Rapid Vienna vs Rangers is going to be spicy on the pitch, but off it the Austrians appear extremely kindhearted towards their visitors.
That’s because Vienna have made moves to make sure Rangers fans sitting in the home end can still sit with their own fans.
Rangers will take around 10,000 supporters to Vienna for the crunch clash. Nothing less than three points will do in their final Europa League group stage match, with Rangers desperate to make the last 32.
Yet, Vienna have planned appropriately for the number of Rangers fans arriving in their country. In an unorthodox but extremely well-mannered move by Rapid, they’ve managed to come up with a plan that allows all Rangers fans to sit together, regardless of what end their ticket is in.
Speaking in the Daily Record today, Vienna’s marketing man Andreas Marek touched on how Rapid have planned this out.
“We are well aware Rangers supporters have bought tickets for stands around the stadium”
“So we have made spaces beside the away section for them to sit together and there will be no problem hopefully.
“For us there is no fear of any trouble, but of course it is a big challenge for us. Everyone here and in the city is looking forward to an awesome party.”
A great PR move
This is relatively unheard of when Rangers go away from home in Europe. Whilst the club always take a large following, it’s not usual for the opposing club to make extra space available to them in the manner that Rapid have.
It’s an extremely warm gesture and great PR move for Vienna. Rangers fans who’ve now bought tickets for the home end can now have no excuse for any intolerable behavior.
Rangers have brought vocal away to supporters to both Villarreal and Spartak Moscow throughout the group stages. Another huge performance from the supporters will be a necessity in Vienna on Thursday night too.
Anything other than three points and Rangers will be out. The Gers have won just one of their five group stage matches, despite generally providing positive performances throughout the competition.
So whilst Rapid are keen to welcome Rangers with open arms off the pitch, that’s where the niceties will stop.