Saturday, 2nd February 2013, 12.40pm. Kick-off approaches and the Sky television cameras pan in on a group of a couple of dozen supposed Rangers supporters in a very, very barren portion of Tannadice. Is it you? Why on earth..?
Now, there is no guarantee that those who bought tickets have any affiliation with Rangers Football Club. Anybody can of course currently buy tickets from the Dundee United club website for the game. All you need is a name and an address; no Rangers number, nothing to say you are a Rangers fan. Given the over-policing of football in Scotland today, that is quite staggering.
For me, it actually says more about how desperate United are for money that they are willing to take £15 from any Tom, Declan or Harry. But given that it’s Thompson, perhaps it’s not such a surprise. About 100 tickets have apparently been sold and we have to assume some will be Rangers fans.
Why would any self-respecting Rangers supporter ignore the wishes of all fans groups - a particularly remarkable and unfortunately rare show of unity from RFC supporters groups - and indeed the decision taken by the Club and Charles Green himself to not accept a ticket allocation?
What possible reasons could you have for doing it? Well...
- ‘It’s a local game for me’: No reason to be going to the game, but tell you what: Put your Rangers top on, go down to Tannadice and tell the Sky cameras outside the ground exactly why you aren’t going into the ground. Then go and watch it in the pub. Next…
- ‘Away tickets have been hard to get this season’: Hard, but not that hard. Plus you could have gone to Hampden. Next…
- ‘The team needs our support’: You won’t get any argument anywhere on that front. It represents a difficult cup tie for us. Would we have a better chance if we had 5,000+ fans at Tannadice? Probably. But unfortunately this past year hasn’t really been about football. Our fans are taking a stand. You should be taking that opportunity too. Besides, some of the players have spoken out in support of the boycott.
- ‘I’m a Superfan and I’ve been to every game for the last 5/10/20/30 years’: Firstly, I have a hard time believing such claims. Secondly, the away diehards I know are unanimous in their support of the boycott. They can let this one go. So should you.
- ‘Nae cunt tells me what to do.’: Now we’re getting somewhere. Everybody loves a maverick don’t they? Well, most of the time, but not on this occasion I’m afraid. If your ego is making you go for fuck sake get over yourself and realise just how strong a united RFC support is.
Our club has taken an absolute battering in recent times when certain elements of Scottish football tried to finish us off. They didn’t succeed. They’ll never succeed. Remember what it felt like when there was day after day, month after month of bad news for Rangers? Our detractors were in full flow, sanctions coming from all angles, ‘sporting integrity’ and the intent to punish us ahead of any trial. Remember when it was at its bleakest? After all that and you want to put your colours on and go to the ground of one of the clubs who put the boot in the most?
And it’s not just about the money. To really hurt SPL clubs financially we’d boycott a cup game at Ibrox which of course isn’t going to happen. This is about Bears voting with their feet. This is a vote on how we were treated in the summer. This is a vote on the SFA. This is a vote on how we’ve been treated since we clambered back to our feet. This is a vote on reconstruction.
It’s time to make a stand. I simply cannot see any reason for being there.
Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. I hope it is worth it.
If you think differently drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org, or, better still, if you are going to Tannadice get in touch and put your case. We may not agree with it but we’ll publish it.