Martin Bain has complained that Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) did not “work with the club.”
The manager elect Ally McCoist says that anything that will “solve the problem” is good enough for him.http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/13218273.stm
Essentially what has happened is that two sets of rules have been in play for Rangers and the club’s supporter’s one domestic and the other European.
In Scotland Rangers are the biggest most powerful club in the country.
They do not have, anymore, the biggest stadium or the most season ticket holders, but they have a cultural power in the land that is peerless. Even as they stumble on the precipice of insolvency they remain “in the brick” of the Scottish soccer establishment.
In Europe Rangers do not have that sway over UEFA. In Scotland they have a convivial relationship with organisations that are tasked to eradicate discriminatory attitudes from Scottish soccer.
In Europe, of course, Rangers come within the remit of FARE.
The comparison is stark. In Scotland their fans behave with relative impunity. The Club itself is interwoven with the establishment that runs the game in Scotland.
There is no conspiracy it is merely culture. It is unspoken and unacknowledged, it just is.
Hence the kneejerk reaction in sections of the media that someone else must be to blame a point not lost on the Scotsman’s Tom English.
In Europe their fans have to behave just like all other fans and in Nyon there is no special dispensation.
However Martin Bain has a point for this problem to be fixed there will need to be outside help.
Like the Northern Peace Process there needs to be the intervention of people not reared in the local culture.
If Rangers were serious about “working with FARE” then they could be challenged on the absence of Irish citizens and Republic of Ireland internationals in their first team squad and that impact on the on-going Anti Irish Racism among a section of the Ibrox faithful.
Martin Bain lamented that FARE did not “work with” with the club.
Here from 2009 is a piece of mine with a quote from Piara Powar then head of the Kick It Out organisation.
KIO is part of the FARE network.
Two years ago Powar thought it really important that the Ibrox club should clarify its employment policy apropos Republic of Ireland players.
The causal connection between a group of football fans who manifest a specific racism supporting a team that doesn’t have any players from the target group is not difficult to make.
As black players came to be ubiquitous in the English professional game so did the incidence of racist chanting in soccer stadia decline in that country.
As with most football teams that club’s supporters are only really concerned with their first team.
Last year the Ibrox club signed youngster Alan Smith from Crumlin United in Dublin.
How long before there is a Republic of Ireland full international in the first team?
Maybe if FARE had a chance of working with Rangers this is something they might want to address.
Hatred of the Irish Catholics is at the core of the Rangers sickness and while that is apparently tolerated in Scotland by soccer officialdom in Europe the hatred is seen for what it is.
Ally McCoist will undoubtedly be in the transfer market for players this summer. I wonder if there will be any suitable targets for the McCoist Rangers squad that are Republic of Ireland internationalists. If they are then not only will be they be good footballers, but their nationality in the first team squad would start to eat away at the anti-Irish pathogens in the Ibrox psyche. The anti-Irish chants from the Rangers support would make no sense if some of their heroes on the pitch turned out for the Republic.
A UEFA contact has assured me that from now on all match delegates attending European matches involving Rangers will be “specifically briefed”.
So now for the next three years in Europe their recidivist fans have to behave.
The poor dears.