RANGERS have announced that they will re-instate the playing of Tina Turner song Simply The Best over the public address system as part of their pre-match entertainment.
The song was withdrawn from the Ibrox playlist earlier this year because supporters had corrupted the words to incorporate several repeatings of the line: "F*** the Pope and the IRA." The unmistakeable sound of thousands of fans belting out sectarian lyrics had apparently embarrassed the Ibrox club, despite the practice having taken place for several years. It was dropped after the club had discussions with police, supporters organisations and individual fans.
At the club’s annual general meeting earlier this week, a shareholder wanted to know why the club was no longer playing the popular song, which he believed helped to inspire the players. Dick Advocaat, the director of football, agreed that the song was missed by himself and the players, and added that the song is still played on the team bus.
The song, which is played as the team takes the field, will return for tomorrow’s home game against Dundee United and will be played on a trial basis. Club officials have warned that they will take further action if the song is once again "corrupted" by any fans.
Rangers commercial director Martin Bain said: "Simply The Best is a recognised club anthem.
"However, as we have previously stated, there is no place for sectarianism at Rangers Football Club.
"I would urge all fans to respect the song and not corrupt its words."
At the agm, Advocaat expressed regret that the players had lost "a lot of glucose and zest" since dropping the song from the pre-match ritual at Ibrox.
"It certainly got my adrenalin pumping and I think the players miss it," said the former manager.
"We still play it on the team bus but, for some reason, we are not allowed to do it at the ground."
Ironically, the song makes its triumphant return as Rangers trail reigning champions Celtic by 13 points in the Scottish Premier League.
Ms Turner was unavailable for comment last night.