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Gersnet Analysis: A Surrender or a Victory?


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Thought I�d leave it a couple of days before I commented on the joint club and supporters statement of yesterday concerning the UEFA indictment of two weeks ago.

 

Like most Rangers fans I was disappointed but not surprised when the UEFA charge was ââ?¬Ë?partially upheldââ?¬â?¢. I also believe our club should have backed our fans more and appealed the decision. I donââ?¬â?¢t want to waste anyoneââ?¬â?¢s time debating what songs are ââ?¬Ë?sectarianââ?¬â?¢ and what songs merely offend. We would be here all night. In the event of the UEFA judgement thatââ?¬â?¢s a pointless exercise and although some may be correct in their defence of the contested words and songs, essentially what UEFA says goes.

 

For that reason we all have to realise the club and the criticised supporters� groups had to choice but to make Friday�s statement. No one, least of all the likes of the RST or TBO want to see our historic anthems and heritage destroyed. But sometimes we have to accept the inevitable, regroup, and then move on.

 

ââ?¬Ë?Hullo Hulloââ?¬â?¢ or the ââ?¬Ë?Billy Boys as UEFA has described it is a rousing song. Itââ?¬â?¢s a great tune and its simplistic words never fail to arouse passion amongst the support particularly at bigger games. Unfortunately though, the lyrics (like many of our proud chants) have become bastardised. The official club version has been corrupted to, depending on your opinion, a song glorifying the victories of a notorious Glasgow gang leader or a historic regal figure, both whom fought their own very different battles against the ââ?¬Ë?feniansââ?¬â?¢ of their day.

 

Now, no one is denying Protestant heritage and legend shouldn�t have their place in connection with Rangers. Like Celtic are fiercely proud of their Catholic background we too should appreciate our roots. No one, least of all UEFA, should be able to stop people expressing themselves freely.

 

However, football matches at today�s modern stadiums are not necessarily the place for such political viewpoints. Working class sports have always been connected to public opinion but in the days of all-seated stadia and family sections do we really need to listen to chants of FTP and fenian blood? I don�t think we do.

 

No matter our opinions we have to move on. The song has been banned and ignorance or stubbornness is no longer an option. The line has been drawn and it can no longer be crossed. It�s not being melodramatic to say that if we do cross it our club will no longer be the famous and proud institution it is. Can we afford to lose it? Because, make no mistake, that�s what will happen if we choose to ignore the directive.

 

Some will argue weââ?¬â?¢re surrendering to our enemies and to an extent I sympathise with that opinion. But, sometimes it takes the bigger person to admit their ills and move forward. Unlike others, Rangers FC and our fans have never hid from our problems. Now, we have a chance to really fix them and rid ourselves of them forever. Yes, it may require a loss of initial pride but we can recover from this. Indeed Iââ?¬â?¢d suggest our position will be stronger if we can accept this ban, educate and help each other to move into what is a new era in Scottish (and if the same rules are applied evenly ââ?¬â?? World) football.

 

Our position will be stronger because we have made the first sacrifice. We will have shown our many detractors that we are capable of change. On an almost daily basis hypocritical people, with their own biased agendas attack us. That wonââ?¬â?¢t end completely ââ?¬â?? we canââ?¬â?¢t be so naive to think so. However, we will have paid our penance and they will never be allowed to forget that. Moreover, at the same time, if we can accept this judgement, the very least we should expect is a change in policy from the other clubs who are as equally guilty of sectarian, bigoted and offensive songs. Going by the UEFA charge, no club or national team is safe from similar sanction. Weââ?¬â?¢ll be watching to make sure this is not an unfair one-off.

 

We�ve already been tried twice and now the sanctions have been placed. We can move forward with a clear conscience. Can the others who sing about terrorists, stadium disasters and horrific injuries do the same? Of course not despite what their very public mouthpieces may suggest. If we do accept this ban, then other will have to come into the firing line. We�ll no longer have the problem.

 

We also have another positive. By standing by our club we will have shown just what Rangers FC really means to us. Of course our club should rightly be considered as a symbol of our past. Ibrox stadium is also a memory to our absent friends and as such we should never treat it lightly by allowing stands to be empty because of our mistakes.

 

Are we really that selfish to lose these magnificent and unrivalled symbols of our faith and history? For one song that we can still sing anywhere else we like?

 

I don�t blame anyone for being upset and disappointed by what appears to be a capitulation on our club�s part. But look a bit deeper. Examine the bigger picture. It�s not a big thing in the grand scheme of things.

 

We may have to give a bit of ground here. In fact, we have no real choice. But, if we stand together, we can come out of this stronger. Or we can squabble, fall out, ignore and deny. But that�s never been a winning strategy. It wasn�t for the Billy Boys of centuries past. It shouldn�t be now either.

 

Season 2006/07 is almost upon us. We�re pretty much debt free; we have an incredible new manager and new players have and will continue to arrive. An exciting new dawn has started. We can reclaim any lost ground on and off the pitch by sticking together. Let�s not spoil it by fighting and arguing over little things.

 

We are the people. Let�s show it.

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so, what are you trying to say we should do then frankie?

 

accept their decision when it`s quite clear that we have not been given the right to claim our reasons as to why we should sing it?

 

as i said elsewhere, we have a right to either change the lyrics, or to stop singing it, or to keep on singing it.

 

dont know about anyone else but i`m beginning to feel pretty pissed off by us being pushed around by rangers and uefa.

 

rangers ought to be careful as they clearly haven`t bothered their arse to defend our right to say what we have done for over a century.

 

the fans are rangers bread and butter and without us rangers would be non existant. they rely very heavily on us solely yet, they don`t seem to want to back our thoughts up. whoever represented us to murray must be living in a dream world to think they`d be the voice of the fans and say that they agree it must be stopped without us getting a PROPER SAY!!

 

i also said elsewhere, why are we being denied the opportunity to change the lyrics to that song?

 

why has it been banned staright out when it`s clear to many that the majority would be happy keeping the song but changing the lyrics?

 

next, we`ll be told not to wear blue tops because it`s offending septic fans.

 

it`s that ludicrous.

 

i`m extremely pissed of with the way the fans represenatatives have just lay down and let murray and his reps walk right over the top of us with us not getting a FAIR Say in WHAT WE REALLY THINK.

 

if they drive this song underground it`ll onlymake it infamous.

 

don`t get me wrong, i don`t want to see rangers kicked out of europe, but ffs show some fight for christ sakes. for the most part we ARE NOT GUILTY of doing much.

 

we aren`t being represented here and it`s rediculous that some swede, dane, belgian, can tell us fans of rangers what we can`t sing now.

 

firstly we were told we were GUILTY of doing nazi salutes, yet no-one actually admitted they done a nazi salute, but are happy that we ar proclamied guilty of doing this.

 

it staggers me, it really does.

 

now, we are going to just let uefa say we cannot sing a song without a fight or proper consultation as to whether we can change the lyrics or something different.

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To resolve any dispute there must be sacrifice and concession. If we, as Rangers fans, have to stop singing the one song, which is at the centre of the sectarian allegations, then whats the big deal?

 

I think that the guys who've sat down with Murray have done a great job and I applaud your efforts. If we were to sit back and adopt a 'lets wait and see..' attitude then no doubt the FTP brigade would return with a vengence and this would do all sorts of damage to the club.

 

At least we're doing something!

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the bottom line here is that our fans do sing songs of a discriminate nature and it was only a matter of time before someone threatened to pull the rug from our feet. we cannot complain as certain sections of our support are guilty. I certainly dont expect the problem to dissapear over night and i will be very interested to see what actions the authorities take should a small band , say 20 supporters out of the 50,000 start to sing Hullo Hullo. Im also concerned about the legality of imposing fines or docking points on the club for individuals actions at Ibrox. If the club are seen to be doing everything they actively can to eliminate sectarianism from ibrox and individuals still continue to partake in certain songs at what point do Rangers football club cease to be responsible for them? A big can of worms has been opened in my eyes and Uefas knee-jerk reactions will only cause more problems than the originally intended to solve. The shit will hit the fan next season and we will be the whipping boys as our name is firmly lodged at the top of the list of targets. All we can do is not to sing certain songs and encourage and hope others do the same, which im afraid to say is highly unlikely.

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But its only a song. They're not trying to stop us going to games or anything, why don't we just accept it and move on. As for changing the lyrics, there's no way they'd let us go down that route because people will just sing the old lyrics, which is what's caused the problem in the first place.

 

I've said from the start that this is a great opportunity for us to get some great, positive PR, one over on Celtic and also we'd get much more respect throughout Scotland.

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It really is now time to move on. Glasgow Rangers are surly more important than our will to sing a song, which in all honesty is more at home in in a barbarian choir. I remember many supporters saying if we sign a catholic i will burn my scarf and never go back to Ibrox. Well if they did, they have not been missed as Rangers have gone from strength to strength with season ticket sales.

The dropping of all our sectarian, abusive songs is the next stage in Rangers turning into a club for all creedes and colours. Supporters should go to Ibrox to watch our great football club not because they think it makes them a better protestant or gives them reason to sing or shout abusive songs.

Unfortunatly i do think a large group will keep singing the song and i think the only way for us to avoid a ban is for the club to give supporters bans and possibly the majority of supporters booing to drown it out.

As Frankie says this is the time to stick together and support Rangers football club not a political faction.

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Frankie, what we need now is leadership from the above mentioned fan groups and more importantly the club.

 

In banning the Billy Boys (and FTPing) Ranger should now issue a second statement, signed by TBO and RST etc saying that whilst these songs are banned, we will no longer accept people attacking our heritage - by that I mean Rangers saying that no other songs or flags will be banned.

 

David Murray has allowed this to happen as he has copntinually allowed the press to stick the boot into us. Even the dead aren't safe from the parasites in the media. David Murray MUST now state this this is the line in the sand and that any journalist that wrongly slates Rangers, prints half-truths and lies will be punished.

 

What us the fans need to do is unite - as our enemies want us divided. But IMO its RFC and the fans groups that need to lead and unite us, they have the 'membership' and the outlets to be the driving force along with the club.

 

Cammy F

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Now, no one is denying Protestant heritage and legend shouldn’t have their place in connection with Rangers. Like Celtic are fiercely proud of their Catholic background we too should appreciate our roots. No one, least of all UEFA, should be able to stop people expressing themselves freely.

 

I will deny we even have a protestant heritage. If we have such a heritage why are there no hymns at Ibrox? Why don't we say the Lord's prayer before every game? Why do so few Rangers fans go to church?

 

There IS no protestant heritage, there is ONLY anti-catholic heritage.

 

We never even had a protestant only policy of signing players - only an anti-catholic policy, which is demonstrated when we signed at least one jew as well as plenty of atheists and agnostics.

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I will deny we even have a protestant heritage. If we have such a heritage why are there no hymns at Ibrox? Why don't we say the Lord's prayer before every game? Why do so few Rangers fans go to church?

 

There IS no protestant heritage, there is ONLY anti-catholic heritage.

 

We never even had a protestant only policy of signing players - only an anti-catholic policy, which is demonstrated when we signed at least one jew as well as plenty of atheists and agnostics.

 

Can't agree with that Calscot - Ibrox has hosted many an Orange Order and Church gatherings over the years. However, this is been diluted over the years as church membership has hit an all time low. Another culturial viewpoint is that Rangers did and to some degree still do have a Conservitive and Unionist heritage - this was backed up in the Rangers Monthly where historians found documents detailing the boards support of Conservitives and Unionists.

 

As for the signing policy this is also a myth started by our enemies. Rangers had many many Catholics playing for us over the years and in the very eraly years it was common for players to move from Craptic to Rangers and vice versa.

 

Would you say Craptic had an Catholic heritage or any anti-protestant one? Until the 1990's Craptic had not one non-Catholic director and refused to promote Danny McGrain, Jock Stein etc due to their religion. In fact, one of the Lisbon Lions claimed that his nickname, when not playing to his best was simply Orange Bastard......

 

It is fair to say that we once did have a Presbyterian heritage but would agree that this is no longer the case

 

Cammy F

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