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Opinion: Rangers fans feel its FARE game to hurl abuse

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Ever since the news that Rangers were being charged with sectarian singing by UEFA, the club’s fans have been foaming at the mouth to hunt down those responsible for ‘grassing’ them in. Their paranoid and hate-filled agenda to find those responsible, were not helped by Rangers’ Chief Executive Martin Bain claiming that there is a ‘deliberate and targeted campaign’ against the Ibrox club, comments slammed by UEFA.

But these hate-filled individuals that infest certain club messageboards want to get involved in ‘outing’ those responsible, by any means necessary. In fact members of one of the biggest Rangers Fans sites on the net, Follow Follow, are so outraged that they have resorted to racist, sectarian and vile abuse towards those linked with the FARE organisation. Now I am surprised that Mark Dingwall, a public face of the Rangers support allows such comments to be posted on HIS forum. And I am surprised that FootyMad, who host the Rangers site on their network, allow such comments also.

One regular member, called nozafc, noted down how to clog the FARE organisation’s fax system up, “but I’ve heard that faxes that are all black in colour can consume an inordinate amount of ink.” Actually advocating such a misuse, is an illegal act in itself, not to mention those who would follow nozafc’s advice.

While another regular poster, fishparkora, called on his fellow Rangers fans to test FARE’s email system, by sending mass complaints via the organisations complaint form, about Celtic’s recent game against St.Johnstone and the racist chants that surrounded the Spurs/Real Madrid game.

However the major issue that I am writing about is the racist comments and abuse launched at Aasmah Mir, presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live since 2001, who is from Scotland and is open about her allegiances to Celtic. Mir’s husband is Piara Powar, who up until June 2010, was the head of Kick it Out – the UK branch of FARE, and an Executive Director of FARE currently.

This led to one Follow Follow member, called Oranje_Viola, to launch vile racist abuse and threats against Mir and her husband, and somehow bringing Times columnist Graham Speirs into the equation also. He said, “eff this Aasmah Mir carrot and her husband…..these two need sorted. Definitely a trail from Spiers to this middle class liberal hand-wringing FARE organisation…this rancid papish-pakistani bitch seems to be the go-between.”

Again is this the type of comments that Mark Dingwall aka Grandmaster Suck, wants on HIS forum? It is ironic that UEFA are taking action against Rangers over sectarian singing, yet some of their fans resort to such blatant racist and sectarian abuse.

It wasn’t the only abuse launched at Mir and her husband, nor other employees of FARE. One such employee was Danny Lynch, who has seemingly been outed as the man responsible for the reports to UEFA. Since his name was brought up in these hate-filled forums, his contact details and telephone number have been posted, with the sole intention for people to send vile abuse and threats to the man.

One such poster of Lynch’s personal details was @bmennie10 on the Social Networking site Twitter. She has since deleted her posts and protected her page, but we have obtained a copy of her tweet, which also made a sectarian reference. Certainly not the best advertisement for Rangers who have stated, they have done everything they can to stamp out sectarianism within their support.

These so-called football fans, who claim to be Rangers fans continue to bring shame upon their club and the majority of decent Rangers supporters. But I have to question the actions of Follow Follow admin staff and in particular Mark Dingwall to allow such vile, racist and sectarian comments to be posted on his forum. I am amazed that FootyMad have not closed Follow Follow, for their continued sectarian and racist abuse, let alone the sheer illegal acts that its members continually call for fellow members to partake in. Their inaction, despite generic comments within the Terms & Conditions, allow these bigots and racists to continue peddling their hate filled bile.

At least Rangers have taken action against Dingwall’s fanzine, Follow Follow, as it was banned from Ibrox a number of years ago, as part of the club’s fight against sectarianism. Yet Follow Follow online continues to use the Rangers badge on its site – if the club have banned the fanzine then why have the club failed to take the FootyMad network and Dingwall to task for using the badge on a site, that is clearly peddling sectarian and racist commentary?

Then Commerical Director (now Chief Executive) Martin Bain confirmed that the Follow Follow magazine would be kicked out of Ibrox, ‘due to its sectarian content’.

The fanzine, edited by Mark Dingwall, were also investigated by Grampian Police following threats made against an Aberdeen publican, who had video screen installed in the urinals of his pub, playing Rangers videos on them and invited Dons fans to urinate over them.

The fanzine in reply said, “Treating your opponents like this will lead to violence. Why don’t we visit the Paramount bar next time the Bears are up there and piss on Mr Wilson?”

Despite the continued pleas from Rangers and its Chief Executive for it fans to stop the ‘offensive’ singing, the likes of Follow Follow [online and in print]continue to breed new generations of bigots and racists and provide a sustained thorn in the side of Rangers Football Club.

And until these sort of forums/sites are closed down then, Rangers Football Club will not see their support free from racist, sectarian and bigoted individuals, bigots and racists who call themselves fans.

I know plenty of Rangers fans personally, and some have produced articles for this site also. Despite our different allegiances, I respect these individuals for standing up for their ideals, which fly in the face of the bigots and racists that have infested the Ibrox side’s support.

I would like to ask – Do these people and the likes of Follow Follow speak for the Rangers support? Rather than ‘whataboutery’ excuses would you condemn such comments or do you back those comments mentioned? We would like to hear your views. Decent Rangers fans please speak up, do not let the bigots and the racists speak for the Rangers support.

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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