Rangers fans have expressed their disappointment following a surprise official announcement from the club.
The Gers were due to face Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Wednesday in what would have been their fourth official pre-season fixture, following clashes with Partick Thistle, Tranmere Rovers and Arsenal.
However, on Monday afternoon, Rangers announced that the fixture had been cancelled.
‘Due to an ongoing COVID-19 related issue within the Blackpool camp, both clubs have decided that it is sensible to cancel this fixture,’ reads a section of the update [Rangers.co.uk].
‘We recognise that this will be frustrating for both sets of fans, especially the 4500 Rangers fans who have bought tickets. Nevertheless, the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19 require pragmatic and difficult decisions. The health of our players and staff is imperative.’
Blackpool Friendly Fixture Cancelled:
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) July 19, 2021
It’s disappointing that the match won’t be going ahead for a number of reasons.
Specific training schedules will have been created around matches and the friendlies are key in terms of getting minutes into players ahead of the return of competitive action.
Unless a last-minute replacement fixture can be secured, the training schedule will need to be significantly altered and although there are matches against Brighton and Real Madrid to come, some players may be undercooked ahead of the start of the Premiership season.
It’s also a massive blow for the loyal supporters who had committed to the trip, booking time off and paying for tickets, transport and accommodation.
Rangers assured those fans that information regarding ticket refunds would soon be passed on before asking them not to travel to the English seaside town now that the fixture isn’t going ahead.
Plenty of supporters were understandably left gutted by the news and expressed their disappointment on social media.
Here’s a selection of reactions from Twitter:
— Rach (@R_xchh) July 19, 2021
— Ma55ereene RSC (@MassereeneR) July 19, 2021
— 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗣 (@mprfc23) July 19, 2021
— Andy (@AndyMon1872) July 19, 2021
— Meh (@Jockavelli) July 19, 2021
— Jamie Milne (@Jamie_Milne_03) July 19, 2021
— Steely (@OhItsSteely) July 19, 2021
— 55 (@Stuart1872Rfc) July 19, 2021
Genuinely gutted for everyone who got a ticket for this. https://t.co/NzFDZkggbS
— Islandbear (@willienic) July 19, 2021
Rangers also look to have been dealt a transfer blow, with a reported target agreeing a four-year deal with a Belgian club.