Glasgow & West Scotland

Rangers administration: Sell-out crowd sees defeat at Ibrox

Rangers fans at Ibrox
Image caption Fans have repeated the manager's mantra that Rangers "don't do walking away"

Rangers football fans who packed out Ibrox to support their crisis-hit club have faced a disappointing defeat.

A crowd of more than 50,000 turned out for the first match since the side went into administration on Tuesday.

An early goal put Kilmarnock in front and the score-line remained 1-0 at full time.

The game drew what is was thought to be the biggest crowd in the UK this weekend as fans rallied behind the club, which is facing a £9m tax bill.

Rangers chairman Craig Whyte did not attend the match.

On Friday he said that he had "absolutely nothing to fear" from any inquiry into his purchase of the club.

An early goal from Dean Shiels stunned home supporters and put the visitors in front.

Rangers also went down to 10 men after defender Sasa Papac was given a red card for a lunge at Liam Kelly.

With English giants Manchester United knocked out of the FA Cup and Arsenal playing away, the capacity crowd at Ibrox was expected to be the biggest attendance of the weekend.

Fans leaving the stadium after the game described the result as "terrible" but said they remained firmly behind the team.

One man said: "The atmosphere was pretty good, but I am 73 and I now just wonder if I will ever see Rangers champions again."

Another supporter added: "The atmosphere was absolutely superb. The Rangers' supporters gave the team a good bit of back-up. Even although the result is not so good, we are behind the team."

Another fan said: "It was an unfortunate result.

"But we will still be there next week. No matter what happens we will still be 100% behind Rangers."

Rangers manager Ally McCoist said before the match that he knew how fans were feeling but that they would put on a show of strength at Ibrox.

Writing in the match programme, he said: "It was a very disappointing and black day on Tuesday when it was announced that the club had gone into administration.

Image caption Ahead of the match fans waved banners and flags showing support for their team

"The effect of this news was massive and wide ranging but it is our duty to deal with it with the pride and honour that befits this great football club."

He added: "The one thing that I have to ask you at this time for the club is to be with the club and with the team. They need the support of the fans more than ever in this hour."

The Scottish Premier League club went into administration on Tuesday, with HMRC pursuing an unpaid £9m tax bill accrued since Mr Whyte assumed control at Ibrox in May 2011.

Questions have also been raised over the whereabouts of £24m paid to the club by the firm Ticketus for future season tickets.

Rangers were given a 10-point penalty for going into administration, leaving the club 14 points behind Celtic in the SPL race.

Administrators Duff and Phelps have said they would continue to ensure the club's business was "run seamlessly" as a plan to exit administration was developed.

Speaking ahead of the game, joint administrator Paul Clark said new information about the takeover and running of the club had become available and they expected to prepare a proper statement on the finances of the club next week.

He said: "We're going to be looking at that information over the coming days and we expect to give some form of announcement during the course of next week."

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