Thousands of Rangers fans take to streets to celebrate title win

·3-min read

Rangers fans have gathered in the centre of Glasgow after their club lifted their first Scottish Premiership trophy in a decade.

Fans sang and danced in George Square after Steven Gerrard’s side defeated Aberdeen 4-0 at Ibrox on the day they collected the silverware.

The celebrations come despite warnings against gathering due to rising Covid-19 cases in Glasgow.

Police Scotland said they had made arrests in relation to anti-social behaviour, but a senior officer said it would not have been proportionate to disperse the crowd at George Square by force.

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Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf called the scenes “selfish and irresponsible behaviour”.

The fans in George Square were fringed by around two dozen police officers, some of whom were seen confiscating alcohol and pouring it away.

Earlier, fans outside Ibrox cheered and chanted as the Rangers players arrived for the 12.30pm kick-off.

Police Scotland had called on them to “disperse and take personal responsibility”.

Rangers fans
Hundreds of Rangers fans gathered outside Ibrox during the game (Robert Perry/PA)

After the trophy was lifted, many fans made their way into the heart of Glasgow.

The Union Bears fan group had earlier announced plans to walk from the stadium to George Square.

Rangers v Aberdeen – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
After the match, many Rangers fans headed from Ibrox to George Square (Andrew Milligan/PA)

On Friday night, scores of Rangers fans lighted red flares simultaneously along the Clyde close to the Clyde Arc in the city as they marked the end of the season.

The Scottish Government previously criticised Rangers’ response after thousands of fans gathered outside Ibrox and in George Square on the weekend they clinched the title in early March.

On Saturday evening, chief superintendent Mark Sutherland said: “Today is understandably a significant day for Rangers Football Club and its supporters.

“We understand the importance of football in Glasgow, how it connects our communities and, is for many, a culture and a way of life.

“We are however still in the midst of a pandemic and under coronavirus restrictions people should not be gathering for any reason.

“The overarching aim of Police Scotland’s operation today remains public safety.

“Throughout the day we have seen crowds gather and anti-social behaviour including the use of pyrotechnics and drinking in public.

Rangers fans
The fans gathered despite being advised not to do so (Robert Perry/PA)

“Our officers are dealing with such offences where possible and have made arrests.”

He said a request for a fan procession to the city centre had been declined, but police later decided to escort large groups of supporters as they made their way to George Square in order to minimise disruption.

The chief superintendent added: “Given the largely peaceful nature of the crowd, it would not be proportionate for our resources to use a high level of force through public order policing to disperse those gathering.

“We have seen some disruption to traffic, but no long-lasting disruption to our communities.”

Responding to the gatherings on Saturday, the Justice Secretary said: “I understand the significance of this day for Rangers fans but I am extremely disappointed that supporters have once again ignored Covid regulations and chosen to gather in large numbers in Glasgow.”

Mr Yousaf added: “This selfish and irresponsible behaviour endangers the lives of others – supporters, the police on duty and the wider community.

“I want to thank the police for incredibly difficult job they are doing keeping our communities safe throughout the pandemic.

“We have already discussed this with Rangers and will liaise with Police Scotland and the football authorities to consider what further action can be taken.”