Rangers accused of 'alienating' fans over Celtic Australia trip as Club 1872 demand explanation

Rangers have been accused of “alienating” fans by prominent supporters group Club 1872 after agreeing to take part in a challenge match against Celtic in Australia in November.

The Ibrox side have accepted an invite to play in the inaugural Sydney Super Cup, a four-team tournament staged Down Under featuring their Glasgow rivals as well as A-League sides Western Sydney Wanderers and Syndey FC.

Taking place during the domestic break for the World Cup in Qatar, it will be the first time an Old Firm match has been staged overseas with organisers hoping for a near sell-out crowd at the 83,500 Accord Arena.

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There has been a significant backlash from Rangers fans to the announcement, which has been labelled as an Ange Postecoglou homecoming in Australia, with some Celtic supporters also unhappy with the move.

Rangers have been accused of 'alienating' fans by agreeing to play Celtic in Australia by supporters group Club 1872. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
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Rangers commercial and marketing director James Bisgrove has insisted the controversial trip will create “sizeable commercial benefits” for the club, but Club 1872 have written to managing director Stewart Robertson demanding an explanation.

A spokesperson for the group, which is the club’s sixth largest shareholder, said: “We can confirm that Club 1872 has written to Stewart Roberson today to seek an explanation for this decision by the Executive and PLC Boards of Rangers Football Club.

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“Regardless of the fee involved, alienating a significant portion of your supporter base cannot be seen as a sound commercial decision.

"Furthermore, the way in which this entire episode has been communicated to supporters once again highlights a lack of genuine supporter engagement, which has been replaced in the last two years by saturated marketing activity.

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"Supporters remain, by far, the largest contributors to Rangers’ financial health and the Rangers Executives and PLC board would do well to remember that.”

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