Grasping The Nettle
There is little doubt that there has been dirty work at the crossroads at our club since at least the events surrounding the administration and liquidation of our foes in 2012,and quite possibly beforehand in a bid to keep them solvent. There has been much discussion since about the depth of the club’s involvement,and frankly nothing that we have learned in that period inclines me towards a Not Guilty verdict.
Much of it of course revolves around the infamous 5WA,which was pushed through to ensure that some form of club was playing from Ibrox that season,and which everyone at our club has stated they knew nothing about-even going so far as to deny all knowledge of it at an AGM. The treatment by Lawwell & Co of the people behind Resolution 12-not just the four leaders,but also the many shareholders who supported it-is a stain,not just on them but on the club-which will never be cleansed.
This and many other wrongs have been casually brushed aside by our esteemed masters,our concerns and indeed our anger treated merely as an irrelevance. This season has condensed that anger and indeed crystallised it to the extent that fan groupings are strengthening in their resolve to force through change. We all remember how similar feelings forced the old board out in 1994,and many of us are calling for such as a season ticket boycott to do the same again.
After all,it is obvious that the only thing that will make that lot listen is to deprive them of their income,deprive them of our money.
I’m not sure that there is a direct comparison to be drawn. In 1994,the club was in a bad way financially,and run by idiots. We had won nothing for five years and the prospects of that changing were poor. But that was not an irretrievable situation,as the debt wasn’t unmanageable by someone who had the business head to do it.
In 1994,we knew too that there were people in the background willing to do just that! A short sharp boycott could work,and indeed it did.
2021 is different as the club is financially robust and until this season,successful domestically. There is not the appetite for a boycott now as there was then,simply because a large number of the support don’t see the need for one while a large number of those who do understand will have their own reasons for continuing to attend.
Additionally,a Fergus-type splashing out £9m of his own money,with similar coming from the fans not long after,won’t cut it. The club is currently valued at c£130m,and to buy out the interested parties would probably demand a hefty premium in the region of 40-50%.
You don’t have to be a fan of the board to decide that a boycott in current circumstances is unlikely to work. You don’t have to be a critic of the CST to realise that a drip-feed of shares isn’t going to make a dent in a £200m valuation. Equally,you don’t have to be a genius to suggest that one way of causing damage and getting the point across to a board which has treated us with contempt for far too long is via boycotting the companies which sponsor or partner with the club.
We’ve been suggesting that on here for as long as the question of a season ticket boycott has been discussed. And just at the weekend,the news broke that The Hut Group had withdrawn from their £200m deal with Manchester United-£200m to have their name on training gear,ffs!- due to the threat of being boycotted by their fans.
The Hut Group blinked,that club got a sore one right in the bollox,and I strongly suspect that dissatisfied fan groups throughout the world,never mind only in the UK,will see this as the way ahead. It is similar to the original reasons given against sponsorship on the jerseys of some clubs,that the companies would lose the goodwill and custom of opposing fans.
So,since the reasons for a season ticket boycott will be disputed by too many to make it viable,and even many of those who agree with it in principle will ignore the call for other reasons,I suggest we boycott the merchandise and products of the club sponsors and partners. There are more than two dozen of them,and I don’t think the board will be so contemptuous of their calls for a response as they are towards the fans.
Take your pick,there’s only one on there that I use enough that it will be noticed by me.
It won’t be noticed by Magners-but it will be if enough of us do it. Same goes for the other companies too. It is them to whom the Plc will pay heed,and this might be the way to make it happen.
Above article by BMCUWP