FORMER Rangers defender Richard Gough has hit out at the decision taken by the Ibrox club to boycott their Scottish CUp match with Dundee United in February.
Gough – who played more than 300 games for Rangers between 1987 and 1997 and was a central figure in their nine-in-a-row title success – said he was “disappointed” at the decision and urged the Ibrox club to look forward rather than risk re-opening old disputes.
Gough, who also spent six successful years at Tannadice, added: “I’m of the opinion that we should just get on with it.
The former Scotland captain, who left Tannadice for Tottenham before arriving at Ibrox, said: “Enough of the bitterness and hatred between teams and the ‘they did this and they did that’. We are where we are. We’re in the Third Division, let’s move on.”
However, Gough believes that the latest course of action will only make their task harder at Tannadice.
“If Rangers could win the Scottish Cup this season it would be a great achievement but it’s going to be very difficult going up to Dundee United with no supporters at all,” he told BBC Radio Scotland. “If supporters want to support their team, they should have the right. I don’t think the head of the club should come out and say we’re not taking tickets.”
Charles Green confirmed on Tuesday that the Ibrox side would not be taking their allocation of tickets for the match.
A statement referred to dismay ‘at the actions of certain SPL clubs, which were actively engaged in trying to harm Rangers when we were in a perilous situation and we are acutely aware of their attitude to us.”
Fans had earlier this week been urged by the Rangers Supporters’ Assembly to boycott the fifth round tie in protest at Dundee United’s opposition to the Ibrox club’s application to join the Scottish Premier League.
United chairman Stephen Thompson, who recently resigned his position on the SPL board, had been subject to particular criticism from some sections of the Rangers support as a result of his attitude towards the club’s application in the summer.
Thompson had also refused to refund Rangers fans when a match at Tannadice between the two teams in November 2009 was abandoned due to adverse weather conditions.
The statement confirmed that the refusal to take up the ticket allocation had been a ‘unanimous decision by the board, senior management and staff at Ibrox’ whilst pointing out that not every club who opposed the SPL application fall into the same category, pointing out that ‘we made Motherwell very welcome when we played them at Ibrox in the League Cup competition recently’.
Green added: “Feelings remain very raw and it should be no surprise that we as a club feel this way.
“It is unsurprising too that there has been a reaction from our supporters to this particular fixture.
“The last thing we want to do is to compromise security arrangements for any match. I therefore appeal to all fans not to travel to this match and to Dundee United not to sell tickets to Rangers supporters.
“Our only regret is that this turn of events will not assist Ally McCoist and the team in what will be a very difficult fixture.
“We should make clear that the Club, the manager and the players all look forward to a situation where Rangers fans attend every match to support the team. The fans are our greatest asset.”
Revenue generated by Scottish Cup ties is split evenly between clubs, but the statement from the Rangers chief executive made no mention of whether the Ibrox side would expect their percentage of the profits.
Dundee United’s board are due to meet on Wednesday to discuss their response to the boycott.
The tie scheduled for February 2, 2013.