IBROX legends Willie Henderson and Alex MacDonald joined Rangers Managing Director Stewart Robertson and supporters at the Stadium today to launch Club 1872 – a new, united fan group which aims to rebuild, maintain and protect Rangers for future generations.
Rangers, a proud 144-year-old institution, is ready to take its rightful place back in Scottish football’s top flight and the one constant throughout the club’s illustrious history has been the unwavering support of the worldwide fanbase.
Managers, players and directors will come and go but loyal supporters, as they have done in the past, present and future, will back their club in good times and bad and are one of the main reasons Rangers continues to prosper.
Club 1872 offers all Rangers supporters a voice and exists to ensure fans will never again be forced to endure the events which saw the club demoted to the bottom tier in 2012.
The global support can play a crucial role in making Rangers a proud name domestically and in Europe once again and Club 1872 – an independent body – is committed to ensuring fans are placed at the core of everything Rangers Football Club does.
Club 1872 aims to increase the collective supporter shareholding in Rangers International Football Club PLC to a minimum of 25% – and this will ensure no major club decisions can be taken without agreement from Rangers supporters.
The fanbase must have a say in how they use their money to rebuild the club and this will come in the form of Club 1872 projects – which allows supporters to decide what the priorities are for investment in the club.
Club 1872 holds community at the heart of its philosophy and will provide Rangers fans with a forum in which they can engage with like-minded individuals, debate areas of interest and concern and feel truly connected to their beloved club.
This community will also ensure Rangers supporters’ reputation and interests are promoted, defended and upheld in the media and across all other communication channels.
Club 1872 will announce details of forthcoming elections to create a truly independent fans’ board in the near future and full details will be communicated on the new website www.club1872.co.uk.
The Club 1872 working group will oversee the organisation for a short period of time following launch and the Club 1872 board election process is expected to be underway by September.
Supporters have suffered long enough and Club 1872 is ready to provide a collective forum for all supporters worldwide to have a genuine say in the running of Rangers.
Rangers Managing Director Stewart Robertson commented: “I am delighted our supporters have united under the Club 1872 banner. Fans are the lifeblood of this great institution and they have shown unwavering support in good times and bad.
“I wish Club 1872 every success and look forward to working closely with them in the weeks, months and years ahead as we all look to take the club to the next level together.”
Barcelona Bear Alex MacDonald added: “The club is life to the Rangers supporters. What the fans have gone through in the last few years has been extremely difficult but they have always been there supporting their team and now they have the chance to work closely with Rangers through Club 1872.”
Light Blues legend Willie Henderson commented: “We couldn’t do without the supporters. The fans have been here since 1872 and have just grown in numbers. They are absolutely phenomenal and I am glad they are uniting under the banner of Club 1872.”
Ricki Neill, from Rangers First, said: “Rangers fans’ groups voted unanimously in favour of one united organisation and I am thrilled Club 1872 has now been launched. I encourage all supporters to sign up and be part of something really special.”
Gordon Dinnie, from the Rangers Supporters Trust, said: “The Rangers Supporters Trust is delighted that the various supporters groups have been able to come together to form Club 1872. Our members have consistently been overwhelmingly in favour of the formation of Club 1872.
“It has been a long process but supporters now have one, strong organisation which is vital going forward both to represent our support and grow fan ownership.
“We are certain that, in the years to come, Club 1872 will be able to develop and fulfil the original aims of the RST and we hope the Rangers support will join in large numbers. The events at the Scottish Cup Final last weekend show how important it is for us to stick together and speak with one voice.”
Craig Houston, from Sons of Struth, added: “The fans have done all they can to protect this great club in recent years and now Club 1872 gives all supporters the chance to have a genuine voice, have a say in important decisions and work closely with the Board.”
Alan Fraser, former member of the now dissolved Rangers Fans Board, commented: “Rangers are back in the top flight of Scottish football where they belong and I am genuinely excited about the future.
“Supporters, through Club 1872, can now have the voice they truly deserve and I am confident it will be a huge success.”
Andy Kerr, from the Rangers Supporters Assembly, stated: “The launch of Club 1872 is a significant landmark for all Rangers fans as it takes us closer than we’ve ever been to a single representative fans’ group.
“The strong bond that now exists between the fans and the custodians of the club augurs well for a return to the high level of success we all expect. I really hope that all our fans will support Club 1872.”
John Macmillan, from the Rangers Supporters Association, said: “Rangers fans have endured some difficult times of late but supporters have always been there for their club and they always will.”
Rangers fans can Join Club 1872 now by visiting www.club1872.co.uk. There are a number of payment/donation options on offer that will appeal to all Rangers supporters.
Club 1872 will also award Rangers-themed experiences to contributors via the website or random prize draws. Details on forthcoming draws will be communicated by email. Typical experiences include:
– Ibrox Pre Season Training Day
– Auchenhowie Training day
– Train Like Rangers Session
– Hospitality Day
– Directors Box experience.
– Interview the Manager
– Interview your favourite player
– Dinner with a player
– Loving Cup Ceremony attendance