Tuesday 24 October 2017

'You've let the club down' - Rangers boss Ally McCoist tells fans after unsavoury chanting

Rangers Manager Ally McCoist
Rangers Manager Ally McCoist

Lisa Gray

RANGERS manager Ally McCoist has told fans who indulged in inappropriate chanting at today's game at Berwick they have let the club and themselves down.

Unsavoury songs were heard from a section of the travelling support during the Irn-Bru Third Division clash at Shielfield Park.

Rangers responded during the match, which was broadcast live on ESPN, by releasing a statement condemning the actions of some supporters.

And, speaking after his side's 3-1 win, McCoist said he hoped the incident was a one-off, with the club having worked hard in the past to eradicate sectarian chanting at their games.

"Our fans have been fantastic home and away this season," said the manager.

"I came off the park to be told the club have issued a statement. I back the club's statement 100%.

"If there was some unsavoury chanting, they've probably let themselves down - and they've let us all down a little bit.

"I would be very hopeful it's an isolated incident and we can move on."

Fans have largely been well behaved this season, after Rangers were demoted to the bottom tier of Scottish football.

McCoist added: "I think we've all come a long way in recent years. There's no doubt about that.

"We have to continue the good work that's been done before.

"You will get one or two setbacks, steps back to move forward again, but I'm hopeful it's no more than that."

It is understood the Ibrox club will assist any police inquiry into criminal acts and the club will ban those responsible from all Rangers matches.

A Rangers spokesman said: "The club is disappointed by certain outbursts of inappropriate singing by a section of the support at Berwick.

"Our fans have been excellent this season both home and away and we do not want to see this tarnished."

Superintendent Tim Smith, of Northumbria Police, said: "By and large, the fans were very well behaved, but there was a short outburst involving some sectarian chanting towards the start of the game.

"At the beginning of the game, we identified that some chanting had taken place and we have taken video evidence of that to do follow-up inquiries.

"In addition, two people have been arrested for that offence and are in custody.

"We have video evidence that will be investigated by officers from the FOCUS (Football Co-ordination Unit for Scotland) team from Strathclyde Police."

Berwick opened the scoring after just four minutes through an Anestis Argyriou own-goal, before Dean Shiels levelled from the penalty spot after being felled in the box.

Andy Little then handed Rangers the lead with a superb volley and Sebastien Faure opened his account for the club.

On Little's strike, McCoist said: "It was a brilliant goal, one of the best I've seen this season.

"The volley was sensational, it really was a top goal and it came at a great time for us.

"I thought the penalty decision, from where I was standing, was correct.

"Shiels used a lot of his experience to lull the tackle in.

"I've not seen it again on television but I must admit I looked for a penalty as soon as the tackle went in.

"It was a strong, disciplined performance without being great. We effectively got what we wanted.

"It was a good, solid performance without being eye-catching."

Berwick boss Ian Little said: "I thought it was a soft penalty and I thought we had a wee sniff of a penalty ourselves so that was disappointing.

"At 1-1, we were doing well and then the boy Little puts the ball in the net and it's a wonderful strike.

"It's one of those where sometimes you have to put your hands up - you can't do much about it."

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport