THE leader of one of Rangers’ largest supporters groups has warned the board and fellow fans that a boycott of the club could have catastrophic consquences.
Andy Kerr, president of the Rangers Supporters Assembly, fears the club will not survive another financial catastrophe following their liquidation crisis last summer.
But the fans’ chief has warned the rest of the club’s faithful a boycott is not the way to put pressure on the unpopular ruling regime following their re-election at Thursday’s annual general meeting, fearing it could drive the Ibrox outfit - who lost £14.4million in the 13 months up to June - closer to a second administration disaster.
‘Hard to come back from admin’
The Sons of Struth group - led by Craig Houston - want supporters to delay buying season tickets in a bid to force out the likes of unpopular finance director Brian Stockbridge.
But Kerr said: “We as supporters need to keep supporting the club. Can the club survive another process where we have to start again? I’m not sure because a lot of fans are already fed up.
“I know some people think the only way to get results is for a boycott. But if we have to go back to the bottom, maybe go into administration again, it will be hard to pick people up again.
“Right now, this is the last chance the board and the fans have to get this right. The board are in a precarious position. The fans are in a fragile position.
“That doesn’t bode well so we need to build bridges quickly and the onus is on the board to deliver.”
Board ‘under pressure’
Kerr insisted that the board’s routing of Paul Murray’s requisitioners does mean they are off the hook.
“Although the board won, they are probably under more pressure than they were before because they now have to deliver,” he said.
“They are making the right noises about wanting to engage with the fans. Well now it’s time to stop talking and to actually do it.
“They have a big hurdle to overcome if they want to regain the fans’ trust. It’s fine to talk about it, but let’s see how they actually do it.”
Houston also expressed fears the Ibrox outfit may soon find itself in danger following reports that the club could be down to its last £1 million by April.
He said: “There are massive concerns and that’s not scaremongering or people exaggerating. It’s purely based on the three aspects told to us by the board.
“That was that they would have £1million in the bank and there have been two large payoffs since then.
“They told us when Norman Crighton was brought onto the board that he was to head up an investment committee, and they had £50 million available from Blue Pitch Holdings but not until we are back in Europe. You put these three things together, of course it gives people concern.
“There is going to be a shortfall in money soon and there is no visible, viable investment coming in.”
While Stockbridge was fiercely heckled by furious shareholders every time he opened his mouth during the AGM, chief executive Graham Wallace appeared to win over his doubters with a strong display from the top table.
And Houston gave the former Manchester City chief operating officer his backing - for now.
“He does seem to have the club’s interests at heart - he just needs to prove it,” he said. “That’s what the board need to do.
“They are telling us they are going to have transparency but they need to prove it. The worry was the timescale that was discussed at the AGM for any improvements was within the next 120 days.
“That’s quite a long time and that unsurprisingly takes us up to season-ticket renewals. Does that mean, as fans, we can’t expect to ask or see any improvements between now and then?”