Rangers Football Club
The Gers The Teddy Bears The Light Blues
Scottish Championship, 1st (promoted)
Moses McNeil, William McBeath, Peter Campbell, Peter McNeil
Ownership of Rangers F.C.
Rangers Football Club are a football club in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city.
- Formation early years and William Wilton
- Bill Struth and Scot Symon
- Ibrox disaster European success and Jock Wallace
- John Greig and Jock Wallace returns
- Graeme Souness and Walter Smith 9 in a row
- Dick Advocaat and Alex McLeish
- Paul Le Guen and Walter Smiths return
- Ally McCoist insolvency and the lower leagues
- Return to the top league under Warburton
- Sponsors and manufacturers
- Stadium and training facility
- Incorporation to limited company and then to a PLC
- Craig Whyte administration and liquidation
- Current ownership
- Support for charities
- Work in the community
- Popular Culture
- First team squad
- On loan
- Academy squads
- Retired and reserved numbers
- Board of directors
- First team staff
- Team managers
- Domestic honours
- European honours
- Doubles and trebles
- Notable statistics
- Greatest ever team
- Scotland Football Hall of Fame
- Scotland Roll of Honour
- Scottish Sports Hall of Fame
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. Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final and 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 UEFA Cup in 2008. Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm.
Founded in 1872, Rangers were one of the eleven original members of the Scottish Football League and remained in the top division continuously until the liquidation of The Rangers Football Club PLC at the end of the 2011–12 season. With a new corporate identity, the club gained admittance to the fourth tier of Scottish league football in time for the start of the following season, and were promoted three times in four years to return to the top flight.
Formation, early years and William Wilton
The four founders of Rangers – brothers Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell and William McBeath – met in March 1872 at West End Park (now known as Kelvingrove Park). Rangers' first match, in May that year, was a goalless friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green. David Hill was also a founder member. In 1873, the club held its first annual meeting and staff were elected. By 1876 Rangers had its 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 joint-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 final victory over rivals Celtic. By the start of the 20th century, Rangers had won two league titles and three Scottish Cups. During William Wilton's time as match secretary and then team manager, Rangers won 10 league titles.
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's Day 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.
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, by a single goal 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 by Rangers fans reacting to the heavy handed tactics of the Spanish police, the majority of whom had been brought in from outwith Catalonia. The following season Rangers were invited by Barcelona FC to take part in their pre season tournament at the Camp Nou. 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.
John Greig and Jock Wallace returns
John Greig served as manager for 5 years but was unable to achieve the success as a manager that he had as a player. Unable to win the league during his reign, he was replaced by Jock Wallace returning in 1983. Unfortunately Jock Wallace was unable to repeat the success of his first period in charge with a win ratio of less than 50%. He was himself replaced by Graeme Souness in 1986.
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 four 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.
Rangers' ninth consecutive championship title was secured at Tannadice Park on 7 May 1997, with a single-goal 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 saw them defeat 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 and was replaced by Alex McLeish.
In his first full campaign, the 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 after a spell in England with Blackburn Rovers. The club's league championship triumph culminated in a dramatic final-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 ten 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 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 with an early exit from the League Cup whilst 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 its 52nd league championship on the last day of the season with a 3–0 victory at Dundee United. 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 victory in the competition. 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, insolvency and the lower leagues
Ally McCoist took over from Walter Smith in June 2011 but season 2011–12 started with Rangers eliminated from two European competitions before the end of August: losing to Swedish side Malmö FF in the Champions League third round qualifying match, and to Slovenian side Maribor in a Europa League qualifying match. While good league form saw Rangers in top spot after being unbeaten for the first 15 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 resulting in the club being deducted 10 points as per SPL rules. Though Rangers avoided having Celtic win the championship at Ibrox on 25 March by winning the game 3–2, Rangers ultimately finished 20 points behind Celtic in second place. 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.
After the CVA proposal was rejected, the Administrators completed a going concern sale of the business and assets to a new company Sevco Scotland Ltd, later renamed The Rangers Football Club Ltd. When the new company failed to secure the club's previous place in the Scottish Premier League, Rangers were accepted into the Scottish Football League and placed in the lowest division, the Third, rather than the First Division as the SPL and SFA had sought. The transfer of Rangers' SFA membership was agreed by the SFA upon acceptance of a number of conditions, including a one-year transfer ban, in time for the club to begin the 2012–13 season.
With most key first team players having refused to transfer to the new company, a very different Rangers team lined up for the first league match in Third Division. Despite this, Rangers secured a comfortable 5–1 victory over East Stirlingshire in front of a crowd of 49,118, a world record for a football match in a fourth tier league. 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 were defeated in the third round of the Scottish Challenge Cup by Queen of the South at Ibrox, in the quarter-finals of the Scottish League Cup at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup 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 Third Division title on 30 March after a goalless draw at Montrose.
Apart from being defeated 2–1 by Forfar Athletic in the first round of the League Cup on 3 August, season 2013–14 got off to an excellent start with Rangers winning maximum league points in their first 15 games in League One, before being held to a draw at home by Stranraer on Boxing Day 2013. Rangers secured the League One title and promotion to Scottish football's second tier on 12 March 2014 and went on to end the season unbeaten in league football. Rangers also reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup, in which they lost to Raith Rovers and the semi-final of the Scottish Cup, in which they lost 3–1 at Ibrox to Dundee United.
Playing in the Scottish Championship in season 2014–15 provided Rangers with a more difficult challenge, with the club losing home and away to both Hibernian and Hearts and also losing away to Queen of the South in the first half of the season. Rangers also failed to beat Alloa either home or away in the league before losing 3–2 to Alloa in the semi-final of the Scottish Challenge Cup. Amid mounting criticism, McCoist submitted his resignation intending to honour his 12 months notice period but was placed on 'gardening leave' and replaced by Kenny McDowall on a caretaker basis. McDowall remained in charge for just three months before resigning in March 2015. During his time in charge, Rangers won just three matches. Rangers then named as manager former player Stuart McCall, their third manager of the season, for what remained of the season. Under McCall, Rangers finished third in the league and then reached the Premiership play-off final, which they lost 6–1 on aggregate to Motherwell.
Return to the top league under Warburton
In June 2015 it was announced that Mark Warburton had been appointed manager on a three-year deal. Rangers went on to win the 2015–16 Scottish Championship and automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership, ending their four-year stint in the lower divisions. The club also reached the 2016 Scottish Cup Final, beating Old Firm rivals Celtic in the semi-final at Hampden, before losing to Hibernian in the final. After a poor first half of the 2016-17 season, Mark Warburton and David Weir left Rangers on 10 February 2017, Graeme Murty was placed in caretaker control of the Rangers first team.
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.
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.
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. Later matches played in France (when the club was sponsored by Carling) saw the club have no shirt sponsor at all, versus AJ Auxerre in November 2006 and Olympique Lyonnais in October 2007. 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 are one of the best supported clubs in Europe, the figure for the 2013–14 season being the 25th 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. One of Hong Kong's most popular football clubs Hong Kong Rangers F.C. was set up by an expatriate fan.
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, up to 200,000 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.
The club's most distinct rivalry is with Glasgow neighbours Celtic F.C.; the two clubs are collectively known as the Old Firm. Rangers' traditional support is largely drawn from the Protestant Unionist community, whilst Celtic's traditional support is largely drawn from the Catholic community. The first Old Firm match was won by Celtic and there have been over four hundred matches played to date. The Old Firm rivalry has fuelled many assaults, sometimes leading to deaths, on Old Firm derby days; an activist group that monitors sectarian activity in Glasgow has reported that on Old Firm weekends, admissions to hospital emergency rooms have increased over normal levels and journalist Franklin Foer noted that in the period from 1996 to 2003, eight deaths in Glasgow were directly linked to Old Firm matches, as well as hundreds of assaults.
The bitter rivalry with Aberdeen developed following an incident in the 1979 League Cup final when Rangers' Derek Johnstone provoked the fury of the Dons support with what they believed was a blatant dive but which resulted in the dismissal of Aberdeen's Doug Rougvie and a Rangers victory. Then, the following season, Aberdeen's John McMaster had to be given the kiss of life at Ibrox after a vicious stamp on his throat. Relations between fans were further soured during a league match on 8 October 1988, when Aberdeen player Neil Simpson's tackle on Rangers' Ian Durrant resulted in Durrant being injured for two years. Resentment continued and in 1998 an article in Rangers match programme branded Aberdeen fans "scum", although Rangers later issued a "full and unreserved apology" to Aberdeen and their supporters, which was accepted by Aberdeen. Fixtures have been described as "even more of a powderkeg than Old Firm games".
Rangers' relaunch in the Third Division in the 2012–13 season led to the club's original rivalry with Queen's Park being renewed for the first time since 1958 in the league. Rangers and Queen's Park first played each other in March 1879, some nine years before the start of the Old Firm rivalry. Matches with Queen's Park were advertised as the "Original Glasgow Derby" by Rangers and the Scottish media; and as the "Oldest Derby in the World" by Queen's Park.
During the 19th century, many immigrants came to Glasgow from Ireland – this was a time of considerable anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sentiment in Scotland. The early success of Celtic, a club associated with the Irish and Catholic community, has been described as sharpening Rangers' Protestant Unionist identity, contributing to the eventual absence of openly Catholic players from the team. From the early 20th century onwards, Catholics were not knowingly signed by the club, nor employed in other prominent roles as an 'unwritten rule'.
In 1989, Rangers signed Maurice "Mo" Johnston, "their first major Roman Catholic signing". Johnston was the highest-profile Catholic to sign for the club since the World War I era, though other Catholics had signed for Rangers before. Since Johnston's signing, an influx of overseas footballers has contributed to Catholic players becoming commonplace at Rangers. In 1999, Lorenzo Amoruso became the first Catholic captain of the club.
Rangers partnered with Celtic to form the Old Firm Alliance, an initiative aimed at educating children from across Glasgow about issues like healthy eating and fitness, as well as awareness of anti-social behaviour, sectarianism and racism. The club's Follow With Pride campaign was launched in 2007 to improve the club's image and build on previous anti-sectarian and anti-racist campaigns. William Gaillard, UEFA's Director of Communications, commended the SFA and Scottish clubs, including Rangers, for their actions in fighting discrimination. In September 2007, UEFA praised Rangers for the measures the club has taken against sectarianism.
However, sectarian chanting by supporters has continued to incur criticism and sanctions upon the club as well as convictions against individuals identified. In 1999, the vice-chairman of The Rangers Football Club Ltd, Donald Findlay, resigned after being filmed singing sectarian songs during a supporters club event. UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body has punished Rangers for incidents during European ties, most notably Villarreal in 2006, Osasuna in 2007, and PSV Eindhoven in 2011. In 2013, allegations were made that members of the armed forces were involved in sectarian singing at Ibrox at a weekend set up by the club to celebrate the British armed forces. In February 2015, following sectarian singing from Rangers fans at a match at Raith Rovers, the SPFL came in for criticism for their failure or inability to deal with the issue. The police and courts are taking action, however, as Rangers fans are being charged, convicted and jailed for sectarian behaviour.
Incorporation to limited company and then to a PLC
Rangers Football Club incorporated on 27 May 1899, forming The Rangers Football Club Ltd. No single shareholding exceeded 50% until 1985 when the Lawrence Group increased its shareholding in Rangers to a 52% majority, following a deal with then club vice-chairman Jack Gillespie. In November 1988, head of the Lawrence Group Lawrence Marlborough sold out to David Murray for £6 million.
In 2000, David Murray decided to list the company on the stock exchange, making it a public limited company. The name of the company was therefore changed to The Rangers Football Club Plc.
Craig Whyte, administration and liquidation
On 6 May 2011, Craig Whyte bought David Murray's shares for £1. On 13 February 2012. Whyte filed legal papers at the Court of Session giving notice of their intention to appoint administrators. The next day, The Rangers Football Club Plc – which was subsequently renamed RFC 2012 Plc – entered administration over non-payment of £9 million in PAYE and VAT taxes to HM Revenue and Customs. In April the administrators estimated that the club's total debts could top £134m which was largely dependent on the outcome of a First Tier Tax Tribunal concerning a disputed tax bill in relation to an Employee Benefit Trust ("EBT") scheme employed by the club since 2001. However, on 20 November 2012, the Tribunal ruled in favour of Rangers. If that decision is upheld the tax bill could be significantly reduced from an estimated £74m to under £2m. An Upper Tribunal upheld the decision in 2014. HMRC then appealed to the Court of Session, which ruled in November 2015 that Rangers should have paid tax and national insurance on the EBT payments.
On 25 June 2012, the Crown Office asked Strathclyde Police to investigate the purchase of Rangers and the club's subsequent financial management during Whyte's tenure.
Charles Green agreed a deal with the administrators of The Rangers Football Club Plc to purchase the company for £8.5 million if a proposed CVA was agreed or to purchase its business and assets for a £5.5million if the proposed CVA were to be rejected. On 14 June 2012, the formal rejection of the proposed CVA meant that the company would enter the liquidation process. The accountancy firm BDO were appointed to reveal why the company running the club failed.
Hours after the CVA's rejection, a new company formed by Charles Green's consortium, Sevco Scotland Ltd, completed the purchase of the business and assets of The Rangers Football Club Plc.
The new company formally applied to acquire the SPL share of The Rangers Football Club Plc on 18 June 2012 but, on 4 July, SPL clubs voted by 10–1 to reject the application. Kilmarnock abstained and the old Rangers company voted in favour. Thereafter, an application to the Scottish Football League was successful with Rangers securing associate membership on 13 July 2012 at an SFL meeting by a vote of 29–1. The SFL member clubs voted that Rangers should enter the fourth tier of Scottish Football, Scottish Third Division for the 2012–13 season, rather than the Scottish First Division.
An application was made for a transfer of SFA membership on 29 June 2012, with the new company applying for the transfer of the membership of The Rangers Football Club Plc. Agreement was reached on the transfer with the new company accepting a number of conditions relating to the old company.
At the end of 2012, Rangers International Football Club Plc became the holding company for the group, having acquired The Rangers Football Club Ltd on the basis of a one for one share exchange.
Support for charities
The Rangers Charity Foundation was created in 2002 and participates in a wide range of charitable work, regularly involving Rangers staff and star players. The foundation also has partnerships with UNICEF, The Prostate Cancer Charity and Erskine, and is responsible for over £2.3 million in donations. As well as fundraising, the Rangers Charity Foundation regularly bring sick, disabled and disadvantaged children to attend matches and tours at Ibrox, with the chance to meet the players.
Through its support of the Rangers Charity Foundation, the club has helped a number of charities with support and financial donations. In 2008, the club became the first Scottish side to be selected as a partner club of UNICEF. The club's Charity Foundation has backed initiatives in Togo and India as well as funding one million vaccinations for a children's vaccination programme. The club has been a firm supporter of Erskine, a charity which provides long-term medical care for veterans of the British Armed Forces, and in 2012, donated £25,000 to fund projects within their care homes. In January 2015, Rangers hosted a charity match for the benefit of former player Fernando Ricksen who had been diagnosed with Motor neuron disease and this raised £320,000 for him and MND Scotland.
Work in the community
Alongside its work with numerous charities, the club and its Charity Foundation operate various initiatives within the community including courses to help Armed Forces veterans overcome addictions, to raise awareness of social issues and help unemployed people back into work. In October 2015, the club launched its Ready2Succeed programme which was a ten-week course designed to develop participants confidence and employability skills by engaging with football and fitness. Rangers first-team players also visit the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow every year during the festive period where they hand out presents to the children and donate money to the hospital activity fund.
In 2002 former Rangers striker Ally McCoist starred in Robert Duvall's film "A Shot at Glory" as Jackie McQuillan where he would play against Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final for "Kilnockie F.C.".
In 2003 a Scottish television documentary series filmed by BBC Scotland, "Blue Heaven", followed aspiring young footballers at Rangers as they tried to forge a career in football. The series was originally broadcast in the winter of 2003 with a follow up episode in 2011.
In 2008, world famous chef Gordon Ramsay returned to boyhood heroes Rangers and the club he once played for as a youth to teach them how to cook in Series 4, Episode 12 of "The F Word".
Rangers have also featured in many documentaries about the History of Rangers F.C., the Old Firm, the Administration and liquidation of The Rangers Football Club Plc, the club's famous second "Nine In A Row" era and have featured in BBC Scotland's Scottish football comedy sketch show "Only An Excuse?" every Hogmanay since 1993.
The club has also featured on BBC Scotland comedy "Scotch and Wry" in 1979 in an iconic scene where Manager (Rikki Fulton) and Chief Scout (Gregor Fisher) unknowingly sign a young Catholic footballer (Gerard Kelly) but then try to void his contract to avoid publicly breaking the clubs "No Catholic" signing policy after finding out.
Scottish comedian and boyhood Rangers supporter Lex McLean also mentioned Rangers in many of his sketches with BBC Scotland on his comedy series television show, "Lex and Lex Again" in the 1960's and "The Lex McLean Show" in 1972.
Rangers have also featured on Sky Sports's British Saturday-morning football-based comedy/talk show "Soccer AM" quite regularly on in-show features such as "Fans of the Week", "Skill Skool", "Soccerette", "The Crossbar Challange" and most recently, "You Know The Drill" in 2015 hosted by former England midfielder Jimmy Bullard.
Owing to the notoriety of the "Rangers Inter City Firm", a football firm associated with the club, Rangers have also featured in TV Documentaries and books about football hooliganism, including Series 1 Episode 5 of "The Real Football Factories" presented by English actor Danny Dyer on Bravo in 2006 where he visits his first Old Firm match and meets football casuals from Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, Hibernian, Dundee United and Dundee.
Rangers have appeared in theatre a number of times as well in shows such as, "Follow Follow: The Rangers Story" at the King's Theatre in 1994 starring famous Scottish actors such as Barbara Rafferty, Alexander Morton, Jonathan Watson, Iain Robertson, Ronnie Letham and Stuart Bowman. "The Bigot" at the Pavilion Theatre in 1996, "Singin’ I’m No A Billy He’s A Tim" at the Pavillion Theatre in 2009, "Divided City" at the Citizens Theatre in 2011 and most recently, "Billy and Tim and the Wee Glesga Ghost" at the Pavilion Theatre in 2015.
The Hymn, " Follow On" also known in certain cases as "Down In The Valley With My Saviour I Would Go" or "I Will Follow Jesus" written by William Orcutt Cushing has been adopted for the anthem of Rangers, in their club anthem, "Follow Follow".
The club has also adopted the anthem of "The Best" written by Mike Chapman and Holly Knight for when Rangers and the opposition team come onto the Ibrox pitch before kick off.
First team squadAs of 31 January 2017
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For more details on the academy squads, see Rangers F.C. Under-20s and Academy.
Retired and reserved numbers
Board of directors
Rangers F.C. is owned and operated by The Rangers Football Club Limited ("TRFCL"), which in turn, is a subsidiary of the holding company Rangers International Football Club PLC ("RIFC"). The latter company, RIFC, also owns other corporations related to Rangers including Rangers Retail Ltd, Rangers Media Ltd and Garrion Security Services Ltd who are responsible for providing match day security at Ibrox Stadium.
As of 1 July 2016
First team staff
As of 11 March 2017
Only fifteen men have been manager of Rangers during their 144-year history. The longest serving manager is Bill Struth who served for 34 years and 26 days. Rangers have had three foreign managers during their history; Dick Advocaat (1 June 1998 to 12 December 2001), Paul Le Guen (9 May 2006 to 4 January 2007) and Pedro Caixinha (from 13 March 2017). Graeme Souness is the only player-manager during Rangers' history.
The most successful manager in terms of the number of trophies won is Bill Struth with 18 League titles, 10 Scottish Cups and 2 League Cups, but the most successful manager in terms of trophies to time served is Walter Smith with 7 League titles, 3 Scottish Cups and 3 League Cups in 7 years 42 days. Smith won 3 League titles, 2 Scottish Cups and 3 League Cups in the 4 years, 126 days of his second spell. Rangers' other manager with notable success was William Waddell who won the European Cup Winner's Cup during his 2 years and 175-day stint.
As of April 2016
Doubles and trebles
Rangers became the first British side to reach a UEFA-sanctioned European final in 1961.
Greatest ever team
The following team was voted the greatest ever Rangers team by supporters in 1999. When the vote was launched it was feared that younger voters would ignore the great service of many of the pre-war stars (notably the most successful captain and most successful manager the club has ever had, Davie Meiklejohn and Bill Struth respectively). When the ballot was launched Donald Findlay stated it would be limited to post Second World War players because "few can recall players of these earlier eras":
Scotland Football Hall of Fame
As of 2016, 28 players and managers to have been involved with Rangers in their careers, have entered the Scottish Football Hall of Fame:
Scotland Roll of Honour
The Scotland national football team roll of honour recognises players who have gained 50 or more international caps for Scotland. The nine inductees to have won caps while playing for Rangers are:
Scottish Sports Hall of Fame
In the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame, 3 Rangers players have been selected, they are:
As of August 2016, Rangers are sponsored by:
A full list of Rangers commercial partners and sponsors can be found on the official club website and in the Rangers matchday programme, available at every home game.