Scottish Cup Tie Security Concerns
- 29 January 2013
There has been much written about the Rangers boycott of the Dundee Utd Scottish Cup tie. Much of it has been by our own fans in the form of blogs and some has been ill informed criticism from sections of the Scottish press who seem to wilfully 'misunderstand' everything that both Rangers as a club and the Rangers fans say.
I am not going to go over old ground on the reasons for the boycott, they have been well publicised. Even yesterday we saw the dishonesty of Dundee Utd Chairman, Stephen Thompson, who completely ignored the wishes of his own fans and accepted the SPL reconstruction proposal of 12,12,18. This should come as no surprise. In June 2012, when Thompson said "You can't ignore fans. Any business which ignores its customers is doomed to fail", we all knew he was using a section of his fans dislike for our club as a cover for his own actions. Yesterday he merely confirmed this, and that he is quite happy with glaring double standards. It is this type of behaviour, amongst other incidents, which have led to the poor relations between the two clubs. You can read more about it here.
So, the reasons are well known but it appears that some of our fans have perhaps still decided to attend. I say perhaps because it is by no means certain this is the case. If these people are Rangers fans then I am not going to criticise them, although I completely disagree with their actions. There is no loyalty in attending this game. The club have made their position clear as have the vast majority of the fans. I understand the wish to attend the game but I wish those who are considering it could see the bigger picture.
I am not going to dwell on their actions but I would like to give them one piece of advice. Be very, very careful on your trip to Tannadice.
At the time of publication of this article, Dundee Utd have made no attempt to verify the details of the 'Rangers fans' who have bought tickets for the game with our club. Rangers' numbers, or any other sensible source of information that could confirm who those people who bought them actually support, could still be utilised and should be.
The internet has been awash with fans of rival clubs, mainly Celtic and Aberdeen, suggesting that they will buy tickets for the game. They are doing this, according to them, to oppose our boycott. The type of people who would go to these lengths for a game which has nothing to do with them, are precisely the type of people you would not want to find yourself unwittingly sitting beside in the section of Tannadice reserved for our fans.
There has also already been crowd trouble at Tannadice this season, in their Europa League game against Dinamo Moscow, where Dundee Utd fans were pictured trading punches with their Russian counterparts. Against that backdrop, Dundee Utd should be making sure that Tannadice is as safe as possible for any genuine Rangers fan who attends a match set against a backdrop of ill feeling.
Dundee Utd cannot confirm they have sold tickets to genuine Rangers fans. They also cannot confirm that those people who bought tickets are the people actually attending the game. It would be sensible for them to do so and who knows, perhaps they still will. To fail to do so would, in my opinion, be negligent. If they don't, then any genuine fan of our club who is attending could find themselves not only in an unpleasant atmosphere but also in a section of the ground where they do not even know the person sitting next to them is a Rangers fan.
Dundee Utd have made tickets available for this game for two reasons. They want to pull a PR stunt and claim Rangers fans attended against the wishes of the club and they are also desperate for the money that even a couple of hundred extra tickets could give them. Let's be honest, they certainly can't rely on their own fans to sell this out. I'd imagine the chances of a one off sell-out are enhanced given the ill feeling around the game, but we know those part time Dundee Utd fans will disappear at the final whistle, never to be seen again.
So, stay safe Bears. I might not agree with your attendance but if any of you really are genuine Rangers fans then keep your wits about you and make sure you don't get goaded into behaving in a way that would give those who lured you to Tannadice exactly what they want.