Tory MSP slams SNP over blocking of Rangers' plans for fan zone

A Conservative MSP has criticised local and national SNP politicians after it was claimed their interventions had halted plans for a '˜fan zone' outside Rangers' Ibrox stadium on match days.

The fan zone would be outside Ibrox. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire
The fan zone would be outside Ibrox. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire

Glasgow MSP Adam Tomkins has written to Joe Fitzpatrick, Minister for Public Health and Sport, regarding the issue after a statement from fan organisation Club 1872 accused the SNP administration at Glasgow City Council of halting their plans for the fan zone on Edminston Drive.

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It was believed that the plans would have involved Rangers fans gathering before matches for events involving live music, food and drink.

The Club 1872 statement said that the plans made in conjunction with Rangers were abandoned after the intervention of council leader Susan Aitken and two other SNP councillors.

Mr Tomkins’ letter said: “As I’m sure you can agree, football clubs across Scotland should be encouraged to explore options with local decision-makers to make the match day experience ever better for fans — and this process should always be a level playing field.

“I would therefore strongly urge you to engage with your SNP colleagues on Glasgow City Council to ensure that due process has been followed in this instance and that the outcome was neither partisan nor one-sided.”

The Conservative also accused the councillors of hypocrisy after they were quoted as supporting a fan zone scheme at Hampden.

He wrote: “Councillor Aitken has since indicated on the record that a licence could be granted for fan zones around Hampden. Decisions such as these must rightly be taken at a local level, but it is imperative that due process is followed.

“In this particular situation questions have been raised as to whether this was the case, with concerns that Glasgow City Council’s SNP administration is treating Rangers FC and its fans differently from how it proposes to treat Hampden Park.”

A council spokesperson said earlier that the objection to the plans was based on the club using local community-owned football pitches for the fan zone.