Rangers escape with a warning
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.”