As Rangers fans everywhere get ready to travel to Seville for the Europa League Final v Frankfurt, spare a thought for those caught up in the Fan Zone mire back at home.
As European finalists across all three competitions find a way to house their supporters on home soil, Rangers have all but abandoned theirs.
Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has proven a polarising figure at the best of times but his admittance that a Fan Zone was unlikely has been viewed as contemptuous.
Rangers fans have poured in millions of pounds this season following the club in Europe and in these throwaway comments it was unusually their heart strings and not their purse strings the club’s hierarchy tugged at.
Why not have a Rangers Fan Zone either at Ibrox or elsewhere?
According to Stewart Robertson, it’s because key staff will be in Seville.
“It’s very unlikely as most of the staff we’d need to run such a beam back are going to be in Seville so I don’t think that will happen,” said Robertson [Rangers Review].
“As much as we understand the desire of fans to be in one place together to watch it, I don’t think that’s going to be physically possible.”
Enter Club 1872, who took the opportunity to have a swipe at an MD who was publicly criticised by the fan group alongside other directors earlier in the year.
I have to say, I’m not one to choose sides in these messy debates but I for sure felt a little perturbed by the flippant nature of Robertson’s Rangers Fan Zone response. No wonder fans are angry.
The club have communicated that details of events in Seville will be made public today but that does little to temper frustrations on home soil.
On top of this, Heart & Hand have also been told this will clarify the Fan Zone situation and the reasons Rangers can’t have one.
Look across Europe and to Europa League rivals Frankfurt, and our Bundesliga counterparts have wasted no time ensuring their supporters get to watch the match together.
Their 51,500 capacity Deutsch Bank Park will be open to supporters with a 40m2 screen inside the ground to watch the match [Frankfurt].
The event will be hosted by local broadcasting personalities and there will be shows on throughout the day. This is caring for the support and meeting their needs.
I find it patronising that Rangers cannot find a way – be it at Ibrox or elsewhere in Glasgow – to suitably house the supporters who’ve helped make this Europa League dream a reality.
There’s much politicking and talk of “standards” behind the scenes at Rangers but incidences like this leave supporters feeling less engaged with this notion and board by the ever increasing number of poorly conceived decisions they are reaching.
Meanwhile, a leading Premier League club have been linked with a move for a high-profile emerging Rangers asset.