Derek Johnstone: Darkest days come before a new dawn starts to emerge

THIS has been an annus horribilis for Rangers, but the club are finally moving forward from some of their darkest days in a long, illustrious history.

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Nobody has defended Rangers more than Charles Green, says DJ
Nobody has defended Rangers more than Charles Green, says DJ

If you are a Rangers fan, it has probably been the worst year of your life, football wise. As a supporter of the club, it has been a horrible situation to be in.

Even through all the turmoil Rangers have suffered, I never, ever thought that the club would go out of business. There are too many people with feelings for Rangers to allow that to happen.

THE FANS

Supporters didn't know what was happening with the club, there were different things coming out all the time and you didn't know what to believe. There was so much going on they didn't know about.

Now everything has settled and the fans have maybe realised the club was lucky to survive.

The 140th anniversary celebrations a couple of weeks ago were fantastic as loads of legends came back to Ibrox and the fans turned up in huge numbers once again.

Rangers fans probably have a smile on their face for the first time this year. The off-field stuff has settled down and they can enjoy going to watch their team progress back to the SPL and hopefully into Europe again.

It has been a long, hard road for players, management and supporters at the club, but they have got through that.

The fans are the biggest winners this season. Their support has been great, they have turned up in their numbers and, without them, the club would have struggled. We are moving on after the worst period in the club's history and we have to keep progressing together.

CHARLES GREEN

The man you have got to thank is Charles Green. When he came in, like everyone else, I was very wary of him after the Craig Whyte era.

There was a lot of talk early on, but once he got into Ibrox, he has made things happen and he has not let the club down. Nobody has defended the club, not even Sir David Murray, like Charles has.

If anyone has something to say about the club, Charles is out within a couple of hours defending Rangers and that is what fans want.

They want people to stand up for the club and that is what he is doing.

Maybe he says too much sometimes, but the fans would rather have that than someone who says nothing at all. They know he is looking after their club just now.

He has them in a healthy position. They are sitting top of the league, they have investment in the club and there are plans for the future. That is all the fans were looking for and he has delivered.

The club is looking healthy. The share issue raised £22m and there are 36,000 season ticket holders as well. Things certainly appear brighter now.

THE FUTURE

The role of Ally McCoist cannot be overlooked, either. He has been at the forefront of it all and has had to contend with so much, but now he is able to concentrate on his job as Rangers manager.

It was a hell of a start to the year, but we are now talking about football again. There is a long way to go yet and we are all aware of that, but the club has got off to a good start in the Third Division.

Rangers are 12 points ahead now and there is no doubt that they will win the league by a huge margin.

No disrespect to the other teams in the league, but that is what should happen with the squad they have.

But they cannot be complacent because that is when they could start to drop points.

The more they keep winning, the better the young players, like Lewis Macleod and Barrie McKay, will get and the fans, who have been fantastic this season, will enjoy it as well.

Sport

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