RANGERS boss Steven Gerrard and his players’ actions have been branded “disgraceful” by Police Scotland for their “display of encouragement” after they celebrated a win over St Mirren at Ibrox in March.
The victory edged the team closer to their first title triumph in a decade, a victory that was rubber-stamped the following day when Celtic, who had been bidding for 10 in a row, drew with Dundee United at Tannadice.
Documents released through a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Government have revealed officers from Police Scotland urged the club to put out a ‘stay-at-home’ message as the team were poised to clinch the flag.
Cops insisted assurances had been given by Rangers officials, but, according to the memo, they did not materialise.
Ahead of the March 6 game, police were told by the club “no such activities would happen” with regard to encouraging fans to celebrate.
However, police said the Gers “actively engaged” in statements that egged the supporters on, instead of asking them to stay away.
ON FILM…Alfredo Morelos is caught filming celebrating fans from the Ibrox window.
In the damning memo, reported in the Daily Record, Superintendent Emma Croft and Chief Supt Mark Sutherland said: “On conclusion of the match a small number returned to continue the celebrations, the Rangers Team engaged the crowd through gates and by hanging out of open windows despite assurances from the Club that no such activities would happen. two arrests were made during the event for minor disorder.
“On conclusion of the event engagement with Police Scotland and Rangers FC continued to encourage the Club to strongly support a stay at home message.
“Whilst assurances were given this did not materialise.
“Further engagement did not result in any further statement relating to fan behaviour or responsibilities being issued, despite numerous statements encouraging celebration, including from the Manager.
“Both the Manager and players actively engaged from within the stadium with fans gathered in disgraceful displays of encouragement, in solid opposition to the public safety issues arising, to their responsibilities given the privileges under which football operates, and to the commitments they had made around public communications.”
The documents were released following the scenes at the club’s ground and then a day later when Gers fans descended on Ibrox and then George Square in unruly scenes which left chaos and carnage behind them.
The entire scenario was clearly in breach of strict lockdown rules and was re-enacted at the weekend with Police Scotland making 28 arrests with more to follow.