Launched in May 2016, Club 1872 claimed they would become a unified, independent and impactful voice for Rangers supporters to rebuild, maintain and protect the club.
According to their mission statement, they wanted the Rangers supporters to play a central role in making Rangers a proud name in both domestic and European football.
However, it is now blatantly apparent that the ‘independent’ fan group is not-so-independent after all and refuses to criticise or hold the Rangers board accountable for issues related to the club. They have still to comment officially – and with substance – on Dave King’s deliberate and underhanded breach of the takeover panel rules when he conspired with other shareholders to oust the Easdale brothers, knowing full well that their organised coup breached said takeover rules.
With a day already come and gone since Dons manager Derek McInnes rejected a move to the Ibrox club and ordinary Rangers fans taking to phone-ins, forums and social media to condemn the board’s statement and overall way they have run their managerial search – the only fan representation left open to Rangers fans, Club 1872, remains silent and hiding in the shadows.
Ordinary shareholders of the group are paying up to £224.64 per year [half the price of a season ticket] to Club 1872, with the group pulling on the heart strings of the fanbase with the belief that they would represent the ordinary punter rather than a board fronted by a man – Dave King – who seems to spend more time in court than at Rangers matches.
Now defunct fan organisations – Rangers First, the Rangers Supporters Assembly and the Rangers Supporters Trust – held previous regimes accountable, but thanks to individual fans bent on furthering their own agendas and trying to secure a clue tie and seat in the Directors Box these groups were merged into one group controlled by James Blair – who just happened to be the Rangers club secretary also. Blair’s presence both at club level and the fan group’s board was far from independent and to date they have failed to muster a whimper in any of the big issues that Rangers have faced since their formation. Even after Blair’s departure last month.
Rangers fans now seem to be seeing the light in regards to the credibility of this fan group, and the longer they stay silent on this matter along with others – when it involves the club’s board – then they will see their support disappear as quickly and funds will dry up thereafter.
Some Rangers fans took to Rangersmedia to voice their displeasure at Club 1872’s silence, here are some selections:
Gman36 said: “Crazy that fans are paying their own actual hard earned money for an extra organisational layer that makes it harder to hold the management to account. Anyone paying into this needs their head examined.
“We as a collective support are paying to make it easier for the current shambles of a management/ownership team to continue to run us into the ground. Actually paying for the privilege of the kind of disastrous management of the like we’ve seen for years, but in particular the last few weeks. Let that sink in.”
Chris182 added: “1872 don’t have the balls to hold the fire to King and Co’s feet. That’s why I stopped putting money in.”
K.A.I. said: “Was obvious from day one they have no intention of being anything other than club cucks – exchanged emails with them about the club banning fans before their trial or plea for Hampden with no season ticket recompense and they basically said they wouldn’t challenge the club on it and released a statement basically backing the clubs stance they are fucking vermin now that I sit and recall this (just like their boardroom masters).”
Virtuoso added: “C1872 will speak once they’re given permission to do so. Any statement will need to by run past the board first. Nod nod, woof woof – then a wee rollover to have their tummies tickled. Not fit for purpose.”
Redsox1 said: “C1872 are a total waste of space.I wouldn’t put a penny into C1872.The fact that you are daft enough to think that they will have a voice says it all. You even think they will get bigger when clearly they are about to get a whole lot smaller when the loans are converted into shares.Want to make a real difference.Get Kingco hunted from our club.”
Others turned to Follow Follow, questioning the club board’s initial claims of transparency.
Teddyjohn said: “Robertson made a big song and dance about improving lines of communication between the board and the fans, although I suspect that was all a load of hot air. Club 1872 have a duty though to hold the board to account over this farce, especially since the answers provided at last week’s AGM were unsatisfactory and condescending.
“Club 1872 need to stand up and prove that they are a powerful voice within the club or else they will quickly lose paying members.”
The Clunge Taster added: “The board IMO are just another in what is a growing line of boards that are making us the fans objects of ridicule in the work place, pub etc. They couldn’t have made a bigger shambolic mess of this if they tried.”
Blue seafarer said: “This is where Club 1872 need to stand up and represent the fans. That’s what they were formed to do.
“The good faith between the board and fans is being utterly destroyed and actions must be taken to prevent the damage being irreparable.”
However, Club 1872 director Iain Mulholland – who was appointed in November – looked to calm the waters as he took to the forums.
Mulholland commented: “As a director of Club 1872 I would ask for a little patience. We are actively discussing the matter to find the best way forward, as somebody intimated earlier we don’t want to be seen as an organisation that only issues statements. Please remember we are all Rangers fans as well and feel the pain as keenly as everybody else.
“The majority of the Club 1872 board have only been in place since November and prior to that there was a broken board. Why do so many people fire bullets? I find it disheartening that Rangers fans find it so easy to be negative towards each other. To do things in a professional and competent manner takes time.
“Some people want fire and brimstone, some want a measured approach. Unfortunately we will never please everybody. All I can say is a supporter of 30 years plus do you think I’m personally happy with how things are playing out? We are a relatively new board and are trying to do what’s in the best interest of our members and the wider support, decisions have to be measured and correct.
“As I said earlier I cannot believe the amount of absolute rubbish and attacks made on club 1872 by rangers fans. I stood up and got involved because I care but it’s brutal that we love to turn in our own, no wonder sellik [sic] fans laugh at us. Lets stand together and act as if we are the people.
“The pain that we remain managerless surely that must be a concern to any Rangers fan. I’m pretty confident that McInnes pulled out at the last moment and accordingly he’s not the right man, but I just want to see a settled management team building us back to where we should be.”
It is yet to be seen whether Mulholland’s comments will calm the angry and baying mob that is ever increasing or if Club 1872’s continued silence and the board’s continued failure in their hunt for a successor to Pedro Caixinha will lead to further discontent and another fan revolt.
Just when some thought the farcical goings on, off the field, were behind them Rangers, its board, fan reps and fans had other ideas.