Rangers addressed the club’s supporters on Thursday morning via Rangers.co.uk, ahead of the Europa League Group G clash with Feyenoord.
This opening fixture is the culmination of several months of hard work in qualification.
For the second season running, Steven Gerrard’s side made it through eight matches across four qualifying rounds, to secure their place in the competition proper. Once again, they did it without ever going behind.
However, that significant achievement was somewhat overshadowed by UEFA sanctions.
The club was hit with a charge of racist behaviour after sectarian chanting during the first round tie against St Joseph’s at Ibrox. A second charge then came after similar behaviour away at Legia Warsaw in the playoff round.
In both instances, the punishment came in the form of a partial stand closure. 3000 seats were left empty for the home tie against Legia and a similar closure will be enforced against Feyenoord.
For many, these charges were a line in the sand moment, and the supporters have since earned praise from the manager for their conduct [talkSPORT].
Rangers vs Feyenoord – club issues warning to supporters
Yet, the club has made it abundantly clear it is on a mission to stamp out sectarianism at Ibrox, and this latest warning released via the website is further evidence of that.
It points to the recently launched ‘Everyone Anyone’ diversity campaign and asserts that ‘there is no place in football or society for discriminatory behaviour.’
Specifically, it asks that supporters ‘refrain from embarrassing this great club by engaging in offensive singing and chanting.’
Several weeks may have passed since the UEFA sanctions were meted out and the furore surrounding them has died down.
Yet, in reiterating its stance, the club have made it clear that they will not tolerate further transgressions.
Tonight will be an emotional occasion following the sad passing of Fernando Ricksen. Passions will be high both on and off the pitch and it’s imperative that the crowd generates a positive atmosphere.
Let’s hope lessons have already been learned and that warnings like these are now just overkill. It’s time to get behind the team once more, as they attempt to pull off some big results in Europe.
Here’s our Predicted XI for tonight’s game.