Rangers and the Scottish FA have both released statements this morning reacting to the scenes in Glasgow city centre on Saturday night as a small number of fans marred a fantastic weekend as Steven Gerrard’s side lifted the title.
Over 15,000 fans gathered outside Ibrox and in the city centre to celebrate the club’s first title win in a decade before things turned nasty and a small group of fans thought it was the perfect place for a drunken scrap with anyone and everyone.
Both parties unequivocally condemned the handful of supporters involved in disorder as Scotland’s destructive relationship with alcohol reared its head once again, with Rangers committing to working with the authorities where necessary.
The club also accused those involved of damaging the club’s name while the Scottish FA branded it an “embarrassment to the national game” and an “abomination”.
While the overwhelming majority of Rangers fans behaved impeccably over the weekend, a small number shamed themselves by acting like thugs and getting involved in violent clashes with police.
The scenes have also handed an opportunity for various politicians, journalists, opposition fans and high-profile figures to unfairly put the boot into the wider Rangers support and tar the rest of us with the same brush as the clowns who can probably be found looking for trouble most weekends.
Rangers’ statement in full:
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.
The full Scottish FA statement:
The Scottish FA congratulates Rangers on winning the Scottish Premiership title.
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.
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.