs to do this and needs to do it like the German model, IMO.

Membership fee of £18.72 is nice idea due to the historical aspect and if only 49% of ST holders take it up that is brilliant but to me is the thousands of our fellow bears who live outside Scotland and can't make games. This I believe could easily lead to a figure exceeding 50k every month = 936k pm or 11.232m pa......that is a phenomenal amount.

Why aren't we doing it, are the club worried about the ordinary punter running amok in the board room?

I also believe we can ensure the take up by being a member gets you free bus travel to the game from anywhere within say a specific area, (tbc by the club and bus companies), discounts on goods and even 10% reduction in ST.

Then you could go further with say Premium membership of £37.44 - see what I did there ;) - which gets you a new home shirt, ST discount and the usual shop discount on top of your bus travel free.

This is done in Germany, well bus travel and merchandise discounts is so why not here. Club pays a fee to the bus companies they get used more, less cars so less congestion and the match day experience is better as well as our coffers filling up nicely.

The thing is this is the time to do it when ST are down in cost, get the membership up and running so as tickets increase the discount benefit is a benefit and if you are paying £20pm now you probably won't notice it in the years ahead as you enjoy the benefits.

I really hope this article starts the debate within the club and we can see something happening in the near future I know I'll be signing up and so will some of my Oxford Supporting mates as I've promised to help them with theirs if they can get it going as well.

Fans owning clubs and setting the agenda......now there's where things get complicated....but again great article :)
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