Jim White claims Rangers celebrations will lead to season end
Jim White normally talks a lot of sense when it comes to Rangers but he had to be dragged into line by Simon Jordan today.
After the title-winning celebrations by Rangers fans were criticised heavily by the Scottish government, White claimed the next step would be for them to call a halt to the season.
And he thinks that could be done after the Old Firm game at Parkhead on March 21 after “crisis talks” with the Scottish FA and the government. He said ‘ardent’ Rangers fans would not heed warnings by the government or the club.
Jordan claimed the government were “tub-thumping” and that it wasn’t up to the clubs to control fans beyond sending a clear message out. He said abolishing sport would be a “very dangerous precedent” for the authorities to set.
The conversation happened on the White & Jordan Show on Tuesday morning (talkSPORT, 10.30am).
“We saw the scenes, I watched on social media at the weekend, as scenes unfolded, Rangers fans outside Ibrox,” White said.
“Now we hear today that the Scottish football authorities have attended crisis talks with the government who are furious at the behaviour of some of those Rangers fans in the immediate aftermath of the title win. Next up for Rangers is a trip across the city to play Celtic.”
Jordan replied, “I don’t think football will be curtailed. I think it’s a simple message that needs to be imparted. We don’t want a free-for-all when you play Celtic next week.”
“You think it’s tub-thumping?” White asked.
“Totally. How can it not be?” replied Jordan.
“You don’t think they’ll bring the season to an end?” asked White.
“How can they?” replied Jordan.
“The most ardent Rangers fans won’t listen,” said White. “I’m telling you they’re going to come out.”
“What are they going to do?” asked Jordan.
“Stop it,” said White.
“So abolish sport? Because you’re saying the clubs can’t stop fans from doing something you’re going to scrap sport? That’s a very dangerous precedent.”
This is not a Rangers problem
This exact same thing happened when Liverpool won the league and when Leeds won the Championship last season.
Both clubs had waited a long time, just like Rangers, and both cities were packed after their title triumphs.
It was absolutely inevitable and Jordan is right when he says this is a government matter.
They set the penalties for breaking Covid regulations and they’re in charge of public order.
All Rangers can do is send out a message to fans. They’ll do that again ahead of the Europa League tie with Slavia Prague. And they’ll do it again ahead of the Old Firm game.
And Rangers were right to hit back at John Swinney’s claim that they hadn’t sent out a clear message ahead of the 55 win. This can’t be put back on us.
Beyond that, there’s nothing else Rangers can do. The Premier League didn’t cancel the Premier League after Liverpool won it. The EFL didn’t cancel the Championship after Leeds won it.
Having said all that, we do think that the time for partying in public is not now. Celebrating in your front room might not be the same but these are incredible times and Rangers fans need to show the way forward.