What we wanted to be talking about in this article was our excitement, nerves, anticipation and emotional rollercoaster this week of first tonight’s colossal second leg v Legia, then Sunday’s mammoth Old Firm opener.
Instead, another charge from Uefa for the same act as the first time, this time in Warsaw, has dominated the headlines and completely overshadowed preparation.
Now, we must admit, if this was a charge by the Scottish FA, we’d be feeling a little hard-done by. After all, they’re incompetent and appear inconsistent at best with how they govern the game. They also have a tonne of baggage when it comes to Rangers.
But Uefa? They don’t give a t*ss about us, Celtic, or indeed the majority of European clubs who aren’t Barca, PSG, Real Madrid or Liverpool.
So for them to confirm ‘racism’ in Poland (mainly because they don’t exactly cater specifically for sectarianism and bigotry it seems) and administer yet another charge is quite simply the fault of a portion of our fans who are bringing the club into disrepute.
In short, we don’t have a leg to stand on, and the club, rightly, offers no defence and full castigation of those guilty of hurting the best interests of the many and of the club.
Stadium closures, as in full stadium closures, are not far around the corner. This wanton reckless conduct, this selfish conduct, is now absolutely killing Rangers as a club – think about all the lost revenue a closed-door Ibrox will miss out on. A gate receipt, roughly, of £2M per every home Europa League fixture – gone, because some stupid wee idiots couldn’t help glorifying the colour orange or regaling about historic conflicts and violence.
Personally, we don’t care much for, or about, these songs. More to worry about than that.
But Uefa have made it clear, and are carrying out charges now, and once again the club, the majority of the decent support, and the coffers are being hurt by their mindless actions.
Rangers’ statements couldn’t have been more clear, or condemning, and as much as we often have an axe to grind about some of the actions our club carries out, we have no objection to its response to this disgrace.
We must also admit something – by the sounds of these chants, it’s a lot more than a minority. We’ve heard stadium-full chanting to this measure, be it at Ibrox or away matches – while not the majority, it’s certainly a lot more than one in a thousand, or even one in a hundred.
Self-policing from others is the only way to go – and introspection from those guilty – yes, these tunes might bring your passion out, and feel good, but all they do is hurt the club you’re feeling good about.
And that’s not good for any one.