Gers fans discuss board presence

15 November 2009 01:17
Rangers supporters seeking a greater say in the running of the club have been told they will have to work with other investors, in the short-term.The Scottish Premier League club is looking for a buyer but, with debts of £31m, none has yet been found. [LNB]The Rangers Supporters Trust believes fans should have a presence at Ibrox. [LNB]They held a conference at the stadium on Saturday where they heard from fans of Hamburg and Espanyol, who have some influence in board decision-making. [LNB]About 100 attendees discussed the issue and, while there was much in what was said to encourage those Rangers supporters who have grown frustrated by the current board's stewardship, there were words of caution from two of the key speakers. [LNB]Jens Wagner, from Hamburg's Supporters Club, spoke in great detail of the structure of the whole club and of the huge influence the 52,000 members have, including decisions over the make-up of the board of directors and the size of the annual transfer budget. [LNB]But he stressed that the money generated by the members for the club - in the region of 1.5 million Euros a year - was clearly inadequate to sustain the ambitions of a top-level football team, underlining the importance of other income streams. [LNB]Television revenue, ticket sales and sponsorship are key to Hamburg's enormous turnover of almost 190 million Euros - a figure that dwarves that of Rangers and Celtic.[LNB] MY SPORT: DEBATE Give your reaction to this story And any thoughts Rangers supporters have of gaining overall control of the club in the short-term were played down by James Proctor of Supporters Direct Scotland. [LNB]"An incremental process of working with new investors will be required to move closer to the Hamburg model," said Proctor, who nonetheless said the concept of one main investor owning almost all of the club's shares would not be desirable. [LNB]The Rangers Supporters Trust are under no illusions that they will soon be wielding the power in the Ibrox boardroom. [LNB]But they are hopeful that when Sir David Murray eventually finds a buyer for his holding, they and other Rangers fans will be able to forge a relationship with the new owners, to give them a step on the ladder, which might one day lead to a supporter-run club.

Source: BBC_Sport