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Page last updated at 21:46 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 22:46 UK

Bain responds to 'Famine song'

Rangers players applaud their fans at Celtic Park
The chanting was heard during Rangers' recent win at Celtic Park

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain has reiterated the club's commitment to combat racist behaviour following concerns over the 'Famine song'.

Bain also said the Ibrox club was frustrated that its supporters were being singled out while similar chants by fans at other clubs escape censure.

Irish diplomats raised concerns this week with the Scottish Government over chanting at the recent Old Firm match.

The SPL is consulting with Rangers and police over the controversial song.

In a statement released on the club website, Bain urged Rangers fans not to sing the song or they could face the prospect of prosecution.

But he expressed unhappiness that other Scottish clubs were not being scrutinised in the same way by the authorities.

"Clearly some supporters feel aggrieved that a song they believe to be no more than a tit-for-tat 'wind up' of Celtic supporters should be singled out in this way and merit the attention of police, governments and anti-racism organisations," said Bain.

"In recent times, the absence of sanction or attention directed at any other club supports the contention that this is very much a one-way street.

Clearly some supporters feel aggrieved that a song they believe to be no more than a tit for tat 'wind up' of Celtic supporters should be singled out in this way and merit the attention of police, governments and anti-racism organisations

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain
"This is despite the best efforts of this club to highlight such issues in constructive discussion with the relevant authorities."

He added: "The club shares supporters' frustration that offensive and wholly unacceptable songs such as those 'celebrating' the Ibrox disasters or inciting death threats to our players are sung by supporters of other clubs on a regular basis with little or no comment or reprimand from any quarter.

"The club also believes that the issue of unacceptable conduct and anti-social behaviour at football matches has at times been used by individuals or groups to pursue their own agendas and there have been instances of this in the recent past."

Bain said that the club had discussed the singing of the 'Famine song' with police and warned fans that they could face arrest if they continued to sing it.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

The Scottish Premier League also released a statement saying it would investigate the matter.

An SPL spokesman said: "We introduced rules on unacceptable conduct last season, in line with the laws of the land.

"These have helped drive improvement in behaviour at matches and we will continue to work with clubs to this end.

"Rangers have contacted Strathclyde Police about the 'Famine Song' and we will be in touch with both parties to consider what, if any, action is needed."


see also
Concerns raised over famine song
15 Sep 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West


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