Rangers played their first match at Ibrox since the club was liquidated and placed in the Third Division (the fourth tier of Scottish football). It was a Scottish Communities League Cup first-round match between a Third Division club and a Second Division club (East Fife), yet 38,160 people showed up to watch the home side win 4-0. In fact, ESPN reports that "the demand for tickets was so great ahead of kick-off, the start time was delayed by 15 minutes with a large number of fans still outside at 7:45pm."
Though the match was one that Rangers would've been exempt from if they were still a Scottish Premier League club, it ended up being a celebration of a rebirth as supporters put aside their bitterness and resentment over all that's happened to their club.
Said a supporter selling Rangers fanzine Number One outside the stadium (via Herald Scotland):
"It's given people a reason to pull together. There's a buzz about Ibrox that hasn't been here for years. Football and Rangers means the world to some people, and they'll be out to support the club.
"People were fed up with the SPL, and with Scottish football. It had grown stale and what's happened to Rangers has given the club a shot in the arm.
"It's got the fans excited in a way I've not seen for 15 years."
So Rangers will begin the road back to the SPL in a league where the combined average attendance last season was 4,706 with reinvested fans that seem ready to treat each game against Clyde and Montrose like Champions League matches. Well, the important Champions League matches, not those final group stage matches where everything's already been decided and the few fans that are there are angry that the tickets were so overpriced.
- Sports & Recreation
- Scottish football