Rangers supporter ultras group the Union Bears came under fire from some fellow fans for a banner today which was ill-timed at best with the cup final a week away.
Highlighting the club’s lack of success in the past 11 years, amounting to two trophies, there was a cryptic dig at Michael Beale’s act of sportsmanship with a complaint the club should uphold its standards ‘where it matters’.
Some believe this dig was in fact at the board, and it could well have been, given the reference to over a decade of sub-par Rangers achievements by the standards the club conventionally has, and the board’s regular criticism from various portions of the support.
But it doesn’t matter if it was at Beale, or at the board – it was a completely unwanted distraction ahead of a huge cup final against our old enemy whatever it was meant to mean, and it was a deeply misguided and ill-conceived piece of timing by fans putting politics first.
Now, we do say all this with a caution – whatever fans in general think of the Union Bears, they ARE superb at the card displays and displays in general, and they also provide critical atmosphere to Ibrox where, without them, it would frankly be subdued at best most of the time.
So we’re not completely anti this group – remember those stellar 55 displays along the Clyde, the stunning flares? These things make Rangers stand out and they are remembered.
But today was a misstep – it was ambiguous for a start, and it’s caused a lot of division among fans about what it meant, and that’s the last thing we needed with a cup final to focus on.
It was unneeded, and unwanted. Nothing wrong with protests and making a voice heard, lord knows Ibrox Noise does it all the time, but we have always tried to avoid jeopardising the team with any opinions or content, especially with a final of this nature upon us.
A banner display like this was a huge miscalculation and most fans have condemned it, likening it to the Green Brigade on the other side of the city.
Moral of the story? If you’re going to make a point, consider the best time to make it, rather than hijacking the club you support.