Four months on from the worst scenes Scottish Football has witnessed since the 2008 UEFA Cup Final riots, Rangers are demanding justice for their players and officials who were ‘attacked’.
Going by the multitude of statements made by the Ibrox club following the cup final – surely a world record in statement making – you would be under the impression that it was Attila and his marauding barbarians that took to the field, rather than Hibernian supporters celebrating their first Scottish Cup win since 1902.
The reality was the majority of those Hibernian fans who ran onto the pitch at the final whistle were there to celebrate and to cause no trouble whatsoever. They wanted mementos from turf , to part of the net to selfies on the pitch and above all to hug their players for winning the cup. Just like the Tartan Army did down in Wembley in the late 70s after we beat England.
However, there was an element who ran onto the pitch to not only celebrate but to make their feelings known to the Rangers support and in good old Scottish fashion to tell them to ‘get it up ye!’ For those who do not understand the term you can call it goading, mocking or taking the piss out out of a support who believed they had a god given right to win the cup on that day.
Last season, we saw a plethora of fans take to their respective pitches down in England to celebrate, whether it was promotion or staving off relegation. Of course, there was goading of the opposition fans also with the result being? Nothing. No trouble.
So what was the difference between those moments of sheer joy and that of the Scottish Cup Final? A group of supporters and a club with a napoleon complex. They are still of the belief that they are one of the big boys, but in reality they now shop at Farmfoods, instead of Waitrose for their product.
The Ibrox side’s continued case of amnesia when it comes to their own support is laughable, the see no evil hear no evil approach does not wash and it makes them a mockery with every passing statement. If they, as a club, actually wanted clubs to be held accountable for their supporters’ misconduct then they should have voted in favour of ‘strict liability’ not against it, as they did.
But we all know why Rangers were not in favour of imposing strict liability on the game – because they as a club would be in the dock than most over the misconduct of their own supporters. From sectarian singing heard every game to offensive banners, the use of pyrotechnics to destroying seats and toilets in a fit of rage, these are just some of the incidents that have taken place already this season.
What of the Rangers supporters own part in the Cup Final disorder? If you believed Rangers and their PR machine, Level 5PR, you would feel sorry for the ‘innocent victims’ in the light blue who were bullied, attacked and beaten to an inch of their lives.
The reality is much different, these upstanding citizens had a rotten core and that core element invaded the pitch to attack Hibernian fans who were laughing and mocking them for losing the cup final.
These brave heroic neanderthals took to the pitch to have it out with their opposite numbers because they couldn’t handle a few hundred fans laughing at their expense. They were even praised for invading the pitch and resorting to violence by the club in the aftermath in a hastily concocted statement which got more laughs than a Frankie Boyle comedy show.
To date around 75 fans have been arrested by Police Scotland for their alleged part in the shameful cup final scenes, but not one Hibernian supporter has been charged with assaulting any Rangers players or officials. Which is strange given the rhetoric and coverage produced in the papers over the coming days and weeks following the 3-2 win for Hibernian.
The Daily Record’s ‘award-winning’ journalist Keith Jackson claimed that every single Rangers player and official that day were attacked by Hibernian fans who took to the field. But before his article had hit the shelves the next morning, those claims were ridiculed and dismissed by those close to three Rangers players who were on the pitch that day.
Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace’s partners both took to social media to dismiss the ‘lies’ that were doing the rounds that the players were assaulted on the pitch. Dean Shiels’ Dad, Kenny, who managed Kilmarnock also dismissed the claims.
So with three out of the playing staff not victims as Jackson and the Record claim, who were actually assaulted? Can Rangers name names please? Four months on no proof has been provided to back up such claims, no one has been arrested and no player has tweeted, Facebooked or instagramed their injuries to highlight the shameful attacks they were allegedly on the receiving end of.
Why is that?
Rangers’ pursuit of justice and to see Hibs punished, claiming that no action against them is a ‘stain’ on Scottish football is hypocritical to say the least, when they have been the biggest stain on the beautiful game in Scotland for years.
From their previous incarnation dodging paying tax by using an EBT scheme concocted by a lawyer-turned-pornstar, to the continued references to child abuse at games where families [with children]attend, being up to their knees in fenian blood, the belting out of the racist famine song and the thuggery we have witnessed on the pitch, in the stands and behind the scenes. Rangers is certainly not the club that should be trying to play the blame game and point the finger at anyone, calling them a stain on our game.
We have been told for nigh on five years that Scottish football needs Rangers, that we need the competition in the top flight of a strong Rangers, and yet what we are subjected to is an angry wee dwarf of a club who claim victim status at every opportunity, even when they should be holding their hands up and taking part of the blame.
However, their continued ignorance and even praising of their rotten core element of supporters says all you need to know about the Rangers board and their mentality for cleansing their support of troublemakers – this is the same element that helped storm the marble staircase at Ibrox like revolutionaries storming the Bastille, to oust the Easdales.
They have their patsies and they are in no hurry to get rid of them just yet.
So the next time that Rangers want to preach from the pulpit to their minions, maybe they should look to do some in-house cleaning before crying wolf.