Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd has opened up on the “bitterness” that surrounds today’s clash with Dundee United – and lays the blame with former United chairman Stephen Thompson.
The ex-Tannadice chief sparked a massive row a decade ago after trying to make a “quick buck” off Rangers fans after a game at between the two was abandoned.
That has led to Gers fans boycotting Tannadice in the past and the ill-feeling that started then still exists now with United doing little to endear themselves to Rangers since then, with things taking another twist three years later.
Boyd is adamant that it was United who “kicked them hardest” when Rangers suffered their financial meltdown in 2012 as they prepare for their first league visit to Ibrox since.
“There is no doubt who is responsible for the breakdown in relations — former Arabs chairman Stephen Thompson,” Boyd told the Scottish Sun.
“It all started in 2009, when a game between them at Tannadice was abandoned at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch. I remember it well, as I was playing that day and we were leading 1-0 when the ref correctly called a halt to proceedings.
“In the aftermath, a row over ticket arrangements proved the catalyst for a spectacular fall-out. Thompson refused to let Rangers fans use the same briefs for the rearranged game and he wouldn’t give them a refund, either. He was determined to make a quick buck by charging punters twice for the same match.
“It caused a lot of ill-feeling and resentment.
“Some fans took United to court in an attempt to be reimbursed — a case that they ultimately lost. But while that was bad enough and left a nasty taste, the animosity would be cranked up a notch three years later.
“Dislike became full-blown hatred in the wake of Rangers self- imploding and tumbling into liquidation. And as United prepare for their first league trip to Ibrox in nine years, that ill-feeling is still very much alive and kicking.
“When Rangers were on their knees, it was United who kicked them hardest.”