Rangers fans plan protest against ‘biased BBC Scotland reporting’

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A Rangers supporters group has urged fellow Light Blues fans to come together for a protest against BBC Scotland next month.

The Vanguard Bears have issued a poster, calling on Gers supporters to “unite as one in protest at the prejudiced and biased reporting” by the broadcaster.

Rangers and BBC Scotland have been at loggerheads since senior football reporter Chris McLaughlin had his press privileges withdrawn by the Ibrox club in late 2015.

Last week, Managing Director Stewart Robertson appeared to suggest that incidents involving Rangers players were highlighted more than others on Sportscene, claiming the coverage was influencing decisions made by the Scottish FA’s compliance officer Clare Whyte.

Robertson added: “We understand incidents are highlighted from all sorts of sources. The correlation with Sportscene is obviously very high.

“We, as a club, have our own issues with the BBC Scotland. BBC have refused to attend Ibrox since November 2015 - and the dispute has gone on much longer than that.”

A general view of Rangers fans at the recent Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Hamilton. Picture: SNS Group

A general view of Rangers fans at the recent Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Hamilton. Picture: SNS Group

The BBC hit back at Robertson, insisting: “The central part of this dispute is that Rangers are continuing to operate an exceptional ban of one of our journalists.

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“We have offered to return to Ibrox to provide commentary, as per our contracted rights, while we try to find a permanent solution to the overall dispute, but Rangers have said this is unacceptable.

“Our coverage, including analysis and comment, is editorially fair.”

Ibrox PR chief Jim Traynor also waded into the row, suggesting the BBC were guilty of “mock indignation” over the dispute.

And now the Vanguard Bears have called for a new protest, publishing a poster on social media.

The poster reads: “We invite all Rangers supporters to unite as one in protest at the prejudiced and biased reporting by BBC Scotland.

“Our club is being victimised by this publicly-funded body and its imbalanced reporting must end.”

The group calls on supporters to meet at BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay base to “demonstrate your displeasure at the unfair treatment and continued attacks on the club we all love”.

Accompanied by a photo of a blindfolded McLaughlin, the poster advises that the demonstration will take place ahead of Rangers’ home clash with Kilmarnock on March 16.