It doesn't seem all that long ago that I first posted on here, full of optimism, talking about the Gers winning a League One, Ramsdens Cup and Scottish Cup treble.
With tongue-in-cheek I suggested that Ally McCoist might be a contender for Manager Of The Year, hoping against hope that the tide had turned and that our club was at long last moving in the right direction.
I considered myself being of sound mind and judgement, I hadn't been drinking and no millionaire's sherbet had found its way up my nose. Honest!
Time has dragged since Sunday's lamentable efforts at Easter Road. Anger took me home in a daze, I couldn't believe that, with a trophy up for grabs, albeit a relatively insignificant trophy, our players couldn't lift themselves out of their couldn't-care-less mind-set and respond to a level of vocal support totally beyond anything they deserve. And as the days have passed, and the masochist in me watched the recording of the game all over again, hoping to find some sort of consolation, something to stir up hope for Saturday's semi-final, I've reached the conclusion that I am wasting my time, it is futile to look for something that plainly and simply is not there.
Even if our team defies all the odds and gets a result against Dundee United, it won't change the harsh fact of life that we are a club totally lacking direction, a rudderless ship, an absolute shambles from the boardroom to the dressing-room and all points in between. And it will stay this way until we get rid of those lining their pockets at our club's expense, whether they be boardroom fly-by-nights, an incompetent team manager, his ineffective backroom staff, an overpaid bus driver and his son, arrogant tweeters who lift a wage to write about the Rangers, then moan about having to work late once or twice, or players clearly not fit to wear the jersey.
A while ago McCoist spoke about our club 'needing to be cleansed from top to bottom'. He was spot on there and if he can forget his 'we don't do walking away' nonsense, do the decent thing and resign, taking those who stand by his side in the touchline bus-shelter with him, the cleansing process will be off to a flying start.
I'm afraid I can't share the patience many Vanguard Bears are showing with the current board. My days of giving anybody the benefit of the doubt passed a long time ago. I'm suspicious of anyone jockeying for position in the Ibrox boardroom and nothing the current 'custodians' are doing has made me feel any better. Graham Wallace asked for 120-days breathing space to compile a report on where we stand, then rattled our cage about season ticket renewals and a price increase, without giving so much as a clue about the board's long-term plans for the club. I reckon the whole 120-day period has been a stalling process, getting the board through to season ticket renewal time, in the hope that some post-Ramsdens and post-Scottish Cup euphoria would have Bears queuing up to renew. Nae chance!!!
Two years ago we had a brilliant opportunity to start from scratch, rebuild from the bottom up and work our way back to the top flight on a step by step basis, putting together a young, exciting team, with one or two old stagers in there to help the youngsters out. Sure, there would have been hiccups, with young players inevitably blowing hot and cold, dropping points here and there. But would that have been any worse than what we've watched this season or last season? Ally can craw all he wants about the team being unbeaten in the league but, rather than regarding our team as unbeatable, I see them as well-nigh unwatchable.
Instead of being two years down the road to recovery, with a group of young players having two years of experience in the bank, we've paid through the nose for a number of journeymen pros who, with the possible exception of Bell, Wallace and McCulloch, have done nothing to lift our younger players or generate any great hope for the future. The football operation has been neglected, Duff & Phelps delivered our club into the hands of Charles Green who then he gave the manager a funny money contract, knowing he wouldn't rock the boat while Green, Ahmad, Stockbridge, Mather and the rest filled their boots. McCoist's 'legend' status bought him and that board time, he kept us sweet but, now that he has been found out, we stand at the crossroads yet again.
Ally and his backroom team should walk now, they should reject any 'confidentiality clause' attached to their pay-off, come out and tell it like it is, force the board's hand, let's hear what the Easdales' plans are, where do they see the Rangers being two/five/ten years from now. How do they intend to make that happen?
I suspect there is no long-term strategy. Our club is just a cash cow for these guys, they couldn't care less if we are still toiling in the lower leagues years for now, just so long as their loot keeps piling up. Whether we like it or not, it will take money and plenty of it to bring about any meaningful change in the make-up of our boardroom but somewhere along the line somebody is going to have to bite the bullet, give them their ransom money, then start to rebuild our club properly again.
The car crash of the past few years has done great damage to every facet of our club and I suspect it has not bottomed out yet. Just like it is with our team, every time we think things can't get any worse those calling the shots prove us wrong. I have no great faith in the content of Graham Wallace's 120-day review, I suspect it will be a David Murray-like smokescreen which, when we sit down and analyse it, will be yet another 'give us your money, now sit down and shut up' ultimatum, with a few menacing utterances about the perils of uncertainty thrown in to scare us shitless.
Something radical needs to be done if we are to get our club back again. I don't know what it is or who is likely to make it happen but, for me, the status quo simply is not an option.