As Rangers ran out 4-2 winners over Motherwell, those Union Bears protests against Ibrox directors Ross Wilson and Stewart Robertson left a bad taste in the mouth post-match.
Ahead of the clash at Fir Park, placards with pictures of sporting director Ross Wilson and managing director Stewart Robertson were held aloft with the phrase “time for change”.
This follows on from the Union Bears staging another walk-out protest at Ibrox in the 3-0 Scottish Cup win over Raith Rovers, with the group refusing to attend the clash.
In lieu of this, the Union Bears released a statement claiming that Rangers, in conjunction with Police Scotland, had removed protest materials from the ground prior to kick off.
Whilst the group focused on a banner aimed at Ross Wilson, where they called the ex-Southampton recruitment guru a “director of failure”, post-match it was claimed by Rangers that the club removed the banners due to an “offensive” message aimed at the police.
The Herald then revealed after the game that the banner depicted a police offer as a pig with offensive messages about all cops being, well, you know the rest.
Union Bears protests turns personal against Wilson and Robertson
With the latest Union Bears protest taking a more personal twist, Ross Wilson and Stewart Robertson are now firmly in their sights as they look to force Rangers’ hand and heap the pressure on them. It appears they want them sacked.
Yes, this is the same Rangers directors who have overseen the club’s growth – and then collapse – as Premiership champions and a run to the Europa League Final on a fraction of the budget of our rivals at home and abroad.
The same directors who have been largely responsible for our return to financial profit and a place at Europe’s top table in little over a decade since our financial collapse.
Away from the success on the pitch (although there should’ve been more), the redevelopment and growth of Rangers and the club’s training centre, as well as our Academy, has been transformational in the same period.
Whilst it’s easy to focus on the shortcomings – and we’ll go into these in due course – this snarling, petty commentary from within the Rangers support’s ranks smacks of huge disrespect and almost deliberately avoids giving necessary credit to both of these men for the elements of the job they have done well.
But we all know that at Rangers, success is perpetual and unless you can live up to the same “best in class” standards you’ve been publicly driving, then you will likely fall on your own sword.
Rangers directors have had shortcomings
The last three transfer windows prior to January are ultimately what led to Steven Gerrard and Giovanni van Bronckhorst leaving the club, albeit for different reasons, and also what relinquished the club’s grip on Premiership domination.
Rangers stood still in the aftermath of 55 and have paid a hefty penalty, with Celtic gaining two Champions League qualifications off the back of our good work and having invested heavily into their squad, now ahead of us on the park and off it.
We had a monumental chance to close the playing and financial gap on our rivals after 55 and failed to take it and much of that lies at the feet of Stewart Robertson and Ross Wilson.
The last few transfer windows have been a bad joke, last January handing the title to Celtic on a plate and this summer serving us up contract renewals to everyone but those who needed them.
The rest of the money that’s been invested has also went on players who’ve spent most of their time at Ibrox so far picking up wages on the treatment table.
Squad management in the injury regard has also been woeful, with Wilson’s record of Kemar Roofe, Filip Helander and even Aaron Ramsey showing a propensity for signing albeit talented crocks.
Immature Union Bears polarising supporters
Whilst we’re in firm agreement that the transfer policy has come up short, both Robertson and Wilson objectively deserve credit for the work done in the foreground and background of the club over the last decade.
This sort of reasoned discussion is being quelled by the immature actions of this loud and frustrating fans group, who have polarised supporters with their recent protests.
The Union Bears are not everyone’s cup of tea, but no-one can deny the level of commitment these guys put in every week to follow Rangers, produce an atmosphere and to bring colour to Ibrox.
With that comes an undisputed right to express themselves and protest where they see fit. That is absolutely fine so long as it is Rangers-centric.
But you get a feeling that so much of this anti-Wilson and Robertson stuff isn’t just based on the football, with the Union Bears also frustrated at what they view is a lack of progress on issues such as safe standing.
They have conflated what is a legitimate Ibrox protest with this Ultras nonsense about the police, ramping up the protests now Rangers have shut them down.
On top of this, they can’t help themselves when it comes to immature and outdated sectarian rubbish coming from the stands, banging the drum behind relentlessly stupid chants which are in stark contrast to some of the modern Ibrox anthems which have come out of the group over the years.
How they expect to have any feasible leg to stand on in Ibrox boardroom negotiations when the Rangers directorate – desperate to move on from this – are watching them needlessly keep it up is beyond any rationally minded supporter.
They might have a point when it comes to the Rangers board and it’s impact on the club on the pitch, but their immature approach and eagerness to conflate the protests with other issues is winning no favours either inside or outside Ibrox.
Meanwhile, the family of Todd Cantwell have been enjoying the player’s first Rangers goal in France.