Is it possible for events at Ibrox to become even more bizarre and farcical than they have already been?
Today proves that indeed that is the case.
Remember we are dealing with a football club which has been described as the second most important institution in Scotland, and one with a worldwide fan base of over 500 million.
More prosaically it is a PLC, quoted on the AIM Stock Exchange, in which £22 million was invested recently in a share issue, as well as millions more by institutional and other investors before the IPO.
(Strictly of course it is a football club made up of assets and business which are owned by a company which is owned by the PLC.)
It is also an organisation with a sizeable PR department, as well as having expensive PR professionals on retainer. Indeed the club has its own Director of Communications, who is one of the titanic figures of Scottish sports journalism of the last 25 years.
Against that background, what has happened over slightly more than the last 24 hours?
1 Former Chief Executive Charles Green is re-employed as a Consultant.
2 A requisition is received seeking an EGM to remove three of the directors, including the new CEO.
4 Mr Green impliedly criticises the new CEO and the summer signings he authorised.
5 Mr Mather, the new CEO, issues a statement via the official website lashing out at those who want a place at Ibrox to make money and because of arrogance, but who were not willing to put their hands in their pockets to help when assistance was needed.
6 Mr Mather also criticises Mr Green for what he said, although accepting that he has an opinion.
7 Rangers lose in the League Cup to Forfar.
8 Mr McCoist, in his post-match press conference, blames Mr Green’s comments for the defeat.
9 Rangers publish the article shown below and linked to here on the official site.
10 That article repeats the criticism of the manager for the former CEO and newly appointed Consultant in the starkest terms.
I do not recall internal boardroom machinations at any PLC being played out in full view of the outside world like this.
Can you imagine any properly run company allowing one of its key employees to accuse another of the company’s key employees, the former CEO and largest shareholder indeed, of having contempt for the organisation and its staff and customers?
Rangers deserve credit for publishing Mr McCoist’s comments because if they had not they would have been accused (probably by people like me!) of operating a Pravda-esque smokescreen.
However it seems inconceivable that any properly run organisation would allow its employees to behave like this, and to then have the comments publicised in such a manner as to make it clear that the PR side of the company are with the new CEO and manager, and against the old CEO.
The scene resembles one of the 1970s revolutions in Africa, where the first place the rebels try to annex is the capital city’s TV and radio stations, so that they can issue their own propaganda in place of the despot they are trying to replace.
Can we hear the figurative gunshots as Mr Green’s forces try to take control of the communications department which is loyal to the existing regime?
One thing is clear – Rangers really should be getting a huge amount more for the money it spends on PR – or else their bills will now shoot through the roof as the experts try to deal with this mess.
Craig Mather’s statement earlier today spoke of strength – I suspect the share price will react to the football defeat but more importantly the internal strife on Monday and that will not be a positive reaction.
I leave you with relevant extracts from Mr McCoist’s statement below although I plan to make some comment on the specifics of what he had to say later or tomorrow.
Posted by Paul McConville
ALLY McCOIST has accused Charles Green of treating Rangers and its fans with contempt and believes he has no interest in the club.
The manager was furious to waken up this morning to comments from the former Light Blues chief executive – appointed as a consultant to the club yesterday – in a national newspaper.
In the interview, he insisted McCoist had to win the league and a cup this season or he would ‘have a problem’.
Green also reiterated his belief last season’s team was the worst in the club’s history and described events at Ibrox as ‘a circus’.
And he maintained he’d have raised season ticket prices this term and wouldn’t have given McCoist the volume of players Craig Mather has allowed him to recruit.
The manager was furious in particular with the timing of Green dismissing the same squad from 2012/13 he was working with at today’s League Cup tie against Forfar.
Gers lost 2-1 after extra-time and McCoist feels the Yorkshireman’s words played a part. He said: “They were a terrible distraction and I found his comments appalling, I really did.
“Once again, he was reminding our boys who had a serious cup tie in four hours that he thinks they were the worst Rangers team in history.
“What kind of team talk is that from somebody who is supposed to have the club’s best interests at heart?
“He’s fooling nobody. He’s trying to kid the fans on that he’s this, that and the next thing but he’s not interested in Rangers Football Club, not at all.
“I think it’s plain to see his contempt and total lack of respect for my players, the staff at the club, the supporters and Scottish football in general. It’s totally unacceptable.”