Club 1872 notes both the story in the Sunday Mail and the letters which have appeared on the internet regarding the resignations of Kelly Johnstone, Brian Donohoe and Peter Ewart from the Rangers First board. We would like to make it very clear that contrary to what is said in the blog accompanying the letters it was not Club 1872 that placed the story with the Sunday Mail. It was Brian Donohoe. We would also make it clear that Peter Ewart did not participate in this. It is unfortunate and unfair on him that he has become tangled up in a situation not of his making.
It is difficult to respond to much of the content of Brian and Kelly’s letters as they do not deal in substantive issues. However, if they had any genuine issues it would have been better to have raised and sought to resolve them through the Club 1872 working group.
It has been clear from the start however that the prime motivation for both Brian and Kelly, which was partially articulated both in their resignation letters and in working group meetings, was to stall or stop the formation of Club 1872. Having that view was fine and there were a very small number of members of RF who shared that opinion, however, after RF’s members voted overwhelmingly to form Club 1872, the directors of RF had a duty to implement that decision. Brian and Kelly have chosen not to do so and instead to spread meritless accusations publicly. Having resigned as directors of RF they no longer owe a duty to its members but this remains disappointing. Neither Brian nor Kelly resigned from the working group or communicated with it before going to the Sunday Mail which is doubly disappointing.
One of the reasons for the formation of Club 1872, as articulated in the proposal document, was the need to share resources to grow and encourage fan ownership and representation.
Club 1872 now has a robust IT system which will allow us to communicate with members and deal with queries in a much quicker and more efficient manner. That system is being further improved and enhanced on a regular basis ahead of a major recruitment push. Members will be able to vote through the website and will be regularly polled on all aspects of Club 1872 and Rangers. We ask existing members of RF and RST to help us in this regard by ensuring they create a profile on the new website. We will be emailing them all again in the near future with a reminder of how to do so.
Already our dedicated admin staff have answered over 1000 emails in just a month since launch. We have had a large number of positive comments from members about how good the response rate and service has been.
We have a marketing consultant who has put together a plan to grow the organisation over the next several months and we have the resource to carry it out. The most visible parts of this plan will kick in around the start of the new season but supporters will start to see some progress over the next week or so.
We have already invested in the IT infrastructure, office premises, marketing materials, relevant database licences and full time administrative staff which we believe are required to provide better service to members and a better opportunity for the organisation to grow.
We have started the process of direct engagement with RSCs and will continue and extend that over the coming months. This will include visits to individual clubs throughout Scotland and organised events in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
The task of the Club 1872 working group is to put in place the building blocks of the organisation that the members of RF and the RST voted over 90% in favour of on three separate occasions. Our job is to learn from the issues faced by both RF and the RST and present Club 1872 to its members and the new Board they will elect in the best shape possible given the available resource. A huge amount of hard work is being done to allow the newly elected board to hit the ground running and grow the organisation into a single, strong, representative voice for Rangers supporters with a positive working relationship with our football club and a significant and growing shareholding in the company that owns it.
We hope it is useful to members to clarify a couple of matters which have been highlighted as concerns:
1. All monies received by RF and RST to acquire shares in Rangers International Football Club PLC is ring fenced for that purpose. It will not be used for Projects. Going forward members can decide whether they want their donations to be reserved for Shares or Projects when they create a profile. If no choice is made it will (after deduction of the 5% for admin) be split evenly between the two.
2. Club 1872 will not gift money to Rangers Football Club. Monies contributed for Projects will be designed to benefit supporters and the footballing success of our Club. Members will decide at all times which Projects to pursue.
Club 1872 is not about two individuals. Members will vote for a new Club 1872 board in August/September and it will not be about the individuals elected in that process either. It is important that those standing for election understand that they are there to enact the will of the members of Club 1872 and that every key decision about Club 1872 will be taken by its members.
We will not be sidetracked further from the very important background work required to establish Club 1872 and ensure its strong foundations. We take this opportunity to thank the 10k + current members of Club 1872 and the members of RF and the RST for helping Club 1872 reach this point. Club 1872 will continue to reach out and engage with thousands of other Rangers supporters over the coming season.
Issued by Supporters Voice Limited, a Club 1872 company< Back