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Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Friday, 27 August 2010 15:52 UK

Rangers & Manchester United play down security fears

Rangers fans in Manchester
Large crowds of Rangers fans descended on Manchester in 2008

Rangers and Manchester United have played down fears over security after the British giants were grouped together in the Champions League.

There was crowd trouble when Rangers fans travelled to Manchester for the 2008 Uefa Cup final.

Gers chief executive Martin Bain told the club website: "As a club we will be making very thorough preparation for our fans travelling to the match."

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is also confident trouble will be avoided.

"There were circumstances that day," recalled Ferguson of Rangers' last visit to Manchester.

"I don't think it was well organised because fans were invited down without tickets.

"It is like every club. Rangers have fantastic supporters but they have some bad elements.

The true Rangers supporters did not like those scenes and I am absolutely convinced that they will go down to Manchester to prove a point that they are a great set of supporters

Rangers chief executive
Martin Bain

"The unfortunate incidents that day maybe could have been avoided.

"Too many travelled without tickets. It won't happen again because we will be giving Rangers their proper allocation and they will control where the tickets are going.

"I don't expect Rangers fans to travel without a ticket."

Bain has urged Rangers fans not to travel to Manchester for the opening Group C fixture on 14 September, unless they have tickets and are accredited members of the Rangers Travel Club.

"Our supporters' groups are fully behind the club on this issue," he added.

"It is an entirely different situation to the Uefa Cup final two years ago when there were more than 150,000 fans in the city and we are confident that all appropriate measures will be put in place for the match in Manchester on September 14.


"We do, however, want to make it absolutely clear that any Rangers fan, apart from travel club members who will be allocated tickets, should not travel to Manchester.

"This applies to fans living in Scotland, the UK and abroad. This is a standard Champions League group stage match and as normal, there will be no provision of special facilities in Manchester, for those who do not have tickets.

"The club will be organising supervised travelling for supporters allocated tickets. We will be making every effort to get our travelling supporters to and from Manchester on arranged day trips, and independent travel will be discouraged.

Greater Manchester Police has said it will be liaising with both clubs to avoid ensure safety and Manchester City Council intend to organise the evening of the 14 September match differently to 2008, with no large screens being erected for fans to watch the game.

"This is an early group stage match so the circumstances are different to the Uefa Cup final but we will be working closely with the police to make sure that there is not a repeat of what happened in 2008," stated Councillor Mike Amesbury.

Walter Smith and Sir Alex Ferguson
Smith and Ferguson will face each other in the Champions League

"We will not be showing the game on big screens, as would be the case for any group stage match.

"Manchester regularly hosts major sporting events and week in week out we work with Premiership clubs to ensure fans both home and away enjoy their sport in our city.

"We will welcome genuine football fans as usual and will work with our partners to deliver a safe event."

Meanwhile, Bain has spoken of his delight that the Ibrox side have landed the glamour ties against United, with Valencia and Bursaspor the other teams making up the Scottish champions' section.

"Being drawn against a team of Manchester United's standing is exactly what the Champions League is all about and we are looking forward to both matches.

Rangers follow the trip to Old Trafford with a home tie against Bursaspor before a double-header against Valencia. United visit Ibrox at the end of November and Rangers end their group campaign in Turkey at the beginning of December.

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see also
Tottenham face Inter Milan test
26 Aug 10 |  Europe
Jelavic to miss Champions League
26 Aug 10 |  Rangers
Rangers outstrip Celtic Euro cash
24 Aug 10 |  Rangers

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