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Rangers slam 'unacceptable' behaviour of fans who damage reputation of the club

Daily Record logo Daily Record 17/05/2021 Liam Bryce

Rangers have condemned "so-called fans" who rampaged through Glasgow at the weekend.

The conduct of some supporters has been heavily criticised after thousands descended on the city on Saturday to celebrate the club's Premiership title win.

Several arrests were made amid scenes First Minister Nicola Sturgeon branded "thuggish and selfish" as the occasion spilled over into disorder and violence.

Large numbers of supporters gathered at George Square despite pleas from Rangers and the Scottish Government to follow Covid-19 restrictions.

The Ibrox club have now accused a "small minority" of bringing shame on their reputation and branded their behaviour "unacceptable".

A statement said: "Winning our 55th league title in our 150th year was a historic day for Rangers Football Club. The support from millions of our fans across the world has been incredible.

"The achievement by Steven Gerrard and his team has received plaudits from across the football family, including recognition by sports writers, opposition players and managers.

"We are grateful to Scottish Government officials, Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland for the constructive engagement in the lead up to the weekend’s game. We worked closely with the authorities for two weeks before Saturday’s match to ensure a consistency of message.

"Sadly, a small minority of people behaved inappropriately and in a manner not reflective of our support. Some of the scenes were unacceptable and have besmirched the good name of Rangers Football Club. These so called "fans" should reflect upon the values and ethos of our club, and consider the damage this does to the reputation of the club.

"We will continue to engage with authorities as required."

In further condemnation, SFA president Rod Petrie described the scenes as "an abomination not a celebration" in a blistering attack.

In a statement released from Hamden, he said: "While the majority of the club’s fan base will have celebrated this achievement safely and in line with COVID-19 guidelines across the country and beyond, the scenes witnessed in and around Glasgow’s George Square have brought embarrassment to the national game.

a man wearing a suit and tie © SNS Group

“Scenes that require the First Minister, Justice Secretary, Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Federation to issue condemnatory statements, and images that dominated the news agenda throughout the weekend, represent an abomination not a celebration.

“Those responsible for sectarian singing, for vandalism and for inflicting physical damage may attach themselves to football but cannot be considered football fans. Police Scotland have made a number of arrests and more are expected to follow.

“The Scottish FA has recently issued its equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, Football Unites . Events on Saturday at George Square served only to depict our game in the poorest light and we condemn the behaviour in the strongest terms.

“We empathise with fans who have been deprived of attending matches throughout this pandemic. That, however, does not excuse the behaviour of those who brought chaos to the streets in the name of football this weekend.”

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