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The time has come for Rangers fans to rekindled their love for the national side


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THE relationship between Rangers - or more specifically Rangers supporters - and the Scotland national team is a complex yet fascinating one.

It encompasses every aspect of life on and off the park as political opinions and club loyalties shape views and define behaviours when it comes to the support, or not, of the side that represent the country on the world stage.

At times it feels as though sections of the Rangers fanbase have never been more disillusioned or out of touch with Scotland and in many ways that disconnect is completely understandable. But, in a purely football and sporting sense, Scotland are good for Rangers and Rangers must be good for Scotland.

Steven Gerrard has spoken of his desire to see Scotland improve and succeed, and also of his delight at his players earning international recognition in recent times. The likes of Borna Barisic and Glen Kamara will be at the Euros next summer. That will raise their profile, but also that of Rangers and having players operating at the highest level can only further enhance the club's reputation. Gerrard has done so much on that front in a European sense and the more internationalists Rangers have the better. It is a shame, though, that there are not more players within Gerrard's ranks that can stake a claim to feature for Steve Clarke.

Going forward, and as the Ibrox squad evolves, that should be a consideration for Rangers and a club that has given so much to the national side over the years must once again be able to provide the backbone of the Scotland setup. Ryan Jack has become a mainstay of the side under Clarke in recent fixtures, but some Gers fans will only tune in to see if he plays well and emerges unscathed for his return to domestic and European duty.

The pride that Jack has in playing for his country is clear to see and it should be hoped that rubs off on those who dismiss Scotland duty. Rangers could certainly do with more like him and goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin. The lack of Rangers representation in the national squad over recent years may explain the apathy that some sections of the support have towards Scotland these days.

But more wide-ranging issues - such as the treatment their club received in 2012 and the Independence Referendum two years later - almost certainly have a significant part to play in the seeming shift away from the traditional backing that Gers fans once provided to the national side.

Last month, The Athletic carried out a survey of more than 8000 supporters to attempt to paint a picture of the relationship between Rangers fans and Scotland. There is no definitive answer to such a convoluted question, but it did at least offer an insight when it comes to the club versus country debate.

From a football viewpoint, it was no surprise to see that 68 per cent stated that their support for the national team had decreased since 2012. The feelings of anger and resentment from the fall-out of Rangers' financial collapse clearly still lingers in the minds of many and there is no desire to share a terrace or emotional connection with fans of clubs who wished them nothing but ill will eight years ago.

Indeed, 87 per cent of those that responded to The Athletic believed they would receive a negative reaction if they identified as a Rangers fan at a Scotland match. It is hard to conclude that figure would be as high for any other support in the country and while Rangers punters may dismiss it with the 'no-one likes us, we don't care' attitude, it is sad that fans feel they would be unwelcome at an event that is supposed to unite in the backing of a common, national cause.

While fans across the country revelled in Rangers' fight for survival and subsequent plights on their journey back, the Ibrox crowd remained admirably loyal and devoted to their club and their cause. Having come through what they have, the bond between fan and club is stronger than ever.

Many will have taken heart and pleasure from seeing Scotland end their wait to return to a major finals with victory over Serbia last week. But it will be nothing compared to the emotions when Rangers win their 55th league title. Scotland matters, but just not as much as Rangers, or as much as it does to fans of other clubs.

The team on the park is only part of the problem, though, and many will simply find it unpalatable to support Scotland for reasons other than football. When Scotland is divided politically, it is no surprise that the makeup of the fanbase is as well. While 55 per cent of those in the poll didn't think that being a Unionist was an important part of a Rangers fan's identity, 75 per cent believed that Nationalism was synonymous with the Scotland support.

It is too simplistic to say that the dual identity of being Scottish and British doesn't fit amongst the national support but views on Government and the Union will come into the thinking for some. Figures for ideology and voting preference in a referendum were broadly similar at around 65 per cent Unionist, 10 per cent Nationalist and a quarter neither.

In decades gone by, the Rangers support made up a huge percentage of the Tartan Army home and away and it would be healthy if the numbers were to swell once again. Scotland is as much theirs as it is anyone else's. But if it doesn't happen in the build-up to the European Championships, then it is hard to see how and when there will be a reconnection between Light and Dark Blue going forward.

Now is the time for Rangers to become prominent and lead the way for Scotland, both on and off the park, once again.

 

 

 

So say the herald 

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Might be a good article in respect for laying out the issues (as said above) but there’s not a chance I’m rekindling anything unless the SPL, SFA, Scottish football and the clubs offer Rangers a since

When I was a kid it was a no-brainer, you supported Scotland regardless of club loyalties. To me it wouldn't feel right not supporting the national team.

I'm Scottish.  I don't believe the current Scottish football association is conducive to the best interests of Scottish football and is ethically and morally corrupt, which reflects badly on our

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I grew up supporting Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, probably in that order. My Dad is a massive Rangers fan, a massive Scotland fan, and a big Scottish football fan in general, who used to go to Wembley every second year when he was younger, and had been to a few away games in Europe. As a kid I had a few more Scotland kits than I did England.

Euro 96 and France 98 were great as a kid having a couple of teams to support. I remember wanting Scotland to win the playoff for Euro 2000 as well, but the last time I can remember being really excited for a game was the Italy qualifier in 2007. Since then I've probably followed England more closely - I was in their Travel Club for a bit and went to a couple of away games.

I'm quite pleased they have managed to qualify. I didn't get out my seat when the penalty went in but I was happy to see it go in. Scotland can be an absolutely bitter and miserable place to live at the moment and I think this summer will give us some respite from that no matter how poor or well the team does.

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1 minute ago, DBBTB said:


Bit of an ‘armchair fan‘ of the national team tbh. It doesn’t even scratch the surface for how I feel or emotionally react to when we are playing.

I don’t particularly want them to lose in the way that I know some of our support do because I would rather my home nation was playing at tournaments (personally think it’s bad for Scottish Football as a whole that an entire generation of kids haven’t seen the national team at a major tournament) but at the same time I don’t feel particularly strongly about how the team plays and I don’t think that would change if we had more representatives either. If they lose I’ve forgotten about it and am back to getting on with my day before the post match analysis is over.

I can’t think of anything worse than ever being in among the tartan army at games and the like, mainly for the reasons mentioned in that article, but I also find the whole let’s dress up like a Scottish stereotype to be cheesy as fuck and I would feel that way even if I wasn’t a Rangers supporter. I think people laugh at it rather than with it so I want no part of it :lol:

 

See honestly mate they're another line of Rangers haters for me.

I only care how our boys do but still don't want them.to win 

 

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Bridge building?
pfffft.
that will be shiny bright. 
Just supposing we had the majority of players at the trannies,as far as i'm concerned it wouldn't make any difference as long as the same scummy cunts were in charge of everything.
FFS....only yesterday the sfa bias reared it's ugly fuckin head when dealing with RFC.
FUCK EM. :rangers::UK:

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1 hour ago, McEwan's Lager said:

I grew up supporting Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, probably in that order. My Dad is a massive Rangers fan, a massive Scotland fan, and a big Scottish football fan in general, who used to go to Wembley every second year when he was younger, and had been to a few away games in Europe. As a kid I had a few more Scotland kits than I did England.

Euro 96 and France 98 were great as a kid having a couple of teams to support. I remember wanting Scotland to win the playoff for Euro 2000 as well, but the last time I can remember being really excited for a game was the Italy qualifier in 2007. Since then I've probably followed England more closely - I was in their Travel Club for a bit and went to a couple of away games.

I'm quite pleased they have managed to qualify. I didn't get out my seat when the penalty went in but I was happy to see it go in. Scotland can be an absolutely bitter and miserable place to live at the moment and I think this summer will give us some respite from that no matter how poor or well the team does.

How did you have a few teams to support? I am baffled by this, who do you actually support? You liked historically opposition teams as a youngster? Your dad went down every second year and let me guess went to take you to Parkhead when Rangers were away. What utter nonsense, you are talking utter rubbish. I did not grow up in Scotland but I without doubt know much, much more about  Rangers than you do. And I am only 24 { oops 42, see what I did there lied online ) Also anyone referring to as a team as they does not really give a fuck. I would never hope to refer to Rangers as they.

 

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Just can’t get excited about Scotland. Haven’t watched a game since 2007 tbh. 
The hatred for Rangers from the rest of Scottish football has grown and grown over the years and it’s now so ingrained that I don’t think it will ever be undone. It is inevitable that the hatred towards us is reciprocated.

Fuck them. 
 

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