Questions must be asked over Rangers supporter scenes in Glasgow - Scotsman comment

On the field, Rangers have been the epitome of excellence this season and they completed an unbeaten Premiership campaign with a 4-0 win over Aberdeen on Saturday.

Rangers fans celebrate winning the Scottish Premiership in George Square, Glasgow, after their match against Aberdeen. Picture: PA

Under manager Steven Gerrard, they won the title so desperately coveted to seal the club's return to the top after its descent into liquidation in 2012.

With the league trophy handed over at Ibrox after the match, there was so much to celebrate.

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Unfortunately, the contrast between the achievement of the players on the pitch and the behaviour of the fans off it could not be more stark.

While there has no doubt been mounting frustration that no supporters would be allowed into Ibrox to witness their club's crowning glory, there is no excuse for what took place on the streets of central Glasgow at the weekend.

For the celebrations to descend into violence, vandalism and sectarian singing and chanting was totally unacceptable.

Five police officers were injured with 28 arrests made and, no doubt, many more to come once CCTV footage is examined.

Then, of course, there is the Covid issue, with Glasgow facing an extended period in level three of lockdown due to rising cases.

National clinical director Jason Leitch confirmed on Sunday that existing restrictions “may well” last longer than a week due to concerns about the spread of what is believed to be the Indian variant of Covid-19 in Glasgow.

Sadly, however, the scenes involving Rangers fans were all too predictable.

Similar incidents took place after the game in March when the title was mathematically clinched.

It was known in advance the fans who gathered outside Ibrox were fully intent on marching to George Square.

Dealing with large crowds and managing the risk of disorder is clearly a highly complex and difficult matter.

However, questions must be asked of Police Scotland.

Why, for example, was the "ring of steel" thrown around George Square after, rather then before, the fans arrived?

There may be good reasons for the actions of the police, but those who witnessed the appalling scenes at the weekend are entitled to ask ‘why was this allowed to happen again?’.

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