Rangers es­cape with a warn­ing

The Herald - Herald Sport - - Football - MARTIN McMIL­LAN

RANGERS have es­caped pun­ish­ment from the Scot­tish Pre­mier League af­ter in­stances of sec­tar­ian singing by their fans dur­ing the match against In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle on the open­ing day of the sea­son.

No ac­tion will be tak­ing against the host club, ei­ther, af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the match, which took place at the Tul­loch Cale­do­nian Sta­dium on Au­gust 4.

Rangers have been fined more than £21,000 by UEFA for sim­i­lar of­fences in Cham­pi­ons League and UEFA Cup ties but the SPL board took into ac­count the club’s ef­forts to erad­i­cate un­ac­cept­able con­duct by some of their sup­port­ers.

Rangers also vol­un­tar­ily pro­vided a num­ber of ad­di­tional stew­ards at In­ver­ness and mea­sures are cur­rently be­ing taken by the club to deal with fans who were iden­ti­fied as in­dulging in in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour.

How­ever, the SPL have warned that fu­ture mis­con­duct will re­sult in Rangers be­ing re­ferred to an SPL Com­mis­sion, with the risk of sanc­tions be­ing im­posed.

Iain Blair, the SPL sec­re­tary, said: “The SPL is fully com­mit­ted to work­ing with its clubs, other foot­ball au­thor­i­ties and the po­lice to de­velop and im­ple­ment strate­gies and poli­cies which will lead to the erad­i­ca­tion of un­ac­cept­able con­duct, par­tic­u­larly sec­tar­i­an­ism, within se­nior pro­fes­sional foot­ball in Scot­land.”

The find­ings were wel­comed by Rangers’ chief ex­ec­u­tive, Martin Bain, who said: “We are pleased the SPL has recog­nised that our club had done ev­ery­thing it could to pre­vent un­ac­cept­able con­duct by sup­port­ers at the match against In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle.

“Un­ac­cept­able con­duct by some fans at the match in ques­tion has been roundly con­demned . . . and it is in ev­ery­one’s in­ter­ests this type of be­hav­iour is erad­i­cated.

“We fully recog­nise that if such be­hav­iour con­tin­ues the foot­balling au­thor­i­ties will take fur­ther ac­tion. I would like to thank our sup­port­ers’ or­gan­i­sa­tions and many in­di­vid­ual fans for their ef­forts in deal­ing with this is­sue.”

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