New Rangers head of communications and media relations, David Graham, has claimed that the club will learn from the IFA in order to improve it’s image, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

The self-confessed bluenose was appointed to the Ibrox position earlier in the week in something of a surprise move.

David Graham will be responsible for showing Rangers in the best light and is taking inspiration from the IFA.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Graham, a previous advisor to the Education Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Weir, and current Belfast City Councillor, is to soon up sticks and head to Glasgow for the role.

His appointment was heralded by some supporters who were glad to have a fellow Bear take up the role, but there has also been some scepticism around his appointment.

The Ulsterman may know the club, but he has no apparent background in professional sport, while some have highlighted his DUP and Orange Order connections, suggesting they are inappropriate.

He’s quickly moved to reassure the doubters, though, claiming Rangers are looking to build a bigger, more inclusive brand in the coming years.

“We are proud of our past but we are open to everyone,” said Graham, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. “The future includes everyone, irrespective of sexual orientation, religious background or cultural affiliation.”

“Anyone who wishes to wear the blue shirt either on the field at Ibrox or support us in the stands will be made more than welcome.”

“If you see the groundbreaking work the IFA have done to make Windsor Park as inclusive as possible, we’re going to learn lessons from Northern Ireland, we’re going to build and continue to have Rangers at the forefront of the football conversation as the world’s most successful football club.”

The negativity and sectarianism previously associated with Northern Ireland fixtures has been eradicated. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Verdict

Rangers have been vocal in their promotion of their Everyone, Anyone campaign in recent times, showing that the club is keen to move forward into the 21st century.

For some, the appointment of a man with Graham’s background may be seen as a regression, but his words here make it clear that the focus is still on making Ibrox as welcoming as possible for people of all backgrounds.

The IFA are certainly an organisation worth attempting to mirror, too.

A concerted effort over the last 15 to 20 years has seen sectarian singing at matches eradicated, while Windsor Park in Belfast has become family-friendly rather a hostile venue.

There are clearly differences between what works at club and international level, but after a series of UEFA charges earlier in the season and the negative publicity that came with them, the Gers board will be keen to see results as soon as possible.

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