Police have urged Rangers fans to disperse after thousands descended onto the streets around Ibrox to watch their team collect their first Scottish Premiership trophy in a decade.
Fans had been setting off blue and red flares hours before kick-off and they cheered and chanted as players left the team bus before their home game against Aberdeen, which they won 4-0 to finish the season unbeaten.
Greater Glasgow Police called on supporters to “disperse and take personal responsibility and use Greater Glasgow safely and respectfully”.
Our operation ahead of the Rangers v Aberdeen match has started.
Officers will be deploying at a number of locations including Ibrox Stadium and George Square.
Supporters congregating should disperse, take personal responsibility and use Greater Glasgow safely & respectfully. pic.twitter.com/XU1ARkuJZV
— Greater Glasgow Police (@GreaterGlasgPol) May 15, 2021
- Rangers’ title triumph: Essential reading
- What next for Steven Gerrard and Rangers?
- Rangers: The road to recovery
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said that the “key point” for fans was taking “personal responsibility”.
He said on Twitter: “While there is a significant Police presence at Ibrox and across City, this is ultimately about personal responsibility. If you have gathered you should disperse, particularly given yday’s announcement about Covid in Glasgow.”
This is the key point – take personal responsibility.
While there is a significant Police presence at Ibrox and across City, this is ultimately about personal responsibility. If you have gathered you should disperse, particularly given yday’s announcement about Covid in Glasgow. https://t.co/TOEUSbIzTo
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) May 15, 2021
The Scottish Government previously criticised Rangers’ response after thousands of fans gathered outside Ibrox and in George Square on the weekend they clinched the title in early March.
On Friday night, scores of Rangers fans lighted red flares simultaneously along the Clyde close to the Clyde Arc, known as the “squinty bridge”.
Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, divisional commander for Greater Glasgow division, said: “Under the current restrictions no-one should be gathering in numbers of more than six at the stadium or any other location, and Police Scotland supports the club in urging its fans to do the right thing and follow the coronavirus regulations around gatherings.
“We will continue to liaise with our partners, including the Scottish Government, to ensure matches can be completed safely and to minimise the risk to both our officers and the public.
“The sacrifices people have made have allowed for further easing of regulations, however we continue to ask people to take personal responsibility and to use Greater Glasgow safely and respectfully.”
Earlier this week, Mr Yousaf urged supporters not to gather.
He wrote on Twitter: “Understand what an important season it has been for @RangersFC but I am urging fans not to gather during the trophy presentation on Saturday.
“I have had constructive engagement with RFC, @policescotland & @GlasgowCC – we’re all urging fans not to gather, virus has not gone away.”