Steven Gerrard pens heartfelt letter to Rangers fans as he begs Ibrox faithful to stay at home

Steven Gerrard has written an open letter to Rangers fans, begging them to adhere to coronavirus restrictions when the Ibrox side travels to Celtic Park next weekend.

Steven Gerrard has written an open letter to Rangers fans urging them to stay at home next weekend

Both Old Firm clubs were involved in a multi-agency meeting during the week to thrash out the planning for next weekend’s clash in the wake of Scottish Government warnings that the game could be cancelled if there was a risk of scenes similar to those in Glasgow as Rangers fans celebrated the club’s Scottish Premiership title win.

The club hit back after Deputy First Minister John Swinney all but accused them of being complicit in the mass gatherings that took place to celebrate the league win.

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Gerrard has pleaded with Rangers fans to stay home – so they can be back in Ibrox in their thousands sooner rather than later.

In the letter, the Ibrox boss thanks supporters for their backing since he took the reins in May 2018 but stresses the importance of following the rules.

The letter reads: “Dear Rangers supporter,

“Firstly, I want to place on record my thanks for everything you have done for me, my management team and my players since I arrived in Glasgow in May of 2018.

“Last week was a huge milestone for Rangers but make no mistake about it – this journey is far from over. We are only just beginning.

“This is another huge week for Rangers Football Club.

“The last year for every single one of us across the world has been different. We have never experienced a year like this in any of our lifetimes so far, and we hope this is now nearly over. We must always remember, however, how many lives Covid-19 has taken, and we must remember the family and the friends which have gone because of this terrible disease.

“That cannot ever be forgotten.

“It is a great privilege to be the manager of this great football club, and with that comes great responsibility. I believe we must take collective responsibility to ensure we uphold the good name of this 150-year institution which represents far, far more than 11 players on the pitch.

“With that in mind, we must remember who we represent, we must remember who we are, and we must remember what this club stands for.

“Right here and right now, in all honesty, do I want 50,000 fans inside Ibrox?

“100 per cent yes.

“The players would want nothing more than to hear the fans sing and support us in the ground and hear you behind every pass, every tackle, and to lose themselves in utter euphoria when the ball hits the net.

“Sadly, however, right here and right now, you can’t be there with us. You can’t follow us to Parkhead as Champions – and the first time we can say we are Champions in a decade.

“That hurts me, it hurts my management team and it hurts my players.

“Make no doubt about it, we want you there with us, but sadly, right now, you can’t be. The best place you can support my players and I this Sunday is from the comfort of your own home. We know you are with us here in spirit and we know how much last weekend meant to you when we secured the title.

“We know all of you enjoyed it, but we must stay safe, and stay at home.

“Every time we get knocked back, we stand up and we get going again. You have been with us on that journey, the entirety of the way through and we will never forget that.

“Over the last 10 years, you have followed us near and far and we have always heard you roaring from the stands at Ibrox Park.

“You have followed us and cheered us, you have won with us, you have lost with us. You trusted us, and more than anything, you believed in us.

“And we believe in you as we are Rangers and we are Champions.

“Stay safe. Stay at home. Support the NHS.

“Support Rangers Football Club.

“STEVEN GERRARD, Manager, Rangers Football Club.”

Celtic have erected fencing in a bid to discourage supporters from either side gathering at Celtic Park, and the club issued a statement confirming that security measures around the stadium had been beefed up to help ensure the fixture between the rivals can proceed as planned.

A club statement read: “The club has been clear in our messaging to supporters of the importance of staying at home in line with guidance throughout the pandemic.

"We have communicated regularly around our fixtures and supporters have worked with the club responsibly.”

“We will re-emphasise that message and we are sure our supporters will work with the club while restrictions remain in place.”

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