FOR some Rangers supporters, you have to wonder what it will take to dispense with the old songbook that continues to bring shame upon the club they profess to love.

When Rangers themselves plead for them to stop, it isn’t enough. When their manager says it harms Rangers’ reputation and pleads for them to stop, it isn’t enough. Will UEFA’s closing of a section of Ibrox be enough? Time will tell, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

The truth is that the sanction passed down by UEFA to Rangers this afternoon was a long time coming, and – it could reasonably be argued – reflects almost as poorly on the Scottish game’s governing bodies as it does on the section of the Rangers support who continue to indulge in this sort of stuff.

And the sad fact is that as long as the status quo remains in place, nothing will change. The passing of the buck has already begun. The SFA (who we have contacted) won’t comment publicly, but will no doubt highlight their past attempts to introduce strict liability which were stymied by the SPFL. The SPFL, in turn, will highlight that they are merely representing the clubs, and it was the clubs who voted that idea down. And the needle returns to the start of the song.

If this intervention by an outside body is what it takes to make us all confront the ugly truth about sectarianism within the Scottish game, then as unfortunate as it is for the 3000 fans who will now miss out on seeing their team, it may be a small price to pay for the greater wellbeing of Scottish football and indeed, society, in the future.

Whether you think that these songs are harmless or that only ‘snowflakes’ would find words offensive is wholly irrelevant, they are outside of the rules in European competition, and so the club and its supporters now pay the price.

The rules state that the following is forbidden; “the use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly messages that are of a political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature.”

If your immediate reaction to being found guilty of conduct within those parameters is to immediately think of how they apply to your rival supporters on the other side of the city, then you are part of the problem. Even if that is also the case, now is the time for clubs to get their own houses in order before casting aspersions elsewhere.

It has to be hoped that this punishment is the start of something constructive in that direction, and that a hugely negative stain on Rangers’ reputation can be turned into a positive shift in the mentality of their fans going forward.

Rangers, it should be said to their credit, recently launched their ‘Everyone, Anyone’ campaign in an attempt to promote inclusivity, but it has clearly fallen on deaf ears. Unfortunately for them, the singing from their fans has not.

Their statement in response to the news today was also refreshingly scathing of their conduct.

“We hope that the guilty parties, who attracted the attention of UEFA might reflect on the damage their unacceptable behaviour is causing Rangers and their fellow supporters,” it read.

“If any individual supporter is unable to behave in a civilised manner then please stay away from Ibrox and our Club. You are harming Rangers and that is something a genuine supporter would never wish to do.”

So, a line in the sand has been drawn. You are with Rangers on this, or you are hurting Rangers.

Perhaps the club should now produce a definitive list of songs that are forbidden within Ibrox and on their travels (an updated version of the Wee Blue Book?) and make it clear that they will severely punish any fans who are caught singing them from this day forward to avoid Rangers, or fellow supporters, from having to pay for their actions.

Northern Ireland have had success with a similar initiative, and Windsor Park has become a much more inclusive place to watch football as a result.

No more pandering, no more inaction, and no more excuses.