'The club have actively facilitated the targeting of our group and support' - Rangers fan group hit at club over Uefa punishment

Rangers fans group Union Bears have hit at the club over its lack of support.

Union Bears have hit out at the club. Picture: SNS
Union Bears have hit out at the club. Picture: SNS

It follows the punishment ordered by Uefa for the Ibrox officials to shut 3,000 seats for the Europa League qualifying tie with Legia Warsaw on Thursday.

The governing body deemed singing from Rangers fans in the earlier qualifying match with St Joseph's this summer to be racist and sectarian.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

The club have decided to close the Broomloan Front 1 and part of the club deck at Ibrox. The former section is where fan group Union Bears, who provide the ground with atmosphere and banners, are based.

The group issued a statement damning the club for "chasing appeasement from two dubious organisations in UEFA and FARE".

It read in full: "Following on from UEFA's decision to disproportionately punish Rangers as a result of a supposedly sectarian and racist term, and the subsequent decision by Rangers to scapegoat the Union Bears and those within BF1 for this, we would like to clarify our position.

"The Union Bears as a group are completely aware of our unique position as being the voice of Ibrox Stadium, and the responsibilities that come with that.

"We have always liaised with the club in a positive manner, and at no time has the group ever been taken to task for the nature of the signing within BF1, nor the content of our material.

"Chasing appeasement from two dubious organisations in UEFA and FARE, it ultimately appears that the club are happy to relinquish all responsibility to the Union Bears, to tarnish our name within the support.

"Since the formation of the group in 2007 there has been no section of the support more active in introducing new Rangers chants, specifically about our great club, which will continue.

"This brings us to the incredible decision of Rangers to ban only supporters in BF1 from Ibrox on Thursday night, whilst relocating all other supporters in the Broomloan Front.

"The supporters were notified this week in two hugely contrasting emails. One of which apologised for the inconvenience and asked for co-operation on this matter, whereas the other, which was reserved strictly for supporters in BF1, was abrupt and unceremonious.

"This action itself, however small it may be, displays the basic level of contempt shown to not only members of our group but other supporters within BF1.

"The club have been only too happy to use our displays for marketing purposes, whilst the current board and fan groups relied heavily on our banners and actions at Ibrox to help wrestle back control of the club.

"However, to avoid confrontation the group became an easy sacrifice.

"The club have actively facilitated the targeting of our group and support as a whole, whilst offering no form of defence.

"We find this wholly disappointing given the loyalty shown by our support in recent years.

"Whilst the club are solely dependent of [sic] our supporter's [sic] loyalty, they seem content in adverse judgement of our fans and are reluctant to unite against our critics.

"We are grateful for the support shown to us thus far, we anticipate however that this will not be the last attack on the group, and those within BF1.

"As has been the norm in recent years The Union Bears will not shy away from these attack's [sic] and continue to grow to support Rangers in a positive manner."