Wallace to hold Rangers fans summit

RANGERS chief executive Graham Wallace is set to meet with fans of the Ibrox club for the first time this week.

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Rangers supporters are eager to grill chief executive Graham Wallace
Rangers supporters are eager to grill chief executive Graham Wallace

And he will attempt to allay growing fears among supporters about the future of the Glasgow giants.

Wallace has repeatedly stated that he is keen for the SPFL League One leaders to engage fully with their followers.

And the former Manchester City chief operating officer is finally set to make good on his promises in the coming days. He will sit down with representatives of the three main supporters organisations - the Assembly, the Association and the Trust.

It will be a timely summit after it emerged players were asked to take a 15% pay cut last Thursday. The proposal - which was flatly rejected by Ally McCoist's squad - has led to speculation that Rangers could go into administration again.

The Ibrox club is currently operating at a loss and financial director Brain Stockbridge has admitted there will only be £1million left in the bank by April.

Andy Kerr of the Rangers Supporters Assembly has revealed that plans for a meeting with Wallace have been in the pipeline for several weeks. And he promised that Wallace, who was appointed to his role at the club back in November, would face a tough line of questioning at the talks.

But he also expressed hope that the meeting would be the start of a much-needed new era of openness at the Govan club.

He said: "The dialogue has actually started in terms of getting to a point where we can get around a table.

"There has been some to-ing and fro-ing in terms of availability and dates. We also had a bit of a hiatus with the holidays. Graham Wallace was away over the festive period. But we picked it up following the New Year break.

"We will hopefully be meeting in the next week or so. We will be meeting Graham Wallace in the first instance."

Kerr believes the meeting with Wallace is more crucial than ever given that passions are currently running so high among the Rangers supporters. He is hopeful Wallace, who has embarked upon a series of cost-cutting measures, can outline what the short-term future holds for the Ibrox club.

And the Assembly official is optimistic that opening up dialogue and developing a working relationship with the chief executive will ultimately aid their return to the top flight.

He said: "It's really, really important that we get a view of where the club sees themselves in the future, in particular over the next six months. Because some of the words that have been coming out of the club, from Ally McCoist in particular, do not bode well for the future.

"I think we, the fans and the club, have to work collaboratively to get to a better place. The "them and us" situation has to change and it has to change quickly.

"If even a small minority of Rangers fans start to question whether they should buy season tickets for next season it could have serious consequences. We want to avoid that at all costs.

"But, at the same time, the club has to engage with the supporters. They have to be open and honest with us so that we can work together for the good of Rangers.

"I am sure that Graham Wallace will not underestimate that we will have some hard questions for him. But we want to start fan engagement on the right foot and make our relationship as constructive as possible."

Wallace admitted last month, in his first interview after being appointed chief executive, that Rangers needed to improve their relationship with their own fans.

He said: "I think it's something in the past that we perhaps haven't done as well as we need to.

"And certainly it's part of my philosophy is to engage with a wider fan base to understand the issues that matter to them so that we as a club can understand."

Football

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