|Full name||Rangers Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Gers; The Teddy Bears; The Light Blues|
|Founded||March 1872; 141 years ago|
|Ground||Ibrox StadiumGlasgow, Scotland|
|Owner||Rangers International Football Club Plc|
|League||Scottish League One|
|2012–13||Scottish Third Division, 1st|
|Website||Club home page|
Rangers Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Glasgow which plays in Scottish League One – the third tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground is Ibrox Stadium in the south-west of the city. Founded in 1872, Rangers were one of the ten founder members of the original Scottish Football League, remaining in Scotland's top division until the end of the 2011–12 season.
In 2012, The Rangers Football Club Plc became insolvent and entered administration, resulting in liquidation when an agreement could not be reached with its creditors. Its business and assets, including Rangers FC, were bought by a new company, to which the club's Scottish Football Association membership was transferred in time to enable Rangers to relaunch in the Scottish Football League's Third Division at the start of season 2012–13.
In domestic football Rangers have won more league titles and trebles than any other club in the world, winning the league title 54 times, the Scottish Cup 33 times and the Scottish League Cup 27 times, and achieving the treble of all three in the same season seven times. They also won the Third Division title in 2013. In European football, Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final. They won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 after being runner up twice in 1961 and 1967. A third runners up finish in Europe came in the 2008 UEFA Cup.
- 1 History
- 2 Crest and colours
- 3 Stadium and training facility
- 4 Supporters
- 5 Sectarianism
- 6 Ownership and finances
- 7 Rangers Charity Foundation
- 8 Records
- 9 Players
- 10 Board of directors
- 11 Backroom staff
- 12 Honours
- 13 UEFA rankings
- 14 Notable former players
- 15 Sponsors
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 Further reading
- 19 External links
Formation and early years
The four founders of Rangers – brothers Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell and William McBeath – met in early March in 1872. Rangers' first match, in May that year, was a 0–0 friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green. In 1873, the club held its first annual meeting and staff were elected. By 1876 Rangers had their first international player, with Moses McNeil representing Scotland in a match against Wales. In 1877 Rangers reached a Scottish Cup final; after drawing the first game Rangers refused to turn up for the replay and the cup was awarded to Vale of Leven. Rangers won the Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup the following year against Vale of Leven 2–1, their first major cup. The first ever Old Firm match took place in 1888, the year of Celtic's establishment. Rangers lost 5–2 in a friendly to a team composed largely of guest players from Hibernian
The 1890–91 season saw the inception of the Scottish Football League, and Rangers, by then playing at the first Ibrox Stadium, were one of ten original members. The club's first ever league match on 16 August 1890 resulted in a 5–2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing equal-top with Dumbarton, a play-off held at Cathkin Park finished 2–2 and the title was shared for the only time in its history. Rangers' first ever Scottish Cup win came in 1894 after a 3–1 victory over rivals Celtic in the final. By the start of the 20th century, Rangers had won two league titles and three Scottish Cups.
Bill Struth and Scot Symon
Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers' most successful manager, guiding the club to 14 league titles before the onset of the Second World War. On 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional new year holiday Old Firm match. Leading the club for 34 years until 1954, Struth won more trophies than any manager in Scottish Football history, amassing 18 league championships, 10 Scottish Cups, 2 League Cups, 7 war-time championships, 19 Glasgow Cups, 17 Glasgow Merchant Charity Cups and other war-time honours. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League.
Scot Symon continued Struth's success, winning six league championships, five Scottish Cups and four League Cups, becoming the second manager to win the domestic treble in 1963–64 season, the era of 'Slim' Jim Baxter, one of the club's greatest players. Rangers also lost by their biggest old firm margin of 7–1 to Celtic.
Rangers reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960, losing to German club Eintracht Frankfurt by a record aggregate 12–4 for a Scottish team. In 1961 Rangers became the first British team to reach a European final when they contested the Cup Winners' Cup final against Italian side Fiorentina, only to lose 4–1 on aggregate. Rangers lost again in the final of the same competition in 1967, losing 1–0 after extra time to Bayern Munich.
Ibrox disaster, European success and Jock Wallace
The Ibrox disaster occurred on 2 January 1971 when large-scale crushing on a stairway exit at the culmination of the New Year's Day Old Firm game claimed 66 lives. An enquiry concluded that the crush was likely to have happened ten minutes after the final whistle and to have been triggered by someone falling on the stairs. A benefit match to raise funds for the victims' families took place after the disaster, a joint Rangers and Celtic team playing a Scotland XI at Hampden, watched by 81,405 fans.
In 1972, Rangers emerged from the tragedy of the previous year to finally achieve success on the European stage. A Colin Stein goal and a Willie Johnston double helped secure a 3–2 victory over FC Dynamo Moscow at the Nou Camp, Barcelona, to lift the European Cup Winners' Cup. Captain John Greig received the trophy in a small room within the Nou Camp following pitch invasions and rioting by Rangers fans. Rangers were banned from Europe for two years for the behaviour of their fans, later reduced on appeal to a year.
Emerging from the shadows of Jock Stein's Celtic side, Rangers regained ascendancy with notable domestic success under the stewardship of manager Jock Wallace. In his first season in charge – the club's centenary – Rangers won the Scottish Cup at Hampden in front of 122,714 supporters. In 1974–75, Wallace led Rangers to their first League championship triumph in eleven years, before winning the treble the following season, repeating the historic feat in 1977–78.
Graeme Souness and Walter Smith – 9 in a row
Every year from the 1988–89 season until the 1996–97 season, Rangers won the league title. This nine-in-a-row achievement equalled Celtic's record, set prior to the forming of the Scottish Football League Premier Division, subsequent to which competing teams met 4 times a season. The first three of these seasons the club was managed by Graeme Souness, the latter six under the stewardship of Walter Smith.
Notable seasons included 1990–91, which culminated in a final day finale, Rangers securing a 2–0 victory at Ibrox over Aberdeen, who needed only a draw to secure the championship. Season 1992–93 was notable for a domestic treble of trophies, as well an extended run in the inaugural UEFA Champions League, the club at one stage only one goal from securing a place in the final.
Outstanding contributions from Player of the Season winners Ally McCoist (1991–92), Andy Goram (1992–93), Mark Hateley (1993–94), Brian Laudrup (1994–95 and 1996–97) and Paul Gascoigne (1995–96), were crucial to maintaining success. Rangers ninth consecutive championship title was secured at Tannadice Park on 7 May 1997, with a 1–0 victory over Dundee United.
Dick Advocaat and Alex McLeish
In 1998, Dutchman Dick Advocaat became the club's first foreign manager. Nine-in-a-row era stalwarts having moved on, Advocaat invested heavily in the team with immediate results, leading the club to their sixth domestic treble. The league championship was won with a 3–0 victory at Celtic Park on 2 May 1999. A second consecutive league title was won by a record 21 point margin, the club securing a domestic double with a 4–0 Scottish Cup final victory over Aberdeen. Rangers' campaign in the Champions League was promising, defeating UEFA Cup winners Parma en route.
Advocaat's third season saw Rangers fail to compete domestically against Celtic under new manager Martin O’Neill. Despite investment in the team including Tore Andre Flo for a club record £12 million, European success beyond the Champions league group stages again proved elusive. After a slow start to the following season, Advocaat resigned from his post in December 2001 to be replaced as manager by Alex McLeish.
In his first full campaign, 2002–03 season saw McLeish become the sixth Rangers manager to deliver a domestic treble. The championship was won on goal difference during a dramatic final day 6–1 triumph over Dunfermline Athletic at Ibrox, securing Rangers' 50th league title, the first club in the world to achieve the feat. Major expenditure sanctioned by Chairman David Murray had burdened Rangers with considerable debts in the region of £52m. The club's worsening financial state saw many of the team's top players leave in the summer of 2003, the following season failing to deliver any trophies, only the second such occasion since 1985–86.
The 2004–05 season restored success to Rangers, who were boosted by signings such as Jean-Alain Boumsong, Dado Pršo and Nacho Novo, along with the return of former captain Barry Ferguson. The club's league championship triumph culminated in a dramatic last day finish. The destination of the trophy changed unexpectedly, with Celtic conceding late goals to Motherwell at Fir Park whilst Rangers led against Hibernian, requiring the helicopter carrying the SPL trophy to change direction and deliver the prize to the Easter Road ground in Leith.
Despite beginning as favourites to retain the championship, Rangers suffered an unprecedented run of poor results between September and November, a club record run of 10 games without a win. Included within this period, a 1–1 draw with Inter Milan took Rangers into the last 16 of the Champions League, the first Scottish team to achieve the feat since 1993, the club eventually exiting on the away goals rule to Villarreal. On 9 February 2006, it was announced by chairman David Murray that McLeish would be standing down as manager at the end of that season.
Paul Le Guen and Walter Smith's return
Frenchman Paul Le Guen replaced Alex McLeish as manager after season 2005–06. The season started poorly for Rangers, with an early exit from the League Cup whilst rivals Celtic built a commanding lead at the top of the table. In the UEFA Cup Rangers became the first Scottish side to qualify for the last 32 of the competition since the introduction of the group phase after finishing their group unbeaten. However, amid claims of disharmony between the manager and captain Barry Ferguson, it was announced on 4 January 2007 that Le Guen had left Rangers by mutual consent. On 10 January 2007, former boss Walter Smith resigned from his post as Scotland manager to return to the Ibrox helm, with Ally McCoist as assistant manager.
The following season Rangers contested the UEFA Cup after dropping into the competition from the Champions League. The club reached the final, defeating Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen, Sporting Lisbon and Fiorentina along the way. The final in Manchester against Zenit St. Petersburg, who were managed by former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat, ended in a 2–0 defeat.
The 2008–09 season saw Rangers recover from an early exit from the UEFA Champions League to FBK Kaunas of Lithuania. The club secured their 52nd league championship on the last day of the season with a 3–0 victory of Dundee United at Tannadice. Rangers also successfully defended the Scottish Cup, a 33rd competition triumph, defeating Falkirk 1–0 in the final.
The 2009–10 season saw Rangers reach their fifth consecutive domestic final: against St. Mirren in the Scottish League Cup, the club overcame a two-men deficit from red cards, a late deciding goal from Kenny Miller securing a record 27th competition victory. The league championship title was retained with three matches remaining at Easter Road, defeating Hibernian 1–0 with a Kyle Lafferty goal. The 2010–11 season, Smith's final season in charge, saw Rangers retain the League Cup, defeating Celtic at Hampden with a Nikica Jelavić goal in extra time. A third consecutive title was won by beating Kilmarnock 5–1 on the last day of the season, Smith's final match in charge of the club.
Ally McCoist and insolvency
As announced the previous year, Ally McCoist took over from Walter Smith in June 2011 with his first competitive match in charge against Hearts in July, ending in a 1–1 draw. Rangers lost 2–1 on aggregate to Swedish side Malmö FF in the Champions League third round qualifying match, and were then knocked out of Europe after losing 3–2 on aggregate in the Europa League qualifying match against Slovenian side Maribor. In the first Old Firm match of the 2011–12 season and McCoist's first in charge of the club Rangers won 4–2 at Ibrox. Good league form saw Rangers maintain top spot in the SPL and were unbeaten after 11 games. They were knocked out of the League Cup by Falkirk and the Scottish Cup by Dundee Utd at Ibrox.
Rangers was placed into administration on 14 February 2012 as a result of financial problems and a dispute with HMRC. This resulted in the club being deducted 10 points, as per SPL rules, which extended Celtic's lead at the top of the league to 14 points. Rangers' first game in administration was played in front of a sell-out crowd at Ibrox though they lost 1–0 to Kilmarnock, and poor form continued with defeats to Hearts and Dundee United. The last significant game for Rangers in the 2011–12 season was the Old Firm game on 25 March where a win for Celtic would see their rivals win the championship at Ibrox. Rangers won 3–2 however and ultimately finished the season in second place behind Celtic.
A failure to reach agreement with creditors on 14 June 2012 led to The Rangers Football Club Plc (since renamed RFC 2012 Plc) entering the process of liquidation. Its business, assets and history were sold to a new company, Sevco Scotland Ltd, which then applied for the transfer of Rangers' SFA membership which was agreed by the SFA upon acceptance of a number of conditions, including a one-year transfer ban (taking effect from the end of that summer's transfer window). Though an application for membership of the Scottish Premier League was rejected, an application to the Scottish Football League was accepted, with member clubs deciding to place Rangers in the lowest division, the Third, for the start of the 2012–13 season rather than the First Division as SPL and SFA had sought. On July 31, 2012, shareholders of the new company voted to change the company name from Sevco Scotland Ltd to The Rangers Football Club Ltd.
Rangers' first home match in Division 3 was a 5–1 victory over East Stirlingshire in front of a crowd of 49,118 at Ibrox, a world record for a football match in a fourth tier league.[n 1] However, away from home, Rangers started their league campaign with three successive draws before losing 1–0 to Stirling Albion, at the time the bottom club. Rangers reached the third round of the Scottish Challenge Cup where they were defeated by Queen of the South at Ibrox, the quarter finals of the Scottish League Cup where they lost 3–0 at home to Inverness Caley Thistle and the fifth round of the Scottish Cup where they were defeated 3–0 by Dundee United. Rangers beat their own new record against Queens Park with an attendance of 49,463 and again against Stirling Albion with an attendance of 49,913. Rangers clinched the Division 3 title on 30 March after a goalless draw at Montrose.
Crest and colours
Unusually for a football club, Rangers have two different official crests. Today the original scroll crest appears on the club's strips whereas the lion rampant club crest is used by the media, on club merchandise and on official club documents. Both crests have undergone minor variations since their introduction. It is believed that the scroll crest, representing the letters RFC overlapping, has been used since the club's formation in 1872, although the oldest remaining piece of memorabilia containing this crest is from the 1881–82 season. The scroll crest was replaced in 1959 with the lion rampant club crest which featured a lion rampant, an old-style football and the club's motto Ready, which was shortened from Aye Ready (meaning Always Ready in Scots), all surrounded by the team name, Rangers Football Club. The lion rampant club crest was modernised in 1968; the lion rampant, team name, club motto and old style football all remained. It was again updated ever so slightly in the early 1990s to the current version. The modern circular crest is regularly used on club merchandise and by the media; it has never featured prominently on the club strip. Since 1968 Rangers have had two crests, the scroll crest made a return appearing on the chest of the club shirt for the first time while the modernised club crest was still the club's official logo. The scroll crest first appeared on the teams shorts for the start of the 1978–79 season.
The way the scroll crest has appeared on the club shirt has varied slightly through the years. Between 1990 and 1994 'Rangers Football Club' and the 'Ready' motto appeared above and below the Crest respectively. Between 1997 and 1999 the scroll crest featured within a shield. After a successful end to the season in 2003, which delivered Rangers a Domestic Treble and their 50th league title; five stars were added to the top of the scroll crest, one for every ten titles won by the club. The team wore a special crest on 8 December 2012 in a home league match against Stirling Albion, to commemorate the 140th anniversary of their formation. '1872–2012' appeared above the scroll crest with the words '140 years' featuring below.
- RangersFCLogo1959.pngLion rampant club crest 1959–1968. Never appeared on the shirt.
- Rangers FC logo 1990's.pngLion rampant club crest 1968–1991. Never appeared on the shirt.
- ScrollCrestRangersF.C.svgScroll crest. Appeared on the chest of the Rangers shirt 1968–Present.
- StarScrollCrestRangersFC.svgScroll crest with 5 stars. Worn on the Rangers shirt 2003–Present.
The club colours of Rangers F.C. are royal blue, white and red. However, for the majority of the first forty-eight years of Rangers existence the club played in a plain lighter blue home shirt. The only deviation from this was a four season period from 1879 when the side wore the lighter shade of blue and white in a hooped style. Traditionally this is accompanied by white shorts (often with royal blue and/or red trim) and black socks with red turn-downs. Rangers moved from the lighter shade of blue to royal blue in 1921, and have had a royal blue home shirt every year since. Black socks were first included in 1883 for five seasons before disappearing for eight years but became a more permanent fixture from 1896 onwards. When the red turn-downs were added to the socks in 1904, the strip began to look more like the modern day Rangers home kit. Occasionally the home kit will be altered by the shorts and socks, sometimes replacing the black socks with white ones; or replacing the white shorts and black socks combination with royal blue shorts and socks.
The basic design of Rangers away strips has changed far more than the traditional home strip. Rangers original change strip, used between 1876 and 1879, was all white featuring blue and white hooped socks and a light blue six pointed star on the chest. White and red have been the most common colours for Rangers alternate strips, though dark and light blue have also featured highly. In 1994 Rangers introduced a third kit. This is usually worn if both the home and away kits clash with their opponents. The colours used in the third kits have included combinations of white, red, dark and light blue as well as black.
|Selection of Rangers kits through history|
Sponsors and manufacturers
Since 1978 when Rangers signed a deal with Umbro they have had a specific kit manufacturer and since 1984 have had a kit sponsor. When Rangers played French sides AJ Auxerre and RC Strasbourg in the 1996–97 Champions League and the UEFA Cup respectively, due to a French ban on alcohol advertising the team wore the logo of Center Parcs instead of McEwan's Lager. The following tables detail the shirt sponsors and kit suppliers of Rangers by year:
Stadium and training facility
The club used a variety of grounds in Glasgow as a venue for home matches in the years between 1872 and 1899. The first was Flesher's Haugh, situated on Glasgow Green, followed by Burnbank in the Kelvinbridge area of the city, and then Kinning Park for ten years from the mid-1870s to the mid-1880s. From February of the 1886–87 season, Cathkin Park was used until the first Ibrox Park, in the Ibrox area of south-west Glasgow, was inaugurated for the following season. Ibrox Stadium in its current incarnation was originally designed by the architect Archibald Leitch, a Rangers fan who also played a part in the design of, among others, Old Trafford in Manchester and Highbury in London. The stadium was inaugurated on 30 December 1899, and Rangers defeated Hearts 3–1 in the first match held there.
Rangers' training facility is located in Auchenhowie, Glasgow. The facility is known as Murray Park after former chairman and owner Sir David Murray. It was proposed by then-manager Dick Advocaat upon his arrival at the club in 1998. It was completed in 2001 at a cost of £14 million. Murray Park was the first purpose-built facility of its kind in Scotland, and incorporates features including nine football pitches, a state of the art gym, a hydrotherapy pool, and a video-editing suite. Rangers' youth teams are also accommodated at Murray Park, with around 140 players between under-10 and under-19 age groups using the training centre. Various first-team players have come through the ranks at Murray Park, including Alan Hutton, Chris Burke, Stevie Smith, John Fleck and Charlie Adam. International club teams playing in Scotland, as well as national sides, have previously used Murray Park for training, and Advocaat's South Korea team used it for training prior to the 2006 World Cup.
Rangers FC are one of the best supported clubs in Europe, with an average attendance that is consistently one of the highest on the continent, the figure for the 2011–12 season being the 19th largest home league attendance. The club's website lists over 150 supporters' clubs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with 95 further clubs spread across over 20 countries around the world. Rangers fans have contributed to several records for high attendances, including the highest home attendance for a league fixture, 118,567 on 2 January 1939. Rangers record highest attendance was against Hibernian on 27 March 1948 in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park. Rangers beat Hibernian 1–0 in front of a packed 143,570 crowd.
In 2008, an estimated 150,000 Rangers supporters, many without match tickets, travelled to Manchester for the UEFA Cup Final. Despite most supporters behaving "impeccably", Rangers fans were involved in serious trouble and rioting. A minority of fans rioted in the city centre, clashing violently with police and damaging property, resulting in 42 being arrested for a variety of offences.