RANGERS supporters have threatened a mass boycott of their William Hill Scottish Cup tie with Dundee United after yesterday's draw threw up a last-16 tie at Tannadice.
With the tumultuous events of the summer still fresh in the memory, a number of fans still nurse a grievance at the what they perceive to be unfair treatment by rival supporters, clubs and administrators. Stephen Thompson, United's chairman, is chief among their enemies, having refused to refund ticket money for an abandoned game in 2009 and also being vocal in his belief that the Ibrox club should not be accepted in to the Scottish Premier League after falling into administration.
A statement from the Rangers Supporters Assembly read: "Following [Monday's] Scottish Cup draw, the Rangers Supporters Assembly urges the loyal Rangers support to participate in a full boycott of the game. Dundee United were one of those clubs who voted against allowing Rangers entry to the SPL, and their chairman Stephen Thompson has repeatedly, through his actions at high powered meetings, intimated further punishment to be administered on our club.
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"The Rangers support has waited patiently for the opportunity to send a clear message to those that tried to destroy our club – starve them of their much-needed cash by boycotting this game. It must also be remembered the disregard this club had for Rangers supporters when it unashamedly refused to offer refunds to supporters for a game abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch in 2009.
"We ask the support to resist temptation of attending the game but rather give your hard-earned cash to a Rangers- friendly pub, bar or club. We also understand the desire to support the team – the fans have demonstrated this to unbelievable lengths of loyalty – but we ask that on this occasion in a one-off display of fan power we show that we have not been beaten or broken. Our unending support of the team in SFL matches and games against non-SPL opposition continues unabated."
Prominent fans' groups, The Blue Order and the Union Bears, also backed the boycott last night, urging supporters not to attend the fifth round encounter, with the latter calling on Charles Green, Rangers' chief executive, to refuse to accept any ticket allocation for the match.