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Enjoy Seville but respect the city, Rangers chief tells fans ahead of final

Treat Seville with respect says Rangers chief Stewart Robertson (Jeff Holmes/PA)
Treat Seville with respect says Rangers chief Stewart Robertson (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Stewart Robertson has urged Rangers fans to respect Seville and enjoy themselves in next week’s Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Tens of thousands of Gers fans are set to make their way to Spain for the club’s first European final in 14 years since the UEFA Cup defeat to Zenit St Petersburg in Manchester in 2008, which saw trouble in the city.

Many Gers fans will travel without tickets against the advice of UEFA but managing director Robertson had a message for anyone who makes the journey to Spain in the club’s colours.

He said: “To supporters with or without tickets, (the message) is go and enjoy yourself, go and enjoy the occasion. I remember in 2008 thinking ‘will I see Rangers in a European final again?’ and here we are.

“It is fantastic. Go and enjoy the occasion, go and be a good ambassador for Rangers.

“We are going to a beautiful city, in Seville, go and enjoy the city but let’s go and do it in the right way, the right manner. Go and enjoy it, have a good time.

“Regardless of numbers go and do it, respect the city, respect the locals, there will be people going about their day-to-day business.

“I remember when Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid were in Glasgow (Champions League final 2002) and there was a great atmosphere in the city so hopefully we can create a similar atmosphere in Seville.

“There is going to be disruption to people’s day-to-day lives but hopefully we minimise that and do it in a way that is positive. And the local people, when we leave, have a good impression of Rangers and Rangers supporters.”

Robertson revealed Rangers were in talks with UEFA and Spanish authorities about a fan zone for those without tickets in Spain.

He said: “There are discussions with UEFA over various fan zones and hopefully we can establish one for those supporters travelling without tickets.

“UEFA and the authorities in Seville have been terrific to deal with so far, so fingers crossed we can get that sorted.”

Robertson, however, quashed hopes of a beam back of the game to Ibrox.

He said: “It is very unlikely because most of the key staff we need to organise and run such a beam back will be in Seville. I don’t think that will happen.

“As much as I understand the desire of fans to gather in one place and watch it, I just don’t think it is going to be physically possible.”

Robertson outlined the benefits of the run to Seville both on and off the park.

He said: “The run we are on now is probably slightly more (money) than we would have had for qualifying for the Champions League this season, and going out at the group stage. It is a terrific boost.

“Beyond the money it is the profile the club has had.

“You look at what it does to the profile the players get and the ability to attract new players in the summer. Getting to a European final makes the club more attractive.

“Financially, it has been a fantastic addition to what we budgeted for. It allows us to hopefully strengthen the team, do some of the infrastructure projects around the stadium and training ground.”

Returning to planning, Robertson also confirmed Rangers are in talks with Glasgow city council about a victory parade if the Light Blues bring a European trophy back to the city for the first time in 50 years.

He said: “Those conversations are ongoing. They have been positive conversations so far so again I would like to thank the council.

“If that happens and we can have that parade, again we want it to be a positive occasion and supporters to enjoy that, but to do it in a way that everyone looks at the Rangers supporters and actually has a bit of respect for them.

“I can’t remember in all my years as a Rangers supporter when Rangers fans have been able to come out and celebrate their team on an open top bus.

“You see it in England all the time. It would be a fantastic occasion for the team and supporters.”