Rangers fans share something in ‘common’ (per se) with only five (or so) other fanbases in the UK, and what that is we’ll get to in a moment.
But the other fanbases are Celtic, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool. Arguably, Manchester City are now among this group too, but this is a unique case.
And what is the ‘it’ we’re on about?
Must-win. Every single match is must-win, a draw or defeat is a crisis and meltdown is imminent when the team doesn’t play well and win – even a poor win leads to an inquest.
These groups of fans, historically, in the UK, are by a distance the most pressured, the most demanding, and the most ruthless.
While United, Arsenal and Liverpool are some distance off being the best right now, especially Utd, nevertheless their fanbase demands they win every match, every trophy, and sign the best players. That they are nowhere near any of this is irreconcilable to these fans, inconceivable.
Celtic? They’re a different case. They’ve been second-best to Rangers historically until what happened in 2012 – they have been perpetual runners-up to the best team in Scotland until that was torn from us in what can only be called a hatchet job. A partially self-inflicted one but a nationwide hatchet job nonetheless.
And Celtic seized on that and propelled themselves past us, a position they’ve basically kept ever since. So while their fans are arguable ‘must-win’, it’s only been an expectation since 2012, artificially-gained. Ever since their original 9IAR in the 60s, they’ve been second-best in Scotland, and they know it. But they were gifted the top by circumstances outside of their control.
But… getting away from the point – Rangers fans 100% expect to win, and have done from the dawn of time. And only a few other fanbases have this same mentality.
It means that where we are right now really only Man Utd can relate to – they are supposed to be the best in England, but they are absolutely miles off, akin to Chelsea, and they’re in mini-crisis.
We’re sure they too are filled with the ‘give them a chance ffs’ and ‘support the manager ffs’ brigades, but we can’t exactly speak for them.
But Rangers fans are in such a strange place – our team and manager is miles off standard, and yet we still expect to win, at least some of us.
The Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea club is not somewhere Rangers supporters want to be, right now.