Rangers fans could urge Scotland and Scottish Cup boycott

Rangers fans at Arbroath's Gayfield Park
Rangers fans at Arbroath's Gayfield Park

Rangers fans could call on the club to withdraw players from Scotland squads and boycott the Scottish Cup.

The possibility from the Rangers Supporters Assembly comes after the club lost their appeal against Scottish Football Association sanctions.

"Potentially, there will be a call not to enter the Scottish Cup," said president Andy Kerr, whose group could also boycott away grounds next season.

"The other one is non co-operation with national squads."

The fans' group had already raised the possibility of boycotting away matches but were hopeful that Rangers would be successful in their appeal against the 12-month transfer ban, which will prevent Rangers from signing players over the age of 17, and £160,000 fine.

But the case was dismissed by the SFA's appeals tribunal and Charles Green, who is leading the consortium hoping to buy the administration-hit club, is having meetings with the national body and the Scottish Premier League.

Thousands of supporters protested outside Hampden last month when the punishment was initially handed down, with fans' representatives also meeting at Ibrox to discuss what action they may take depending on the outcome of the appeal.

"We had a meeting on the day of the march and there were a whole range of things put forward," said Kerr.

"We said we wouldn't have any knee-jerk reactions and be hopeful the appeals process would help.

"Now we know it hasn't been a help, we will revisit that discussion as a matter or urgency and consider what might be the best actions to take in the interests of the club.

"We need to be careful that we don't end up hurting ourselves at the same time.

Kerr says it is unreasonable to hold Rangers to account for Whyte's actions
Kerr says it is unreasonable to hold Rangers to account for Whyte's actions

"There will definitely be a call not to support away matches because that is directly impacting on the other clubs and they are member clubs of the SFA.

"In terms of the SFA specifically, there has already been some activity in terms of protesting and making representations to their sponsors."

Kerr said the idea of targeting the Scottish Cup and the national squads was because they are "directly under the auspices of the SFA".

Rangers were found guilty of five charges relating to their finances and the appointment of Craig Whyte as chairman - in particular the non-payment of more than £13m in taxes since his takeover last May.

"We were hopeful because when we looked at the reasons for the decision, the rationale behind it and the circumstances in which it occurred, we had a clear view that Craig Whyte was the villain of the piece here," said Kerr of the appeal.

"It looks as though the way they have reasoned the case is that effectively the actions of the owner apply equally to the actions of the club. We think that was totally unreasonable.

"This 12-month transfer ban just appears to have appeared out of nowhere, with no precedent and no other comparison with other cases to determine whether that was appropriate."

Green was meeting fans representatives at Ibrox following his talks with the football authorities at Hampden.