World champion Carl Frampton in Twitter storm following his praise for Glasgow Rangers
Published 08/04/2016 | 09:24
World boxing champion Carl Frampton and former Manchester United star Keith Gillespie have come under fire on social media for praising Rangers FC after the club's return to top flight football in Scotland.
The team sealed their spot with a win over Dumbarton at Ibrox on Tuesday following four years in the lower divisions after being relegated for going into liquidation due to financial mismanagement.
Frampton has huge cross-community support and publicly embraces that.
But his tweet backing Rangers prompted a heated response from some on the nationalist side.
Rangers back in the Scottish top division is exactly what Scottish football needed— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) April 5, 2016
Trending in Glasgow with an equal amount of love and hate last night. Not bad for a @CrusadersFC supporter— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) April 6, 2016
Many said that following the liquidation of the Gers at the end of the 2011-12 season, the club was now a completely new entity.
The Belfast boxer's tweet that stirred up such a storm was: "Rangers back in the Scottish top division is exactly what Scottish football needed."
The tweet received a big response, being retweeted and 'liked' many times.
However, the sentiments shared varied widely.
The Glasgow club welcomed the praise, stating: "Thanks Carl - we'd love to welcome you to Ibrox sometime!" Others, however, like presumed Celtic fan Nicky Martin at @nickybhoy1888 took issue.
He posted: "They've never been in the top division mate, they're only 4 years old."
The Hoops, aka @jonr71 asked: "What you mean Back... Rangers got liquidated."
Others jumped to the boxer's defence.
Ardoyne RSC Official@ardoynerangers was one supporter: "Tweeting about Scotland's most successful club brings out the obsessed, mate. Some are sad and pathetic. We're back!"
Alan@alanfalconer7 stated: "All the haters calm down, the man is stating a fact that is good for Scottish football! The return of the Gers!!"
Carl came back later, recognising he'd stirred up a Twitter storm.
"Trending in Glasgow with an equal amount of love and hate last night.
"Not bad for a @CrusadersFC supporter."
Carl, who is used to taking it on the chin, showed typical good humour with another tweet: "Cool your jets lads.
"The old firm is one of the biggest rivalries in world football! Surely this just makes Scottish football exciting again."
Meanwhile, ex-footballer Gillespie tweeted on Tuesday: "Congrats to @RangersFC.
"Back where they belong and what the SPL needs."
But he didn't escape the wrath of the detractors either.
Blair Aquinas @BillingsgateBob tweeted: "You back on the cough syrup Keith?".
And rabbit slippers @hoopydays07 said: "Sorry Keith but the spfl doesn't need the vile bigots that come with this new club."
There was a more measured response from lennox @paddy19678 who tweeted: "As long as new club play by rules, pay their bills, fair enough."
Linfield FC also added words of praise.
"Congratulations to our friends at @RangersFC on gaining promotion back to the SPL.
"We look forward to renewing our association in the future."
Rangers FC went on to issue a thank you to those who saw things through Frampton's and Gillespie's eyes.
"So many thoughtful messages from other teams, famous fans & players.
"Thank you very much, it means a lot.
"Have we missed any #RangersFamily?"