Bad memories from 2008: Rangers yell at fans: “Behave yourself!”

Bad memories from 2008
Rangers yell at fans, “Behave yourself!”

In 2008, fans of the Glasgow Rangers in Manchester caused serious riots, 50 years ago a pitch attack brought the club a two-year European Cup ban. The memory is still fresh ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final.

Glasgow Rangers, 55-time Scottish champions and European Cup winners in 1972, face the biggest match in their club’s recent history: they play Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday (21.00 / live on RTL and on RTL + and in the live ticker on Europa League final in Seville. The final is a sensation, the expectation is huge in both camps, the fans from both teams moved large crowds on their away trips through the competition and also created a good atmosphere along the way. But there are also concerns on the island. The club has got a club legend appealing to its own fans: “Behave yourself,” says Graeme Souness.

“This is a message to everyone who is going to Sevilla,” said Souness, who worked for the Glasgow Rangers as a coach and player and won five league titles and five league trophies with the club. “Go there, enjoy it, have a great time. Our team did incredibly well to get there. Given the journey we’ve come in the last ten years to be in a real European final now, it’s a great one. achievement, “but, says the 58-time Scottish national team player,” now it’s your turn. You must go there and behave. Have a party, but behave! You go there as ambassadors for this great football club. Behave, otherwise we all have headlines that can hurt us for a long time. “

The background for the appeal to their own fans is less in the club’s present, whose appendix was instrumental in the semi – final triumph over the much – favored RB Leipzig, but in the past: 2008, when the Scots were in a European. for the last time When the final was over, Rangers fans created riots, some of which were serious, especially after the UEFA Cup final against Zenit St. Petersburg. Petersburg. A Russian supporter was stabbed to the last spot in Manchester, and the BBC interrupted its regular program to report from Manchester.

Several Scottish fans were arrested and twelve were eventually sentenced to between six months and three and a half years in prison for their involvement in the riots. The referee in charge described the hours after the match as “the worst night of violence and destruction that the center of Manchester has seen since the Blitzkrieg”.

“Very reprehensible”

The club was largely unaffected by the loss of the Manchester final in 2008, with UEFA pointing out that “our disciplinary rules apply to incidents in and around the stadium” and “Rangers, of course, cooperate fully with the authorities and ban all fans guilty of the riots. “announced the then UEFA Secretary-General David Taylor.

In 1972, the greatest triumph in the club’s long history had a bitter aftermath for the club: Rangers won the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Camp Nou 3-2 against Dynamo Moscow, but then had to sit out at European level. After Scottish fans stormed the pitch, UEFA excluded the club from all European tournaments for two years. Dynamo Moscow had protested against the result, claiming that the players had been intimidated by supporters. The title victory persisted, although UEFA’s Disciplinary Committee declared that what had happened was “very reprehensible”.

Axel Hellmann, CEO of this year’s opponent in the final, Eintracht Frankfurt, expects “a rush that this city has never experienced before” in light of the two extremely eager fan scenes for Sevilla. As Hellmann explained to the “Frankfurter Rundschau”, up to 50,000 Frankfurt fans are expected – and “cautiously estimated” with 70,000 to 80,000 supporters from Glasgow. “They hijacked all the ferries from North Africa,” Hellmann praised the Scots’ creativity, recalling the Manchester evening in 2008: “At that time there were 200,000 Scots in Manchester, they slept under bridges and on park benches.”

The board of Glasgow Rangers also has a formative memory from 2008. “We’re going to a beautiful city, Seville, to go and enjoy the city, but let’s do it the right way,” CEO Stephen Robertson said recently. “To all fans, whether there are tickets or not, go and have fun, go and enjoy the opportunity. I remember thinking in 2008, ‘Will I see the Rangers in a European final again?'”

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