Bad Memories of 2008: Rangers call out to fans: “You have to act on your own!”

Bad memories of 2008
Rangers are calling out to fans: “Do it yourself!”

In 2008 Glasgow Rangers fans in Manchester caused a serious riot, 50 years ago an attack on the pitch suspended the club for two years in the European Cup. The memory is still fresh ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final.

Glasgow Rangers, 55-times Scottish champions and 1972 European Cup winner, face the biggest game in their club’s recent history: they play against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday. (9pm / live on RTL and RTL+ as well as live on ntv.de) UEFA Europa League Final in Seville. The final is a sensation, and the anticipation is high in both camps, as fans of both teams moved in huge crowds on their outdoor rounds during the competition and also created a great atmosphere on the road. But there are concerns, too, on the island. The club has a club legend who makes an urgent plea to its fans: “Behave yourself,” says Graeme Souness.

“This is a message for everyone who goes to Seville,” said Souness, who has worked with Glasgow Rangers as coach and player and won five league titles and five League Cups with the club. “Go there, enjoy it, and have a great time. Our team did a very good job to get there. Looking at the journey we’ve come in the last 10 years to be in a real European final now, it’s a fantastic achievement,” however, the 58th Scotland international says Once, “It’s your turn now. You have to go out there and act. Have a party, but act! You’re going there as ambassadors for this wonderful football club. Act, otherwise we’ll all have headlines that can hurt us for a long time.”

Background The appeal of their fans is less in the club’s present, whose accessory was instrumental in the semi-final victory over much-favoured RB Leipzig, but in the past: 2008, when the Scots were in a European match for the last time when the final was over, Rangers fans caused riots, some of them It was dangerous, especially after the UEFA Cup final against Zenit St Petersburg. A Russian fan has been stabbed in Manchester’s last stadium, and the BBC has cut short its regular reporting program from Manchester.

Several Scottish fans were arrested, twelve of whom were sentenced to prison terms of between six months and three and a half years for their involvement in the riots. The judge in charge described the hours after the match as “the worst night of violence and devastation in Manchester city center since the Blitz.”

‘Very reprehensible’

The club was largely unaffected by the loss of the 2008 final in Manchester, with UEFA stating that “our disciplinary rules relate to incidents in and around the stadium” and “Rangers are of course fully cooperating with the authorities and banning all fans who are guilty of the riots”, declared Then-UEFA Secretary General David Taylor.

In 1972, the biggest victory in the club’s long history had bitter effects for the club: Rangers won the European Cup Winners’ Cup final at Camp Nou 3-2 against Dinamo Moscow, but then had to sit at the European level. After Scottish fans stormed the pitch, UEFA banned the club from all European competitions for two years. Dinamo Moscow protested the result, claiming that the players were intimidated by the fans. The title win went on, even if the UEFA Disciplinary Committee declared what had happened “extremely reprehensible”.

Axel Hellmann, chief executive of this year’s rival Eintracht Frankfurt, expects “a rush this city has never seen before” in light of the two very excited scenes of Seville fans. As Hellmann explained to Frankfurter Rundschau, 50,000 fans are expected for Frankfurt – and “a conservative estimate” of 70,000 to 80,000 Glasgow fans. “They hijacked all the ferries from North Africa,” Hellman praised the ingenuity of the Scots and recalled a Manchester night in 2008: “At that time there were 200,000 Scots in Manchester, sleeping under bridges and on park benches.”

The Glasgow Rangers board of directors also has a formative memory of 2008. Chief Executive Stephen Robertson recently said: “We’re going to a beautiful city, Seville, go and enjoy the city, but let’s do it the right way.” “To all the fans, whether they hold tickets or not, go and enjoy, go and enjoy this opportunity. I remember thinking in 2008, would I see Rangers in a European final again?”

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