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Rangers First: Fan group must give answers and work for members

Rangers First suffered a rather embarrassing own-goal as the club was forced to directly contradict their recent claims. What's going on at the club's largest fan group?

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You may have missed a rather unheralded missive from the club on Thursday evening, as an official RIFC statement appeared on the official website.

You can read that here, but the gist of it is responding to Rangers First's intention to poll members about lending the club £500k with the intention of converting it to equity in the future. Rangers First had also stated that Dave King would match any level of investment himself, but the club has shot down that claim, while also stating that they aren't looking for more loans but will consider RF as a funding option in the future.

So, nothing to worry about? Well, yes and no. This rather embarrassing episode has revealed a big fear that many RF supporters have had: that the whole operation was a somewhat amateurish affair, big on bombast and self-publicity but low on discipline and professionalism. That they could have made such a claim, clearly without proper consultation or concrete promises from King or the club, beggars belief, and there will now be more than a few members thinking: "Why am I giving my money to these clowns?"

Of course, RF aren't clowns - they're good Rangers fans who simply want what's best for the club - but that's how they've made themselves appear with this blunder. Shane Nicholson, of the excellent Copland Road Organisation, has expanded on this in today's Daily Record, which you can read here. We're inclined to agree - Rangers First are run by men with good intentions, and that's exactly why they ought to have known better. It looks more than a little suspicious that the timing of this follows proposals - widely supported by the vast majority of members of both fan groups - to merge RF with BuyRangers, and tie things to the club in a formal or informal agreement.

After this debacle (and we really need answers as to how such misguided information was passed on to members) that can't come soon enough. Hopefully we can move past scenes like this and the men in charge can be trusted to push ahead with those plans, keenly desired by the vast majority of their members. If they can pull it off, they'll have done a great service to the club and can help us all be a big part of its future. If they continue to try and make use of their clout by doing daft stuff like offering the club loans it hasn't asked for, and kick and scream to try and hold onto their influence instead of getting together, then it'll surely make a mockery of their claims to be run by and for their membership.