IT was an historic season for the Ibrox club. 

But it could've been even more special, insists Rangers legend Mark Hateley. 

In the 1992/93 campaign, the Light Blues came agonisingly close to reaching the final of the Champions League. 

And club ambassador Hateley admits their semi-final heartbreak still remains a source of regret. 

The frontman missed a key portion of the club's European campaign after being sent off in the first half of a 2-1 win against Club Brugge at Ibrox.

But the red card and the events before the game left a sour taste  - a feeling Hateley still has even now.

In one of the club’s most memorable ever seasons- winning a treble - Rangers became one of the standout teams in the Champions League and, after defeating Leeds United in the ‘Battle of Britain’, fancied themselves to go all the way in the first ever group stages of the re-constructed European Cup.

However, his sending off at Ibrox versus Brugge meant Hateley was missing for Rangers’ vital away trip to face eventual group winners, and trophy winners Marseille. 

HeraldScotland: The Ibrox side's fateful clash with the French sideThe Ibrox side's fateful clash with the French side

Now, the former Ibrox hitman has revealed an unknown French agent encouraging him to miss the game - something that still plays on his mind. 

Speaking to BETDAQ, he said: "I got a call as soon as the draw was made asking me not to play in the game against Marseille from a French agent, which I thought was a wind-up.

“I’d put that French agent’s call to the back of my mind but when I got sent off for nothing after 20 minutes against Brugge at Ibrox, that was when the penny dropped.

“Straight away I thought there was something wrong with the game, with the referee… You don’t get sent off for nothing at Ibrox in front of a partisan crowd.

"It was really disappointing and the ugly side to the beautiful game of football.

"As soon as the red card came out, I said to manager Walter Smith at half-time, ‘we’ve been done by the referee here and time would bear the proof’ and it did.

"One of the standout memories of the campaign is seeing Marseille defeat CSKA like that (6-0).

“CSKA were one of the favourites in our group so to see Marseille win 6-0 was a ridiculous score. We couldn’t understand that sort of result.

“When we saw the group, we believed we could win it and go all the way to the final, we were a good team. All things being equal, we could have got to the final that year and should have.

"We were playing well, we won the treble that season, scored a load of goals. But the disappointment is we were cheated by Marseille out of that final spot.

"So it’s a bittersweet memory and one that will stick in the throat for a long, long time.”

Reflecting further on his regrets of the situation, he said: "We could have won in Marseille, which would have taken us to the final. Me and Ally McCoist were scoring for fun.

“We could have won with myself and Ally playing but I was banned for four games from the red card, which was ridiculous. That’s how big an impact the referee played on that day against Brugge.

“We pretty much went to a semi-final of the Champions League in its inaugural year, so of course there was some pride.

“But we should have been in the final, we were good enough to be in the final and we were probably good enough to beat AC Milan in the final. It’s bittersweet. A lot of good memories and bad memories. I always take great pride in us being unbeaten but it’s one of them where you think ‘if only’.”