When is a Rangers fan guilty?

25

Let me start this piece out by clearly illustrating the positive comments this site has made on the King regime since it took office last year; we have praised the appointment of Warburton, Weir and McParland, we have waxed lyrical about how the board has sought to restore fan unity and the similar restoration of pride in our Club.

We have rightly bigged up the infrastructure improvements, and we have even conceded our own doubts prior to their election victory in 2015 were unfounded. Last but not least we absolutely loved the post-Cup final statement which defended our supporters unconditionally and tore into the bitterness of Scottish football without mercy.

In other words, Ibroxnoise.co.uk has admitted, happily, that this board have got a lot of things right in the colossal task of turning Rangers back into the power we know they are.

However, the early mistake of praising a certain Rangers-hating publication for its ‘courageous journalism’ has lingered with yours truly for a very long time, and has never sit well with a great many number of supporters for the same reason. It suggested a group of men horribly out of touch with the support.

But everyone makes errors, and many were willing to move on from that one for the betterment of the Club – after all, Rangers are bigger than the board, the management or even the players; Rangers are the fans and the institution. Rangers are a way of life for hundreds of thousands, even millions, and most are reasonable enough to dismiss a fallacy if the grand picture is Rangers’ progress.

However, over the past 48 hours Rangers’ board has heavily disrupted its progress with a calamity of epic proportions, one which has set back fan unity months, maybe even years, in the context of unity with the Club.

In fact, this episode has united a great majority of our supporters in agreement and disappointment, possibly disgust, at the board’s actions and complete lack of fairness and rational judgement in the position they have taken, including those who heavily advocated their election win last year.

For those unaware, a Rangers supporter was banned by the board following those infamous Hampden events in May. A supporter by the name of ‘John’ whose condemnation letter can be seen below.

No one would suggest the law cannot apply to Rangers fans, of course it does; if a Ranger has done something wrong, it is only fair punishment should be delivered. The problem with this knee-jerk and despicable ban is it absolutely flies in the face of both the post-final statement the same board made, and of complete decency and support of the fans by the board they elected. Furthermore, it worryingly bans the individual before he has even been handed a verdict by the courts.

The board claim they will rescind the ban if he is found innocent, but this unsavoury incident has been extremely poorly received by the support, and in short, the board have got this one badly wrong.

Their ‘representatives’ among the support, the newly-formed (but really RST by any other name) Club1872 failed miserably to defend John either, suggesting a real lack of fan representation at board level which is able to defend supporters.

Remember what that statement earlier this year said:

“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.”

Complete and unilateral support of Rangers’ supporters actions on the pitch by the board way back when; ergo, to now ban one of them for those actions is beyond the pale and unacceptable. The hypocrisy is completely laughable.

There is no reason why this fan could not have been viewed as innocent till proven guilty, and if deemed so, then the ban ensue. Instead, both the board and Club1872 have hidden behind protocols from a league hierarchy they are meant to despise, without even vaguely attempting to defend the gentlemen or his rights.

Many fans’ reaction to this distasteful series of events has been to compare this to the Murray and Bain regime, and suggest that nothing much has really changed from that era. Hard to say whether that is even a valid argument, but the entire episode transcends disappointment.

Rangers’ board has not made a lot of really bad gaffes since they took charge; that ‘courageous journalism’ was one, and this is far worse.

Everyone is human, and prone to fallacy; for the sake of decent and unity, the men at the top really require to rethink this policy pronto, rather than behaving in a manner which has truly riled up the wrong set of supporters.

Their own.

25 COMMENTS

  1. The fundamental and basic error David Martin and the Board make here is that in law anyone charged with an offence is "innocent until proven guilty". It beggars belief that they could make this fundamental mistake and this will indeed alienate many supporters.It seems from their statement they have already decided John is guilty. Not the best way to ensure that the supporters, who are the lifeblood of the club will be treated fairly in similar circumstances.

  2. To me it smells like the reaction after the cup final was to cover the inadequacies on the field from the team and even more cynically to sell season tickets. Now that has all passed it is time to hang all those that went onto the field out to dry. The worst part is no refund for season tickets though I assume there will be a whip round to cover these costs as well as the money already gathered for fighting the legal cases.

  3. it happened to me.lifted from the stadium for nothing.lay all weekend ,took to court pled not guilty rangers took my season ticket from me and my neice who i took to the games couldn,t go either after that.went to court after about a year and a half to be found NOT GUILTY. they wouldn,t reinburse us and not even a couple of complimentary tickets for the last couple of home games last season.this is what we,re up against. the board are still as bad as the crooks before them.i love rangers with all my heart but i wonder why the club hates us so much.

    • I'm sorry but I have to agree with the board on this one. I've been a season ticket holder for years and attend the majority of away matches and can honestly say I've never saw anyone being arrested for nothing. I have seen people being lifted for minor infringements or in some cases things that may be seen as harsh by many i.e the sing of songs, being drunk. But regardless how minor these crimes are, nowadays they aren't tolerated by the majority of support and if people can't understand this then they shouldn't be allowed into the games.
      As a club we have fought hard to get back to where we belong, Along the way we have been stabbed in the back and let down by those that are meant to protect the club and the game as a whole, but we are still here and stronger than we have been in along time thanks to the changes by the board and the management team.
      So maybe it's about time some of our so called fans realised that the hate filled glory days of the past should remain just there, in the past.

    • Anonymous – your point does not address any of the specific issues of this matter. To say something is, "…no longer tolerated by the majority of our support…." is in no relation to the actions of "John" and other supporters who entered the pitch for the reasons they did AND, at the time, as said in this article, we're unilaterally backed by the boards post-match statement. These, so-called fans, as you poorly put it, were defending our club. Something a "fan" like yourself would do well to remember and perhaps practice.

    • Defending our club, are you being serious!! A handful of people entering the park for no other reason than to fight with another group of fans, that's thug mentality regardless of provocation. If this had been done to "defend the club" as you put it or purely for player safety concerns why did so few feel the urge to do something? I read the clubs statement at the time but since then with all the pictures and video replays of the actions of both sets of fans on the pitch that day the board seem to have distanced themselves from the initial knee jerk statement and any acceptance of fans behaviour.
      If the hibs fans had tried to attack our support in the stands then there is justification in fighting to defend yourself, but if you left the stands and entered the park well you need to deal with the consequences.

    • Blueblood – I think you'll find my point address all the issues of the post I'm replying to.

      John on the other hand is clearly a fud who ran onto the park and now thinks he's being hard done by. Sorry but if you act like a fanny expect everyone to treat you as a fanny.

  4. Totally agree with the above comments, It is a neejerked reaction. It's nonsense to say John will be allowed back if found not guilty, they have got it back to front. Cases can take weeks or months to conclude, so how many games will John miss? The board have got to lift this unfair ban, until after court case.

  5. While agreeing with the "innocent until proven guilty" proposition stated above, let's stretch it a bit further – say a Rangers fan ran on to the pitch and punched the referee in the face or stabbed an opposition player. Should that fan be allowed to attend subsequent matches until the day months later when a court finds him guilty ?
    In no way am I suggesting the fan who's been banned is indeed guilty. I'm only attempting to see how far the "innocent until proven guilty" point can be backed up.

    • Fair enough but I am looking at it in the context of the clubs statements in the aftermath of the game – how can they back the supporters to that level then turn around and not only completely backtrack but also take back season tickets without a refund. If I were on the field that day I would have been thinking I would have been getting a hero's reception back at Ibrox and certainly not having the door slammed in my face after getting mugged for the money in my wallet.

  6. Totally shocked at this as are many of our supporters bus member. We need some demonstration. We cannot be treated like this where does it end..

  7. No need to be on the park after a game, the romantic notion by our PR aholes that supporters were defending our players was obvious BS, easily determined if you checked the footage and youtube soon after. It was a Board's notion of defiance and solidarity put out mischevously to sell SBs. Backed up by Keef Jackson who actually stated players were being assaulted which was refuted on twitter by some Wags. No wonder Warbs disappeared for a few weeks. Total embarrassment and those who get done deserve what they get.

  8. What would happen if a player was charged with their conduct after the match like for example Kiernan who was held back by security? Is he getting an indefinite ban?

  9. No excuses for being on the park. Keith Jackson's lies have been proved to be just that as confirmed by some of the players wifes/girlfriends on social media.
    Not refunding ST money would never stand up in a court of law.
    As far as the board's concerned someone needs to get a grip on what's coming out of the club…..we have had 2 statements on this, one completely contradicting the other.
    Why are we paying Level 5 a fortune yet are being served this p*ss?

  10. The board statement acknowledged that our fans went on the pitch due to provocation which is true but aggravated assault is still a crime. Basically they are saying in their statement a 'tiny minority' of idiots from our support are the same as the idiots in all other support. Not worth the risk to wait until someone is proven guilty. What if they are provoked at Ibrox? If fans can't screw the nut and walk away or laugh at the numpties shouting abuse/asking for a fight then they can't be trusted to do so at Ibrox.

  11. The board should never have released the child like embarrassing statement that down-played the Rangers fans who came on the pitch. It sent out the wrong message They shouldn't have went on – full stop. Anyone who came on should face the appropriate consequences.

  12. Donald Findlay representing White is a bigger slap in the face to all Rangers fans, shame on him.

    • remember Findlay is a Q.C.and like all lawyers , is only interested in money , and will represent any one to get it .

  13. The first statement came from Level 5, published verbatim by their media friends……turns out it was a lie, but then Radar Jackson specialises in lies.
    Any fan still buying the Daily Radar is keeping this clown in a job.
    I agree with the earlier poster when he commented that not refunding ST money will never stand up if challenged in court.

  14. Looks as if Whyte is going to walk…..you can't be charged with conspiring with yourself to commit a crime.

    The prosecution have spent a fortune to no avail…..they have no case.

    Perhaps we might see the real perpetrator in the dock now…….step forward Sir David Murray who crashed his companies owing millions to the banks and left a pension scheme in defect.
    Funny how some of his family members ended up with 'good' bits of the business.

    An absolute disgrace of a man, should be stripped of his knighthood pronto.

  15. The guy who got 4 months has 20, twenty, previous convictions for a series of offences!

    Is this the sort of fan who is being crowd funded by our fans?

    I stepped up to the plate before but never again, what a waste of money, 20 previous convictions ffs. Will the funds raised be used to feed his family whilst he's in jail?

Comments are closed.