FORMER England footballer turned pundit Stan Collymore has begun a campaign for a Rangers boycott if fans do not stop singing sectarian songs.


He went on an online tirade after more than 2,500 signed a petition calling for his sacking after he linked the club to racist groups such as the National Front and Combat 18.

The row began after he commented on a racist incident in Paris where a black man was pushed off a train by a group of what appeared to be Chelsea supporters travelling to the Parc des Princes stadium for Champions League match against Paris St Germain which ended in a 1-1 draw.

He tweeted: " As I said a couple of weeks ago, Rangers and Chelsea, aka 'The Blues Brothers', made for each other. Quelle surprise.#NF #BNP #C18."

A petition has since been signed by over 2,500 people calling for the BT Sport football analyst to be ditched.

It says: "Slurring Rangers and Chelsea like this as right-wing extremists is below the belt and unacceptable."

But Collymore, also a regular Talksport pundit, hit back by launching an online protest petition and saying sponsors and TV schedulers should boycott Rangers matches as long as supporters continue to sing sectarian songs.

Rangers fans lambasted him on Twitter, saying it was unfair to single out the club.

He then posted footage taken at Hampden of fans singing the sectarian Billy Boys loyalist song which contains the reference "up to our knees in fenian blood".

He tweeted: "Rangers fans, keep up the slurs. I'm exercising my British rights of speech within the law. That my Grandfather fought for."

He told his 693,000 Twitter followers: " 'We're up to our knees in Fenian blood'. Grand hypocrisy and not a 'small minority'. Tell sponsors and TV.

"We can all play the petition game. Please sign my petition asking all sponsors and broadcasters to boycott #RFC games as 'Up to our knees in Fenian Blood' isn't acceptable.

"Rangers fans fiercely support traditional British values of freedom of speech. Until it's their hypocrisy exposed."

Collymore's petition, posted under the assumed name 'John Smith' and signed by over 3,300 by yesterday evening states: "All good people. Boycott sponsors. Sectarian chanting is illegal. Demeaning."

Police said a small minority of the 50,000 fans who saw Celtic's 2-0 win over Rangers in the League Cup semi final match at Hampden on February 1"spoiled" the occasion by singing sectarian songs and setting off flares.

There were also complaints made about a banner displayed at the Celtic end which stated: "At the going down of the hun, and in the morning, we will remember them." Another banner stated: "The monkeys died"

Later, Collymore turned his ire on BT Sport after he was dropped from their line-up for Friday night's Raith Rovers v Rangers Championship clash in the wake of the row.

The former England star  tweeted: "Just had a call from @btsportfootball. I'm taken off tomorrow's show.

He added: "All @btsportfootball have done tonight is empower right wing mob rule. Nothing else.

"Keep your mouth shut, be bland, boring and don't challenge the masons!  The golden rule of British broadcasting.

"Censorship & fascism alive and well in 2015 Britain."

Earlier this week the SPFL said it would take no action over the singing of offensive songs and the display of a banner at the League Cup semi-final between Rangers and Celtic.

The match at Hampden saw 12 arrests for sectarian offences.

In 2001, it was claimed Collymore's dream of joining Celtic failed because he admitted he supported rivals Rangers since he was a teenager, when he used to make regular trips to Ibrox from Birmingham.

A BT Sport spokesman said: "BT Sport does not agree with any form of racism and believes that it should not be tolerated in Sport. It is a subject which should be tackled and discussed in the correct manner.

"We did not agree with the nature of the debate on twitter, and which BT Sport was brought into without prior agreement. BT Sport will raise and discuss the issue within its programming when relevant and in an appropriate manner."

The Rangers Supporters Trust dismissed Collymore's claims and branded him a "self-publicist".

They said  that "if Mr Collymore was interested in sectarianism then he would deal with the subject evenly".

 "Rangers have done significantly more than most other clubs, including Mr Collymore's Celtic, to deal with issues around fans' behaviour over the years and we are sure that will continue."

They claimed that Collymore would only "exacerbate any genuine issues with ill advised, inaccurate and inane interventions".

They added: "If this is the type of man that BT Sport wish to associate themselves with then not only Rangers fans, but fans of all clubs, have the option of voting with their subscriptions."

At 11am a sack  Stan Collymore petition had gathered 8347 supporters.

Collymore's boycott  Rangers petition was backed by 7680.??