Rangers' Everyone Anyone campaign is laughable while Chris Graham is still paid by club
If the bigot fest at the Pavillion wasn’t bad enough to ridicule Rangers’ Everyone Anyone campaign, or the anti-Catholic protest outside Canon White’s house earlier this week with protestors in Rangers gear shouting Fuck the Pope, Rangers are still paying disgraced one-day director Chris Graham a backhander to run and administer the not-so-independent fan group, Club 1872.
Last week, the Ibrox launched their Everyone Anyone equality campaign to promote diversity, to encourage tolerance and understanding as part of the initiative. The campaign aims to promote the Ibrox club as a modern one, where fans of all backgrounds can come together and support a common cause.
However, the club faced a huge backlash after managing director Stewart Robertson was pictured alongside known Celtic fan and Justice Minister Humza Yousaf SNP MSP - which say racist, bigoted and offensive comments made on fan forums and on social media from angry Rangers fans.
The campaign has also been branded a mere box ticking exercise by fans of various clubs - include Rangers own support - and some have demanded that Robertson be shown the door.
One raging bear, calling himself ‘Bears r us’, stated: “[Everyone Anyone] is a new low from that absolute wanker Robertson, he is certainly not suitable for the post he holds at out great Club.”
While another called ‘Blue Dignity’ said: “Couldn't give a Fuck whether it's attempted PR, box ticking, trolling, arse covering or any other mealie mouthed shite it's Fucking horrendous. Read somebody getting slagged for mentioning useless wearing black tie, usual handwringer stuff paranoid blah blah blah ! But that Cunt knew exactly what he was doing.”
And ‘WCPRangers1’ added: “Another reason reason why I didn't get the point of this initiative is you just know it will be used as a big stick to beat the club with any time certain songs are sung by the media and the usual tarrier bloggers.
“This has already started after the video at the weekend when it wasn't even at Ibrox or involving a Rangers game. As I said previously what the clubs do in THIS COUNTRY won't change the perception of it with the majority who blindly hate it and the majority of our fan base.”
These three comments are a mere swim in the ocean compared to the amount of comments angrily denouncing the club over their new campaign.
History of Sectarianism & Bigotry
The previous tenants at Ibrox, Rangers 1872, had an unwritten anti-Catholic signing policy that was quietly introduced at the same time as the rise in popularity of the Orange Order in Glasgow during the 1920s.
Their sectarian policy was not publicly acknowledged until 1965 when Manchester City-bound Ralph Brand - in an interview - said that Rangers operated a Protestants-only policy and two years later this was confirmed by vice chairman Matt Taylor who stated ‘[it is] part of our tradition ... we were formed in 1873 as a Protestant boys club. To change now would lose us considerable support’.
A number of Catholic players did play for Rangers during this period though. Don Kitchenbrand kept his religious beliefs to himself during his time at the club and Laurie Blyth left the club after his Catholic faith was discovered. Graham Fyfe was forced out of the club in 1980 after he married a Catholic woman and Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson wrote that he experienced ‘poisonous hostility’ from the club's PR officer Willie Allison.
Sir David Murray did much to rid the old club of its sectarian past - including signing high-profile Catholic Mo Johnston and banning Mark Dingwall’s bigoted fanzine Follow Follow - but after the death of the club and the establishment of Rangers 2012 under Charles Green, the age old hatred for Catholics was revitalised in a bigoted siege mentality among the militant horde of Rangers supporters - which regularly manifests into vile chants and songs aimed at those they perceive to be Catholic or known Celtic fans or players/management.
Rangers continue to pay bigot to help run Club 1872
And while this latest campaign, in a long line of initiatives that have come out of Ibrox over the past few decades, is welcomed the club itself are pissing all over it as they continue to pay known bigot Chris Graham under the counter to help run and administer Club 1872. A supposed independent fan group that also has disgraced Rangers company secretary James Blair on the board.
Graham was a self-appointed fans spokesperson around the time of Rangers 1872 going into administration and liquidation. Despite showing unwavering support to Craig Whyte - even after he put the club into administration - Graham soon latched onto a new messiah’s coat tails. That being convicted tax criminal Dave King.
Along with King and another self-appointed fans spokesperson, 'Craig ‘ the homophobe’ Houston, the trio targeted successive owners of Rangers 2012 with fan boycotts, threats of legal action, outrageous demands and even protests [some of which resulted in violence] to create a coup d’etat to install good Rangers men onto the board - aka Dave King.
Following King’s takeover - which was deemed several years later to be in breach of the takeover panel rules - Graham was controversially appointed as the club’s first fan on the Rangers board. But less than a day later he had to hand back his brogues and club issued suit over bigoted comments he made in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in Paris.
Graham had posted a sexually explicit cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad and while the police and club investigated, he left his position in disgrace as prominent Muslim leaders across the UK and beyond demanded he be sacked.
Soon after Graham disappeared from the public eye as the media kept the disgraced former director and fan rep at arms length.
However, in May 2018 following the resignation of Club 1872 director Iain Mulholland, it was leaked that Graham was being paid by Rangers to assist the fan group in its day to day work.
Not only was this news swept under the carpet and ignored by Rangers - who refused to comment - the other directors of Club 1872 refused to comment as did Graham himself.
And yet to this day - even after the launch of their Everyone Anyone campaign - Rangers continue to pay bigot Chris Graham a wage to run the supposed independent fan group - producing statements under the behest of the club’s PR guru James Traynor and showing unwavering support in Dave King - even when faced with overwhelming incompetence and damaging headlines involving the convicted tax criminal.
So is the Everyone Anyone campaign a serious initiative? Or is it just a box ticking exercise? The latter would seem more likely given their continued employment of Chris Graham and the influence he holds within the group itself.