From commending their fans for their behaviour to claiming they were defending players and officials from rival fans, Rangers issued another statement written by someone not only bitter as hell but also doolally.
Everyone witnessed the scenes that unfolded on the pitch at Hampden following the conclusion of the Scottish Cup Final, which Hibernian won 3-2, video footage proved that both sets of fans engaged in fighting on the pitch and the sidelines in scenes reminiscent of the 1980 Scottish Cup Final – but it seems someone at Rangers has tunnel vision and only saw what they want to see as they blatantly ignored the thuggery of their own supporters.
The statement heralded back to the days of Charles Green and THAT Christmas message, while also pandering to the horde of Rangers fans who not only belted out sectarian songs and chants but also ran onto the pitch at Hampden Park to clash with Hibernian fans – who had invaded the pitch to celebrate, to goad Rangers fans and to noise them up.
Goading and noising up rival fans is part and parcel of the game, however, those Hibernian fans who raced the length of the pitch to do it in front of Rangers fans were idiotic and they were just asking for trouble. And trouble they get as elements of the Rangers support took umbrage with this and raced onto the pitch trading punches, kicks and using the corner flags as weapons.
How the Rangers hierarchy could not see this is beyond me or maybe they did see it and using the age auld tactics of whataboutery to try to pin all the blame on others? Maybe the tunnel vision that is symptomatic with those blaming Hibernian fans solely for the trouble is contagious and has infected the boardroom at Ibrox.
There was also no mention of the sustained sectarian singing and chanting from the Rangers support, targeting among others Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs. There has been no comment from Rangers manager Mark Warburton on the match, on the trouble or even on the alleged attacks on his players – why is that?
Has Level5PR and James Traynor prevented the Englishman from having his say on the match and the subsequent trouble? He hasn’t even taken to the official club website.
While Warburton’s comments have gone AWOL, the same cannot be said of the idiotic ramblings within the latest Rangers statement.
Below is the Rangers statement in full – with my retorts and notes beside each section in red.
Rangers statement in full
Rangers finds it incomprehensible that no one, either from within the Scottish FA or Hibernian Football Club, has condemned Hibernian’s supporters following the violent scenes at the end of yesterday’s Scottish Cup final when Rangers players and members of our backroom staff were physically and verbally assaulted. We have not even had the courtesy of any contact whatsoever from Hibernian to ask after the wellbeing of those who were attacked by their club’s supporters. [Hibernian and the Scottish FA issued statements last night condemning the violence yet Rangers 24 hours later still fail to see this –
Hibernian and the Scottish FA issued statements last night condemning the violence yet Rangers 24 hours later still fail to see this – read their comments here
There must be a full independent investigation into the shameful scenes at Hampden. Rangers is also at a complete loss to understand why certain individuals have hastily attempted to gloss over the appalling events which unfolded at the end of Saturday’s final.
No one is glossing over the violence in fact, everyone is highlighting it and making it very public from the mainstream media journalists to bloggers to ordinary football fans.
No matter how many times Hibernian’s chairman and Scottish FA vice-chairman, Rod Petrie, and certain other biased commentators wish to play down Saturday’s mayhem and violence, the truth must not be distorted. What unfolded on Saturday cannot and must not be put down to exuberance. That is a complete insult to Rangers, our supporters, and those individuals who were intimidated and attacked.
No one is downplaying Saturday’s trouble, far from it. Yes, Petrie mentioned over-exuberance in a comment made minutes into the melee but Petrie and the club issued a statement denouncing elements of their support for the violence and that they would take part in any investigation that takes place. It seems that Rangers are only seeing half truths and ignoring their own supporters attacking rival fans on the pitch – video footage is online for all to see.
It was clear to most of those who watched in horror that the Scottish FA’s security procedures failed when Hibernian’s fans went over the top in their thousands. Questions must be asked of the Security firm G4S and the Police in regards to the way they managed the game which was a
Questions must be asked of the Security firm G4S and the Police in regards to the way they managed the game which was a high-risk tie. However, the same security that allowed thousands of Hibs fans onto the pitch also allowed hundreds of Rangers fans around the stadium to invade the pitch. No mention of that, though.
It is to be hoped that all of Scottish football will share Rangers’ disgust and any attempts to attach blame to our supporters for the disgraceful and violent behaviour, which led to our players and fans fearing for their safety, will not be accepted or tolerated by this Club.
While the actions of the few that targeted Rangers players should be firmly dealt with by the authorities, Scottish football is not blind nor delusional to what happened on Saturday. The footage was clear as day. It picked up Hibernian and Rangers fans fighting. The blame for the violence falls squarely on both sets of supporters who decided to take to the field to cause trouble and look for a fight. The majority of Hibernian fans who took to the field celebrated their team’s success and that was it. The same cannot be said for those Rangers fans who took to the field – they did so for one reason and one reason solely to attack Hibernian fans. These so-called fans from both sides shamed the clubs they profess to support and dragged their fellow supporters – who were there only for the football – down to the gutter with them. The fact Rangers can even claim that their fans were blameless is one of the most idiotic and bewildering comments emanating from that club since the days of Charles Green.
We acknowledge that a tiny minority of Rangers fans also encroached on the pitch but only after having been faced with prolonged and severe provocation and in order to protect our players and officials who were being visibly attacked in front of them. Any club’s supporters would have done the same. This distressing and deeply disturbing episode would never have happened had Hibs fans behaved properly but as they swarmed across the pitch it became immediately obvious that the security procedures were inadequate and had failed.I’m sorry but was this written with a straight face? Not one mention of the violence and thuggery that oozed out of those Rangers fans who did invade the pitch. In fact, they avoid using the word violence nearly as much as they blatantly ignore the sectarian song book that was belted out during the 90 minutes. This may be a new Rangers but the same old lies, the same old
I‘m sorry but was this written with a straight face? Not one mention of the violence and thuggery that oozed out of those Rangers fans who did invade the pitch. In fact, they avoid using the word violence nearly as much as they blatantly ignore the sectarian song book that was belted out during the 90 minutes. This may be a new Rangers but the same old lies, the same old delusions, and the same old hypocrisy passing through their veins. Rangers have security staff in the ground, G4S and the Police are in attendance, but Rangers defend their fans for ‘protecting their players and officials’ who had already left the pitch by the time the fans belted lumps out of one another. This was not the charge of the light brigade to save their players, this was sheer hatred, anger, and bitterness. They had just been beaten by a Hibernian side and deservedly so. Their claims of being back and coming for the clubs that ‘did them wrong’ fuelled their hatred for four years – as they rewrote their short history claiming everyone else was to blame for their demise and liquidation bar themselves. The blue pound went kaput and the only ones to blame wore brown brogues and blue blazers. Not Celtic, not Dundee United, not Aberdeen nor any other club that held the Ibrox side to account for breaking the integrity of our game. The disturbing scenes would never have happened if Hibernian fans had not raced to the Rangers end to goad them – but equally, the violence would not have happened if Rangers fans had not jumped the hoardings and raced towards the ranks of Hibernian fans goading them like a band of marauding barbarians from the Steppes. Their battle fever spewed forth and they went berserk.
These fans were allowed to rush, unchecked, towards Rangers supporters at the opposite end of the stadium – all the while goading and threatening them. This makes it preposterous to suggest Rangers fans were somehow to blame as some commentators appear anxious to do. This thuggish behaviour must be investigated and as many culprits as possible brought to book and formally charged. This is the second time in a year that Rangers fans have had to endure attacks by another club’s supporters.
Those Rangers fans who took to the pitch deserve to be blamed as much as those Hibs fans who raced over to goad them – both sets were fighting and the only ones not to blame are those fans who remained in the stands and those who took to the field to merely celebrate their team’s success nothing else. To even claim that their fans were the victims is laughable. I agree though that those who resorted to hooliganism deserve to be brought to justice no matter the colours they wear.
It must also be said that it was not at all helpful to see leading members of the Scottish Government, including the First Minister whose parish is Govan, passing comment on social media without any attempt to condemn the behaviour of Hibernian’s fans. These failures are unbecoming of our elected representatives.
Scatter gun approach from Rangers here as they also take pot shots at the Scottish First Minister. Is this pandering to certain elements within the Rangers support? I would think a politician doing their job properly would wait until they get all the facts in front of them before commenting on the trouble. Rangers’ statement on Saturday was the equivalent of a two-footed tackle as they jumped in with studs showing – they commended their fans for showing restraint when they were in the thick of the violence. And still they ignore and whitewash over the thuggery that was self-evident to everyone watching Saturday’s match.
Certain media outlets have also attempted to distort reality. In the case of the BBC this is, of course, not news. BBC employees, in particular Stuart Cosgrove, believe Rod Petrie’s comments to be ‘balanced’ and others speak of a ‘minority’ of Hibernian supporters. Another, Tom English, who was not even at the match, would prefer the authorities to focus on Rangers fans’ reaction. We will not endure this insult.
Is this Jim Traynor targeting his previous employers and those he hates? Or someone at Rangers targeting the BBC once again? I watched the BBC coverage of the game as well as listened to the comments of Tom English et al later and not once did they focus squarely on Rangers fans resorting to violence. They condemned both sets of supporters and English himself as rubbished these claims by Rangers via his official twitter account and rightly so. We’ll not endure this insult? This is the sort of language that has fuelled the hatred of Rangers fans against Scottish football as the Ibrox club tried to pass the buck onto everyone else for being caught breaking the rules of the game for 11 years and screwing over their creditors to the tune of tens of millions of pounds.
So, let everyone be clear on one thing – Rangers demands that players, staff and fans be protected from the violence and hatred of supporters of other clubs. Rangers fully expects the Scottish FA and Police Scotland to take action to provide our people with a safe environment. When players are unable to accept medals at the end of a final because of fears for their safety and our supporters are alarmed and extremely concerned for the women and children among them, then surely every step must be taken to ensure that this is never repeated.The only paragraph that I actually agree with in this whole statement. However, the Scottish FA and Police Scotland should take action to provide a safe environment for all fans and players
The only paragraph that I actually agree with in this whole statement. However, the Scottish FA and Police Scotland should take action to provide a safe environment for all fans and players alike not just one side. The delusions of grandeur from the Championship side is oozing out of them. The only victims in this whole disgusting affair are the players who were attacked and the fans who did not take part in the violence. The majority of the 50,000 fans inside Hampden did not resort to violence, a minority did and it wasn’t just one set of supporters as the video footage and photographic evidence proves. In fact to prove my comments and how laughable Rangers’ statement is, I have published images taken by Getty Image photographers below this article. I wonder when or if Rangers will take their heads out of their collective arses and come back down to planet Earth Because at this moment in time their excuses, their claims and their blame game is out of this world. Whoever wrote this Rangers statement is howling at the moon.
And some video footage: