It has certainly been an eventful last few weeks and as we often say, life as a Ranger is never dull. As we enter the real home straight in the title race, it should be about one thing, what we are doing on the pitch. However everything else that is going on, even the smallest of things, seems to be a struggle for the club and the outpouring of negativity is draining.
People are fed up.
That’s the blunt truth and a pattern of odd decisions and poor service is testing everyone’s patience. Chuck in the post winter league form and everyone is one more poor performance away from really getting the pitchforks out.
Australia is an absolute abomination of a decision for a number of reasons. In fact it is almost boring discussing it and going on about it seems almost pointless. A boardroom who has expressed their ‘disappointment’ at the supporters reaction, certainly aren’t listening to our concerns.
Then you throw in the other issues constantly surrounding the club, like the ticket office which is an ongoing issue, and it is becoming exasperating. Fans constantly unable to manoeuvre the website, problems buying tickets, unable to get answers from the ticket office because it’s barely open and the list goes on.
Then you see posts from our female supporters complaining that there is a lack of feminine products in the bathrooms at our ground and a snidey dismissive reply from the club, upon questioning what is happening, has left everyone unhappy. It’s basic customer service.
When you aren’t winning everything is up for scrutiny and again I’ll say it, people are fed up. Rangers are a massive club but it’s failing in basic standards all over the place and that is failing the fans. The biggest one being priority for their biggest revenue stream, us the supporters.
We were told that customer service is number one priority and yet I still see so many issues. In fact I see Michael Seafarer giving more answers to Rangers things than the club actually do on social media.
Then when you advertise wearing a anniversary kit and then, for whatever reason, change your mind and go a more traditional route, it once again is met with general negativity. Rangers did have the kit registered but such is the frustration surrounding the club at the minute everything is there to be scrutinised. No one believed the club and fan media, Heart and Hand particularly, are criticised for sharing the club response when asked.
There is now a complete lack of trust, a disconnect.
It’s draining and disappointing but a lot of it is basics.
This boardroom have done so much for this club and we appreciate every single thing and pound they have given to the cause. There is no criticism of that, no criticism of their business knowledge or their actions in looking after the club. Listen, I even understand why £3m for Australia is somewhat a ‘no brainer’ financially, we probably all do. But lack of what I would call ‘Customer engagement’, what we want and are thinking, is massively short.
If Australia is such a big thing, we all know how vital £3m is for the club, then come out and speak with us honestly. If we have to do it then level with us. We might not like it and we won’t, but someone looking us in the eye and discussing it plainly is more understandable than being blindsided and taken on a ‘Angeball homecoming tour’. Now we have the narrative that they are earning more and no one believes the club when they say that’s incorrect, there’s that disconnect again. It’s so frustrating because mechanisms are there to avoid all of this but it seems we are behind on this front.
But even with the £3m potential income, surely European money, Money from Steven Gerrard and Nathan Patterson departure’s means this money is even less required?
Surely listening to the supporters is worth more? A support which, without pulling the ‘ace’ card, funded a whole seasons worth of season ticket money on ‘goodwill’ alone.
It goes back to what I said before, it feels like it’s basic customer service. The supporters are the lifeblood of this club and we absolutely get it. Why does this board think we buy into everything to support the club? Club lottery, Castore merchandise every second week, MyGers, Tickets etc etc.
When the basics fail us then the little things turn into big things and before you know it the negativity is overpowering, that is exactly where we are.
Here is the real crux of what is going to happen in the immediate coming months.
A winning Rangers team and this all blows over to an extent, we are crowned champions and fans will be happy.
Failure to do that will see massive criticism of everyone and everything at club level. The boardroom, Stewart Robertson, Ross Wilson etc will all be in the firing line, all whilst the opportunity of automatic Champions League football is lost. For the fans, from the position we were in, is catastrophic.
Then we will really see a reaction to everything that is going on, no matter how small.
Perhaps if we start getting the basics right and listening to the support, then these ‘small’ problems wouldn’t feel like ‘big’ problems in a time where the only thing that really matters, and should matter, is what is happening on the pitch.
There is an argument that a full forensic review should happen this summer no matter what, it is certainly what the support are currently thinking. That level of scrutiny and demand will be decided by the next few months.
The club could help themselves though, starting with carrying out the very thing they promised they were sorting, listening to the supporters.
Yesterday I was able to speak with Calvin Bassey at the pre match European press conference. Yes, we do have a massive European game this week!
Red Star come to town in good domestic form and a real danger to our European hopes. A last sixteen place is brilliant for the club and further advancement in this tournament could bring much needed financial gain for the club. Qualification to the last eight could be worth £2m alone and for the club, who doesn’t budget these things, it could be huge.
But it also offers the players a platform to express themselves in an arena they have already made it clear they enjoy. It’s a huge opportunity for them all. So I was keen to attend and ask Calvin his thoughts before hand.
Question: ‘Calvin, the supporters are really enjoying your form and you are fast becoming a fan’s favourite. How much are you enjoying life at Rangers and your form in the team currently?’
Calvin answered: ‘Obviously I am blessed and thankful to the boss and the staff for trusting in me’
‘Whether it’s at left back or centre back I just go out there and try to give my best’
‘Obviously it’s nice to have the support of the fans behind me. Everyday I try to get better and improve. I still think there is so much I can get better with and improve on’
Calvin has been a shining light with his enthusiasm, drive and positive play from the back. He’s made the left back position his own and is a real strong contender for player of the year of he keeps this form going.
Once again he will be an important figure as Red Star come to town and has made himself a vital part of this side.
Very polite, thankful and hard working but determined to improve, he has the attitude and the promise to have a successful Rangers career.
Good luck to Calvin and the team against Red Star.
Want to win some cash?
Then enter the free to play Rangers FC Pools weekly giveaway!
There is £100 up for grabs this week and all you have to do is predict the first goal scorer and correct score in Sunday’s game vs Dundee
Enter for free here http://www.rangerspools.com/score-cast