One of the oddities of the last few months has been the claim by our detractors that the large volume of season tickets sold, coupled with the big crowds at games, is because of a “defiance” from Rangers fans.
Never mind that the attention of the world’s media has been drawn to our record-breaking attendances and phenomenal show of support for the famous Glasgow Rangers – according to Rangers-haters, these amazing things are down to us being so full of spite and hate that we are doing it all to “defy” people.
This subtle attack – one of many – on Rangers fans is easily rebuffed. Here is a proper perspective for detractors and haters of Scotland’s biggest and most successful team:-
Defiance is fans of SPL teams telling their club chairmen to vote Rangers out of the league or face a boycott from their own support. Defiance is fan group spokespersons of SPL clubs saying they would rather their own clubs go out of existence than see Rangers in the SPL. Defiance is club officials of SPL teams voting Rangers out of the league, even though they know it will hurt them financially. Defiance is heaping punishment after punishment upon a team before they are actually found guilty - just because you despise them so much.
That’s what defiance from a place of hate and spite looks like.
Standing by your club in its hour of greatest need.
Buying season tickets in a time of great uncertainty.
Turning up in record-breaking numbers for fourth tier football, despite the opposition.
Purchasing shares in your club in an economic downturn.
Following your team everywhere and anywhere, from the cavernous arena of Hampden to sleepy towns all across the land, through streets broad and narrow.
That’s what loving your team looks like.
This is why the eyes of the world are on Rangers in this adventure. Genuine football fans from all over the globe – who love their own teams – are standing in awe at the fidelity and fervency of Rangers supporters.
I am sure that the spite and envy of the haters will not have escaped the notice of many on Planet Football. And that’s not a bad thing because it highlights what followers of The Rangers have to endure just for being a bluenose. It will also have come to the attention of many outside Scotland that Rangers’ astonishing attendances are contrasted by the paltry gates of other Scottish teams. The Green Seat phenomenon over at Celtic Park, for example, has made the second biggest team in Glasgow the butt of many jokes.
The truth is that Rangers fans are not coming from a place of envious, spiteful defiance. As always, Rangers lead the field. It is for the petty, the jealous and the craven to chase us. We very much welcome it.
Some may defiantly still call the globally-celebrated love of Gers fans for their club a form of defiance. But such should heed this warning.
So far we’re still just in celebratory mood.
You don’t want to see us when we’re really defiant.