Rangers fans show displeasure over Ibrox board

RANGERS fans have shown the Ibrox board the red card.

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Rangers fans made their unhappiness with the club's board clear in the last home game before the annual meeting
Rangers fans made their unhappiness with the club's board clear in the last home game before the annual meeting

The burning question now is whether the majority of the shareholders do the same at the AGM next week?

And, as has been the case with all of the troubled Glasgow institution's business affairs in the last few years, nothing is certain.

As expected, many Gers supporters used the last home game before the general meeting to display their deep unhappiness with those currently running their club.

Not everybody inside the stadium for the SPFL League One game with Ayr United at the weekend joined in with the protest organised by the Sons of Struth.

However, most of those in the 45,227-strong crowd did take part in the visually-striking demonstration in the 18th and 72nd minutes of the match.

If any of the individuals or investors who ploughed their money into Rangers at the IPO this time last year were watching it would have made for alarming viewing.

Not least because it came a day after the three main fans' organisations - the Assembly, the Association and the Trust - threatened to "disengage with the club".

The prospect of paying customers boycotting their heroes if the current directors remain in power will be a troubling one for those with a financial stake.

This, remember, is a club which financial experts have predicted will run out of money midway through next season unless fresh investment is forthcoming.

So the impact that existing revenue streams - like season ticket and official merchandise sales - drying up will have for Rangers will surely be catastrophic.

The off-field events on Saturday highlighted just how many would be prepared to take drastic action in order to facilitate the change they desire.

Yet nothing is guaranteed in this interminable and increasingly acrimonious saga. Rangers remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

A lot of fans would be unprepared to jeopardise the future of their beloved club in its current precarious state by "disengaging" little over a year after it briefly flirted with extinction.

And whether Scott Murdoch, Malcolm Murray, Paul Murray and Alex Wilson succeed in their bid to be voted on to the board is, despite the widespread, if not universal, support for them, still debatable.

The shareholders hold far greater power than the supporters and it is they who will have the ultimate say in who is elected, or re-elected, on Thursday week.

The question of who is behind Blue Pitch Holdings, Laxey Partners and Margarita Holdings, and what their objectives are, continues to be shrouded in secrecy.

But the fans' actions at the weekend and public declarations last week strongly suggest that, should the status quo be upheld, the unrest will not end. No, if anything it is likely to escalate.

That so many Rangers supporters are so unhappy at a time when the team is performing so well on the park speaks volumes about the strength of feeling that exists about the situation.

Rangers dispatched Ayr United - one of the better teams in the third tier - with the minimum of fuss at Ibrox at the weekend to maintain their winning run.

Nicky Law was ruled out of the match on the morning of the game after failing a fitness test as a result of the groin strain he has been nursing for a fortnight.

Ally McCoist shuffled his personnel; Lewis Macleod started in his favoured central midfield berth, Arnold Peralta came back in on the right flank and Fraser Aird switched to the left wing. Jon Daly put the runaway league leaders in front early on when he rose unchallenged and headed an Ian Black free-kick into the net with his 18th goal of the season.

Aird built on that lead with a fine individual goal shortly after in as one-sided a 45 minutes of football as his side has played during the 2013/14 campaign. And there have been a few.

Cammy Bell in the Rangers goal was in serious danger of contracting hypothermia, given how little he was involved in play during the first half. To be fair to the visitors, they regrouped and fared far better after half-time.

But the outcome was never in doubt and a close-range Bilel Mohsni goal late on wrapped up another three points. Centre-half Mohsni, who has firmly established himself as a fans' favourite in his short time in Scotland, has now scored seven goals this season and was a deserved recipient of the man-of-the-match award.

Elsewhere, Lee Wallace was once again outstanding at left-back, Black was vastly improved and being rested for a game looked to have refreshed Peralta no end.

The 3-0 triumph was their 15th in succession in the third tier and stretched their lead over nearest rivals Dunfermline at the top of the table to 16 points.

It extended their winning run in competitive matches to 20 games - a new post-war record - and kept alive their hopes of recording a fabled "Perfect Season" in the league. A unique treble is on. And still the fans directed their ire at the occupants of the directors' box in the main stand.

What, you wonder, would their response be if, as was the case for much of last season, performances were poor and results were disappointing?

Football

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