"Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us.
We will never hide from it. Never fear."
- William Struth

Should sheep be shepherded or policed?

Written by: John McCrae
Tuesday, 27th September 2016

It is with no surprise that I read of Rangers fans being arrested during and after the weekend defeat at Pittodrie. I am told by one travelling Rangers supporter that police standing guard over the travelling support stood open mouthed as their colleagues lifted Rangers fans without cause.

Another tells of one zealous policeman shoving a Rangers fan around and treating him 'like scum'. Yet another says that he was pushed and then 'skelped one' simply for trying to move away from the area where some fans were being baited by Scotland's finest. One Rangers fan had the hood on his jacket pulled up, his arms outstretched and held by two policemen, while a fourth had the fan's neck in a stranglehold.

Coins were thrown at Rangers fans, while Aberdeen stewards stood and watched.

Most damning, I feel, is this, from another travelling supporter: '100% targeted while Aberdeen supporters were given free rein to provoke. Even the police that go with Rangers said it was a joke.'

One man told me 'You can only poke a dog with a stick so many times until it bites back.'

Thankfully, some Rangers fans had the foresight to get their phones out and film some incidents.

Whatever happened was certainly not helped by television and radio pre match coverage concentrating on the history of the bad blood between fans of the two clubs. Why, even the Joey Barton fiasco was put to one side. What stuck in my throat was the BBC, who have a long history of hatred toward Rangers, holding vox pop interviews with Aberdeen fans but not Rangers fans. One sided journalism yet again. The gist of these 'interviews' was that everything said or done to or about the Ibrox club was fair game. One woman in a red scarf stated it was all just 'football banter'.

Really? Mocking the death of 66 men, a woman and children?

Repeating ad nauseum the lie that the Ibrox club 'died' in 2012? I can't think of one instance, in all my years of watching football any fan of any club slagging Celtic for the Pacific Shelf scenario or Motherwell for going into administration twice in recent years or Airdrie for buying the ghost of Clydebank, simply to survive.

There exists video footage of a seat being thrown into the Aberdeen crowd. What has not been said is that the immediate area where the seat flew through the air was totally inhabited by Aberdeen fans. The on-line footage clearly shows it coming from further up among the Aberdeen crowd. Or '¦ perhaps there was a solitary angry Rangers fan in there, who tore the seat from where it was bolted into concrete, lifted it and threw it. If such a fan existed, might I ask why no Aberdeen fan tried to prevent this happening or why, afterwards, they didn't hand out some street justice or even hold him until the police or stewards got to him?

Of course, not all Rangers fans are angels. But there is not one club in the land whose fans are 100% clean. Anyone who thinks Rangers fans are arrested more might work out it is that there are more of them to arrest. It is because they travel in greater numbers than fans of Ross County, Raith or Brechin, for example and, as we saw on Sunday, are targeted on the way to a game, on the way in to a ground, during the game and leaving the ground and making their way home.

The official attendance for the game was 19,263. Previous games 'attracted' 13,559 (Hearts), 11,049 (Partick) and 11,356 (ICT) in the league, 8,829 (St Johnstone) in the League Cup and 12,570 (Fola Esch), 10,672 (Ventspils) and 17,105 (Maribor) in European competition. Aberdeen's average home attendance this year is 13,050. Their ground holds 20,866. Despite the glamour of European ties, it seems to me that, even this early in the season, there is only one show in town.

I have a simple remedy. I say again that no Rangers fan should give the blue pound to any SPFL club, remember, they all tried to put us out of business, given that Milne, along with Lawwell, Petrie and Thompson were the ringleaders in the attempt to execute us before the trial, we should simply deny them our money. Don't give me the line about the team need our support. It is more important that we stop funding clubs that hate us.

Given that we took around 1,800 to a game where we were charged £25, we could have, by boycotting them, denied them £45,000 gate money plus whatever we spent on programmes and pies (presumably mutton). Add to that any money spent in shops, chippies, pubs and hotels which, is stopped, might even have local businesses hurting and complaining to the local Chamber of Commerce, who might take it to the Council, who might take it to the football club.

Meantime, until we next have to travel there, I trust the police will spend time studying footage of both sets of fans and go lift some sheep fans. It won't happen, I know. After all, how many Hibernian fans, out of the maybe 8,000 '“ 10,000 that invaded the park have been arrested and taken to court by comparison to the couple of hundred Rangers fans that had had enough of the taunts and seeing their players and management team being assaulted?

One Scotland, one Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill yet two sets of rules for football fans whenever Rangers play.

Don't shepherd the sheep, police them!


by Admin
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