With the upcoming game against Aberdeen, the rumours surrounding Derek McInnes and the great performance on Wednesday night, the focus for Rangers fans is somewhat stretched. Our AGM was completed on Thursday, with various topics for discussion. We wanted to let the initial reactions settle before we considered just how we feel about it all.
Initially, there was a somewhat negative reaction to a lot of what was said. The feeling was that the board were somewhat condescending, almost dismissive of the fans. Answers to topics such as the manager search and the request of some to cut the allocation Celtic are given at Ibrox didn’t satisfy many. Even the opening statement, which laboured the point regarding the duty to all shareholders, felt unbalanced. Given the message it was trying to convey, it felt dismissive of the “emotional shareholders”. Overall, the instant reactions weren’t great.
But maybe a large part of that is down to unrealistic expectations. We as fans are crying out for a level of transparency that no club gives their support. It’s understandable why we’re asking for that, but it’s not really required. The Rangers support and shareholders should never give another board an easy ride after everything we’ve went through. It is fair to say, though, that a winning team on the pitch will see a number of people who are currently frustrated feel more comfortable. That is the main focus of the fans, and it really should be.
And that’s where our board are unrealistic in their expectations. They have done a great job, and made personal sacrifices for the good of the club. In years to come, we’ll be beyond grateful for everything they gave to Rangers. Despite that, they don’t quite catch the mood of the fans often, and the statement from King defending the hiring of Caixinha was an example of that.
I personally believe that the process which led to the hiring of Caixinha is one we should take. It seems to have been what we’ve done this time around as well. Decisions on hiring a manager shouldn’t be rushed, because too often clubs who do that end up burning through a number of managers before someone finally gets a good run going. The fact that Caixinha didn’t work out wasn’t an indictment on the process, but just on the man himself.
But I know that my feeling on that is one of a minority. I also know that just because I believe that, it doesn’t mean it’s correct. It’s an opinion, one I’ll try to back up with evidence as to why I feel that way, but in truth there’s no right answer. In defending the board for their choice, and suggesting the hiring of Caixinha wasn’t a mistake, King is talking to a minority of fans who already agree. It’s not the way to convince people that what you believe is right. Before he even took charge of his first game, a number of fans were convinced Caixinha was a poor choice. Instead of admitting that they were wrong in this case and hoping to learn some lessons, King went down the road of “we know better”, which is only going to harden the resolve of those who disagree.
One of the biggest reactions was to the answer on the request to cut the allocation of the Celtic fans. With the antics in recent matches, more so the most recent of them, there are fair arguments for this. The board, for a while now, have simply batted this back by saying that the safety certificate which is allocated by the Council wouldn’t be given if Celtic’s fans were housed in the corner, and also that the allocation for Rangers fans going to their ground would be cut and that would lead to complaints. It feels like something of a cop-out to use the police and council as the justification for this.
Again, my view on this may be in the minority. I completely understand the anger with regards to how they behave. However, a lot of what they do is simply winding us up because they’re winning. We’ve done it before, we’ll do it again in the future. When it comes to fans running on the pitch, flares being thrown or stuff like that, the answer isn’t to cut the numbers, because that’s only likely to cause more of a reaction. Improvements can be made to how the game is policed, or how the stewards act, and that would need to be the case regardless.
For me, cutting the allocation on both sides would kill a big part of what makes those games special. There’s no guarantee of quality on the park, but the atmosphere is what sells these games to those outside of the support. Incidents should be dealt with, and an effort from both clubs made to do so, but for years many have complained that the game has become sterile in many respects. Cutting the number of away fans will only make that feeling grow. This issue will barely be mentioned once we start winning games against them again.
Overall, the AGM could be deemed somewhat mediocre. The questions were mixed in terms of quality and relevance, and it’s impossible to keep everyone happy anyway. By far, the most important thing to the future of Rangers was the passing of Resolution 11, and we finally got that over the line. With the freedom to seek investment, the board can lessen the pressure on themselves and get Rangers the resources to move back where we belong.
There’s going to be a lot to discuss in the coming days, with managerial appointments and big fixtures looming. As mentioned, it’s difficult to really say what’s most important at times. Personally, after some reflection, I feel the AGM served it’s purpose, and some of the bigger debates need more discussion before opinions can be formed.
For the Bears traveling to Pittodrie – stay safe, enjoy the match, and remind McInnes he’s one of our own…