A Guest blog by redlichtie for TSFM
From what I can see Mike Ashley is likely to be the only game in town for RIFC/TRFC fans unless they want to see another of their clubs go through administration/liquidation.
That particular scenario potentially allows for a phoenix to arise from the ashes but on past evidence it is probably going to be an underfunded operation with overly grandiose pretensions taking them right back into the vicious circle they seem condemned to repeat ad nauseam.
Ashley has the muscle to strongarm the various spivs to give up or greatly dilute their onerous contracts and I suspect that is what has been happening behind the scenes.
From Ashley’s point of view I believe that what is being sought is a stable, self-financing operation that he can then sell on whilst retaining income streams of importance to SD.
I also suspect that he will come to some arrangement with the SFA to dispose of his interest once he has stabilised the club.
The problem for RIFC/TRFC fans is that Ashley is not going to fund some mythical “return to where they belong”, though that is beginning to appear to be the second division of the SPFL where they are heading to have a regular gig.
Like at Newcastle, Ashley will cut their coat according to their cloth. This will mean, again like at Newcastle, a mid-table team with good runs every so often. If the finances can be fixed then they will have an advantage over most other Scottish clubs but in the main we will be back to actual footballing skills and good management being what is important (pace “honest mistakes”).
With recent results and footballing style clearly those are issues that will require attention and McCoist seems likely to present RIFC/TRFC with an early opportunity to address at least one aspect of that if he continues with his current “I’m a good guy” press campaign. It may take just one unguarded comment or action and he will be out.
But will the Bears go for Ashley’s plan? So far they seem antagonistic and still cling to their belief that the world owes them a top football club regardless of cost.
If the fans don’t get behind the current entity I can see Ashley deciding the game’s not worth it and cashing in his chips. Some ‘Rangers Men’ will probably turn up and create a new entity for The People to believe in and Ashley will continue to draw in income from shirt sales and, most likely, charging fans at the world famous Albion car park which he will then own.
The upcoming AGM is crucial and from what we have seen of Ashley so far he gets what he wants.
The crushing reality about to descend on The People is that there really is no Santa Claus. A Sanity Clause, perhaps but no Santa Claus.