Rangers slammed for pulling out of Old Firm friendly in Australia

Date published: Friday 1st April 2022 10:06 - News Desk

Rangers and Celtic fans

Organisers of the Sydney Super Cup have accused Rangers of letting their fans down after the Scottish champions pulled out of the tournament.

Rangers announced on Thursday that they would not take part in the tournament in Australia in November, which would have seen them play Celtic abroad for the first time.

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Tickets for the tournament went on sale in mid-March but Rangers claimed organisers were “unwilling to fulfil their commitments” to the Ibrox club.

In a statement posted on the website of host venue, the Accor Stadium, the co-promoters of the tournament, TEG Sport and Left Field Live, said: “We were disappointed to wake up this morning to Rangers FC’s statement that it will not be participating in the Sydney Super Cup.

“The Rangers board committed to these matches following extensive negotiations over eight months.

“Seemingly in response to negative fan reaction, they have pulled out of their contracted commitment.

“We have worked closely with all stakeholders to bring this exciting event to Sydney and we refute any suggestion that we were unwilling to fulfil our commitments to Rangers.

“We have acted in good faith and have put the event on sale with a great response from fans here.

“In changing their minds, the Rangers board has let down many, many fans in Australia and the Asian region.

“We will now consult with our stakeholders before determining our response.”

Rangers were due to face Western Sydney Wanderers on November 16 and Celtic four days later, during the break in domestic football for the World Cup.

A number of supporters had complained about the project and protests disrupted Rangers’ recent win over Dundee as fans threw tennis balls and streamers on to the park several times.

It is understood Rangers cited issues with branding and payments, plus the timing and manner of the initial announcement, when alleging contractual breaches from the organisers.

The decision was welcomed by main fans’ group Club 1872, which owns about five per cent of shares in Rangers, and has been critical of the Ibrox hierarchy in recent weeks.

A statement from the group read: “Club 1872 welcomes Rangers’ decision to pull out of the Sydney Cup.

“We hope now that through meaningful engagement with supporters and shareholders, Rangers will find a more suitable way to give overseas supporters an opportunity to see the team playing live in November.”

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou declared he was still looking forward to the tournament despite Rangers ruling out a first overseas derby with his club.

When asked whether he was disappointed about the news or whether it had nothing to do with him, the former Australia head coach said: “It’s got to do with me because I’m the manager of a club that’s going there and looking forward to it.

“Apart from the fact that I think it’s going to be great for our football club because I know how passionate people are about this club and football in general, for me it’s a trip back home. So I am certainly looking forward to it.

“Disappointment? Disappointment for me is about things I can control. I’m not going to get disappointed over things that I have got nothing to do with.”

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