Ibrox: Home of Rangers(credit: Leigh Copson)
Glasgow Rangers have vowed to fight a UEFA charge following allegations of sectarian singing during a recent Europa League tie.
The Scottish champions have been warned in the past about a section of supporters signing sectarian songs at matches, and UEFA has now decided to take action against the Gers following more allegations of offensive chanting during the goalless draw at PSV Eindhoven last month.
The decision has left Rangers chief executive Martin Bain “utterly dismayed”, and he insists the Ibrox Stadium outfit will fight their corner at a disciplinary hearing in May.
Bain said: “We will defend the club's position vigorously at the hearing which is scheduled for later this month.
“UEFA has already made clear in previous disciplinary hearings that sanctions against Rangers have been mitigated by the extensive work the club does to tackle sectarianism.
“A high ranking UEFA delegation also described our club as exemplars of best practice in this area and only a few weeks ago the First Minister complimented us on the efforts we make as a club.
“Our position regarding sectarian and offensive singing has been made clear time and again - we condemn it and those who indulge in it only damage the interests of the club.
“We have worked closely with our supporters groups to try to deal with this issue and believe that few other clubs make as big an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour.
“We are not saying there is not a problem but we are saying that for many years now we have made strenuous attempts to address it.
“We do, however, believe that it is absurd to think that only Rangers supporters sing offensive or sectarian songs. That is patently not the case and we are left to conclude that there is a disproportionate focus on Rangers.
“It has also become clear there are people who have been determined to undermine our club at any cost and have constantly lobbied UEFA and other organisations to take action against Rangers.”