By Doug Ward

3rd Sep, 2021 | 10:01am

Michael Stewart hits out at 'Incredible' Rangers controversy

Michael Stewart has reacted to a story by the Daily Record which dug out historic tweets by Heart & Hand podcast members amid a new media partnership with Rangers.

So far this season, the Gers have acted strongly against incidents of alleged racism but tweets from leaders of the Heart & Hand podcast are now being probed by the police.

The tweets shown on the Daily Record website are seen as very offensive to those with an Irish or Catholic background.

Ex-Hearts and Hibernian player Stewart has now reacted, suggesting that the issues are actually more deep-rooted at Ibrox than first thought.

“The latest story of racism and general unacceptable behaviour connected with Rangers shows this isn’t some fringe element,” said Stewart via his personal Twitter account on Friday morning.

“Official Media Partners with access to the top of the club involved. The club have a serious amount of work to do to weed out this mentality.”

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He added: “Who is actually going to be at the next press conference if the mainstream don’t have access and the ‘official media partners’ are being investigated by the police?

“It’s all an incredible state of affairs for Rangers to put themselves in.”

No room for defence

There is no defending these tweets. If you look at them on the Daily Record website, some of them are disgusting and are bound to be seen as offensive to people.

Put aside your club colours for one moment and you can see these are seemingly tweets that are aimed to offend someone using their religion as a tool.

These aren’t tweets for years and years ago either. The Record shows that some of them are within the last few years when these people should have known better.

Heart & Hand have apologised for the tweets if they have caused any offence and have taken legal advice. They’ve since been told that they shouldn’t expect any further action to be taken by the police.

However, Heart & Hand hit back at the Daily Record and seemed to accuse the mainstream media of launching a “premeditated attack” against the club. They added that the controversy “was not borne of genuine offence but rather a desire to hurt the club and those associated with it”.

It’s fair enough if they want to defend themselves but Rangers have gone the wrong route with their decision to charge media outlets for access to press conferences and to matches.

Whether this story was borne out of that or not, it doesn’t excuse from the fact those tweets were wrong and it also leaves the club with a massive issue that needs to be resolved.

This cannot go ignored.

In other Rangers news, the Gers have agreed a multi-million sale for one of their international players.