Thousands of Rangers fans flout lockdown to celebrate title win despite Nicola Sturgeon plea

Simon Johnson
·3-min read

Watch: Rangers fans amass outside Ibrox Stadium to celebrate League Championship win

Thousands of Rangers fans have flouted lockdown rules to celebrate their team's first title win in a decade despite Nicola Sturgeon's pleas for them to go home.

They gathered in droves outside Ibrox stadium in Glasgow after Celtic were held to a draw by Dundee United, a result that meant Rangers were crowned champions.

Rangers fans celebrate winning the Scottish Premiership at Ibrox - Action Images via Reuters
Rangers fans celebrate winning the Scottish Premiership at Ibrox - Action Images via Reuters

Thousands of fans then marched to the city centre, where hundreds more had already gathered in George Square. They let off fireworks and smoke bombs as they chanted and wildly celebrated their club's first league win in ten years.

Under current guidance, public gatherings are banned and a maximum of two people from two households are allowed to meet outdoors.

Rangers fans celebrate in George Square after Rangers win the Scottish Premiership title - PA
Rangers fans celebrate in George Square after Rangers win the Scottish Premiership title - PA

Ms Sturgeon, the Glasgow Southside MSP, offered her congratulations to Rangers for clinching the league title but warned that gatherings could risk lives and delay the easing of lockdown.

She added: "If those gathering care at all about the safety of others & the country, they will go home."

Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Justice Secretary, said: "I understand Rangers fans will be desperate to celebrate but please remember you must stay at home. No mass gatherings are allowed. We cannot risk any further spread of the virus."

He also warned them that "be in no doubt UEFA will also be paying close attention as the Euros are around the corner." Hampden Park in Glasgow is due to host some games of the delayed 2020 European Championships in the summer.

But their pleas appeared to fall on deaf ears, with Police Scotland saying they were aware of "planned events" at the stadium and city centre.

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Ch Supt Mark Sutherland, the force's Divisional Commander for Greater Glasgow Division, said: "Officers have made a small number of arrests and issued fixed penalty notices for breaches of the coronavirus restrictions, minor incidents of disorder and the use of pyrotechnic devices."

He said there had been "an appropriate policing response, as officers engage with those present, explain and encourage them to comply with the restrictions." However, he said they had moved to enforcement where necessary.

Alan Irvine, 43, from Glasgow, was out celebrating with his daughter Katie, 12, and son Lewis, six.

He said: "I can only speak from what I have seen outside the Rangers training centre, and the absolute majority were wearing face coverings and adhering, as much as possible, to social distancing. In fact, I've seen less social distancing in some retailers."

Darryl Mclean, a 34-year-old logistics manager from Glasgow, added: "I know we are not meant to be meeting outside at the moment but the occasion was just too momentous, it's like Christmas for Rangers!"

It was the second time in two days fans breached the ban on gatherings after an early ‘title party’ was held outside Ibrox on Saturday. However, police said no arrests were made.

Watch: Why life has been ‘extremely challenging’ on the Scottish islands with just 70 COVID cases