As many of our brothers will be Rangers First members, and the matter is a potentially important one for the future of the club for all fans, it's only right that we take a keen interest in the Rangers First elections.
We'll keep this page on the front, and it will be updated regularly as candidates post their reasons for seeking election and the ones we have reached out to directly respond to us.
If you're undecided and want to hold off, keep checking back on this page and we'll keep it up to date.
Graham Campbell *
First and foremost, I have noticed that the conversation and debate surrounding the election has taken a political turn at points. I have been asked whether or not I have been party to any talks regarding a merger with other Rangers fan groups. I have not been a party to any such discussions and to be quite honest, have no meaningful knowledge of this whatsoever. On a completely personal level, my opinion is that Rangers First should remain an independent organisation. I feel that Rangers First is a strong and robust enough organisation to stand on its own for its own defined values and goals. I hasten to add however that this is merely my personal opinion. If I am successful in being voted on to the board of Rangers First, these opinions will subside to the back of my mind. My sole intention is to represent my 13,951 fellow members, do my utmost to help fulfil their wishes and ultimately guide the organisation in the direction they choose.
Other ideas I stand for include a return to members meetings with RSCs across Scotland and other Rangers supporters groups in order to provide regular updates of news surrounding Rangers First and increase the feeling of member involvement. It is a fantastic strategy to tap into the ‘offline' Rangers fan base - there are many still out there who have not heard of RF simply because they are not online.
I made clear in my personal statement on the Rangers First website that I am not a financial expert, nor am I an expert in any of these political debates among supporters regarding the various fan groups with Rangers allegiances. I wish not to be bogged down with these, but for fans and fellow members to remain safe in the knowledge that should I get elected, my energies will be fully focused on listening to our membership, striving to meet their desires and taking RF to the next level, guided by our members. If the wishes of our membership happen to fall on the contrary to what I have discussed as being personal opinion, so be it.
Brian Donohoe *
Ronnie Johnston *
Andrew McLintock *
Ryan Thompson *
* All candidates with an asterisk signed the following pledge:
"Rangers First should be an independent community interest company, happy to assist the Club but able to be the eyes and ears of the ordinary fan, adopt an independent stance where necessary, to protect the club. The current board will not be here forever and Rangers First can protect Rangers for the future by continuing to grow its shareholding.No director of Rangers First should receive any renumeration from Rangers Football Club be it directly or indirectly through their employer. 95% of all donations received from Rangers First members should be spent on share purchases with 5% for administration costs. Rangers First should be run by its directors on behalf of its members with the three founding principles of Accountabiliy, Consultation and Transparency. We feel in all these areas Rangers First could improve."
"I believe in Rangers First. I joined in the week of my 50th birthday and as RF approaches its 2nd Birthday it is amazing to see the progress it has made. Its principles of one-member-one-vote, annual elections and all key decisions to be taken by the members are cornerstones for me and if elected I shall ensure they are followed on the proposals coming on the Rangers Support and on all issues affecting our Club. I trust the wisdom of our members and as their representative I shall be guided by them. Our members asked us to progress the Rangers Support proposals and that is what we have been doing and once they are fully realised they will come back to members for them to decide. I am honoured and privileged to have this role and will seek to be worthy of our members' continued support. I believe Rangers supporters are fundamental to the Club's future and that our greatest success lies ahead."
"I am a member of Rangers First, the Rangers Supporters Trust and an ambassador for our Club. I am honoured to be able to play a part in all three. I believe in the Rangers Support proposal but it is not me who will decide. My role as a director of Rangers First would be to give our members that chance. If elected, I shall work to help establish a new organisation which can bring all groups together on the same democratic principles:
One member one vote
Annual elections to the Board
Members vote on all key issues
"By putting members at the heart of the new group and that group at the heart of our Club, we can ensure the events of the last few years are never repeated."
"I've been a Rangers supporter all my life. I go back to the days of Ritchie, Shearer, Caldow and like many of that generation can still recite all of that team. Then there were the lean years and finally Rangers were back on top until the dismal early 80s. The Ibrox Disaster left its own mark on Rangers and the 66 will never be forgotten and will always be our people. The resurgence of Rangers shook Scottish football and forced other clubs to compete both in player quality and trophy achievement and also in stadium quality. And we're still simply the best. It was the fans who saved Rangers from oblivion when those agencies which should have given us a degree of protection used what happened in a vindictive and spiteful manner to advance what they saw as their own short term interests. And it is the fans of Rangers First, the Rangers Supporters Trust, the Supporters bodies who can contribute to taking our great Club forward to new and even greater achievements. I believe in Rangers and what our Club stands for. Our history and heritage are intact and we have a great legacy upon which to build. I ask for the support of members of Rangers First to trust me to represent their interests and to be accountable to them. I have considerable experience in management and leadership in a number of public and voluntary sector organisations. My qualifications include an MBA.
Like Bill Struth I've been lucky in being a Rangers supporter. I've also been enormously privileged as a Minister to conduct Services to mark the Ibrox Disaster and the funeral Services of some our great servants on the playing and backroom staff. And also quite a number of weddings at Ibrox. I believe there much more we can achieve as a united body of Rangers supporters which is mature and able to reflect the rich diversity of our support. I ask for the trust and support of members of Rangers First."
"I am a member of the management team who runs The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium. I have been involved with RF from the very first meeting that was held at The Louden Tavern two years ago this month. From that day to now the progress has been remarkable. From there I became very heavily involved in the promotion of RF and became a member of the initial working group. I believe that we were very successful in ensuring that the RF members and potential members were well informed and kept up to date with progress, which were the foundations to the future success of the group. If elected I believe I could help improve communication with members.
"One of the core values of Rangers First was that of openness and transparency. In the last year or so many fans have spoken about their lack of knowledge about what has been happening with Rangers First. I think better communication from the RF board and regular meetings would go a long way to getting back the great satisfaction that the RF membership has with their organisation. Rangers First's aim is to help improve The Rangers Community. If elected, I will ensure that all actions will be viewed through improving our club and making it better for our support. I believe that the one member one vote system is essential to this. The board members of Rangers First should be there to serve its members and if elected I promise that is precisely what I will do. Boards of Rangers First will come and go, it is the Rangers First membership that will ensure that the organisation is there to continue to make The Rangers Family a better place. I am a life member of Rangers First and continue to contribute £18.72 per month. I have been a Rangers Supporter since ever I can remember and I've held a season ticket since I was 6 years old."
My full candidate statement is available on the Rangers First website. I have been involved in the working groups at Rangers First since our launch in February 2014 focusing mainly on RF's commercial aspects. My greatest success here has been the introduction of our affiliate schemes with over 1000 different online retailers. This later led to the development of our web browser toolbars. Basically these allow RF to receive a commission every time our members shop on websites such as amazon and ebay at absolutely no extra cost to themselves. This video explains how this works. You can also download the RF affiliate toolbars for Google Chrome or Firefox. Whenever you search on google it will automatically tell you whether any of the retailers in your search results have an affiliate deal with RF. Then when you are on the retailers website simply click the ‘start shopping' button on the toolbar and RF will automatically receive a percentage commission on anything you purchase. If enough members use these toolbars whenever they shop online this has the potential to generate more money for Rangers First than we are currently receiving from members monthly donations.
For example, RF will receive 5-10% commission when you shop on amazon. So if you regularly spendaround £100 per month on amazon RF will automatically receive £5-£10 per month. Potentially more than your regular monthly donation to Rangers First and all at no additional cost to yourself. Other examples of affiliate schemes include installing Sky Digital, switching energy supplier, car insurance or mobile phone provider, and booking a hotel. These five activities would earn RF around £340 commission. Over £100 more than an annual subscription at £18.72 per month. If we regularly had 10,000 RF members generating £10 commission every month from their online shopping this would earn a further £1.2m for Rangers First, more than RF's total turnover last year.
I have lots of other commercial ideas that I would like to work on for Rangers First in the coming year. I believe finding new ways and innovative ways of increasing RF's commercial income is going to be vital. I would be honoured if you would allow me to develop these ideas further as a Rangers First board member in the year ahead.