Today we celebrate the 140th anniversary of Scotland's great ever institution, Rangers Football Club, being formed. I am very proud to be a Ranger and milestones such as the 140th anniversary of Rangers being born allow us time to reflect on how lucky we are to support the greatest football club in the world. We will once again show the world what an amazing support we are. It’ll be another near capacity crowd in the fourth tier of Scottish Football.
This year has been an eventful one for Rangers. Today we are also celebrating the fact that Rangers are still in existence. Earlier this year the bigots in Scottish Football, especially within the SFA and SPL, tried to kill our club.
To win the big tax case was a relief and although HMRC are to appeal the verdict, I hope someone in Government has the balls to stop their appeal as their anti-Rangers crusade is wasting so much taxpayer's money. We were found not guilty and our those who hate us need to accept the verdict so we can all move on.
On the pitch and in the stands, the SPL's loss is the SFL's gain. We have been welcomed into the SFL and I'm actually enjoying following in the footsteps of the team on our journey this season. The SFL is our new home and I hope the SFL clubs are strong enough to reject the SPL's plans for reconstruction. Scottish Football needs to be completely refreshed and that's what the SFL's own proposal would do. SPL clubs have their own unhealthy agenda. To expand their broken league would not be healthy for Scotland's national game. The way the SPL and the SFA handled Rangers' situation was disgraceful and as a result both organisations need to be broken up.
Many people wanted and wished for our club to die. Dundee United and their Chairman were amongst the most vociferous and stated they did not want Rangers in the SPL. When our club needed support from clubs who had milked off Rangers for years, they kicked us and kept kicking us. They could not have be more blatant in not wanting Rangers to stay in the SPL. Dundee United quite simply, and without any doubt in my mind, tried to destroy our club.
To draw Dundee United away in the Scottish Cup is therefore not the draw we wanted or would have asked for. I'd have taken anyone at Ibrox and any away tie except against United, Celtic or Aberdeen. One of the first things I thought when the draw was made was that I didn't want Dundee United to get one penny of Rangers' money. Charles Green's decision not to take any of our ticket allocation for the cup tie therefore receives my full support. Bears will starve Dundee United of much-needed cash by boycotting this game. I'm sure that if they showed the cup game on the big screens at Ibrox we'd sell it out! I don’t agree that we should boycott every away game but Dundee United do not deserve one penny from Rangers and their support. As a one-off, let’s not attend our first game at an away SPL club’s ground since the SPL booted us out of their league. The disregard Dundee United has for Rangers and their supporters is disgusting. I won't set foot in their stadium again unless they apologise for the catalogue of anti-Rangers bias they have shown over the years. There is more chance of Neil Lennon becoming Rangers next manager than that happening though!
There is no doubt that the Rangers support is a 12th man to the team and that our vocal backing has helped inspire the team on to many of the club's famous victories over the years. To not receive any backing from your own support at away games is alien to Rangers. However it is possible to win this game! We just need to look back in history to see it is possible. We went down to Leeds in 1992 and won 2-1 in the second leg of our Battle of Britain. We're capable of winning this one against United. It's a long way off yet so we need to find good form over the next few months and go to Tannadice in early February confident and with true blue belief that we can do enough to win the game.
Today is about bigger and better things than Dundee United and the other bigots in Scottish Football. Today we celebrate 140 years of Rangers Football Club. We have proven we are the only show in town and that Rangers is Scottish Football! The attendances this season have been incredible and the positive global coverage we have received this season has been wonderful. Journalists from all corners of the world are coming to Rangers games to see first hand the amazing backing they are receiving in the fourth level of Scottish Football. We really are the greatest football club in the world. Today we welcome back many former servants to Ibrox. Welcome home to each and every one of these ex-Rangers players and officials. They were privileged to be given the honour of wearing the Rangers jersey. I have had the privilege of watching many of those who are back at Ibrox today play over the last 30+ years.
Here's to another 140 years of Rangers. I look forward to supporting Rangers today, tomorrow and forever. I look forward to us winning the fight against the bigots in Scottish Football and to seeing the club we all love continue to win silverware and adding to the honours already accumulated in us becoming the most successful club in the world. Rangers Then. Rangers Now. Rangers Forever. You'd better believe it! Enjoy today's game and take time to reflect how lucky you are to have been given the gift of being born a Ranger and being given the honour to follow in the footsteps of Rangers Football Club.