Rangers FC a brief history

Rangers Football Club is a professional football club located in the Govan district of Glasgow, Scotland, and is a member of the Scottish Premiership. Though its official name is simply Rangers Football Club, it is often referred to as Glasgow Rangers outside of Scotland. As the fourth-oldest football club in Scotland, Rangers was founded in March 1872 by four teenage boys who were walking through West End Park (now Kelvingrove Park) and conceived the idea of forming a football club. In May of the same year, they played their first match against the now-defunct Callander in the Fleshers' Haugh area of Glasgow Green.

Ibrox Stadium, the home ground of Rangers, is a Category B listed building that was designed by stadium architect Archibald Leitch and opened in 1929. It is also the third-largest football stadium in Scotland with a seating capacity of 50,987. Rangers has always played in royal blue shirts, which have become synonymous with the club.

Rangers is the most successful club in Scottish football history, having won the Scottish League title a record 55 times, the Scottish Cup 34 times, and the Scottish League Cup a record 27 times. They have also achieved the domestic treble on seven occasions, which is a joint world record shared with their rivals, Celtic. In addition, Rangers won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 after being losing finalists twice, in 1961 (the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final) and 1967. While they reached the UEFA Cup Final in 2008, Rangers lost, but they achieved a fourth runners-up finish in European competition by reaching the UEFA Europa League Final in 2022.

The rivalry between Rangers and Celtic is legendary, and the two Glasgow clubs are collectively known as the Old Firm, which is considered one of the world's biggest football derbies. With more than 600 Rangers supporters' clubs in 35 countries worldwide, Rangers has one of the largest fanbases in world football. The club holds the record for the largest travelling support in football history, with an estimated 200,000 Rangers fans arriving in Manchester for the 2008 UEFA Cup Final. Rangers also took the largest ever travelling support abroad when an estimated 100,000 fans arrived in Seville for the 2022 UEFA Europa League Final.

Rangers is one of the 11 original members of the Scottish Football League and remained in the top division continuously until a financial crisis during the 2011–12 season led to the club entering administration and the original company being liquidated with the assets moved to a new company structure. The club was accepted as an associate member of the Scottish Football League and placed in the fourth tier of the Scottish football league system in time for the start of the following season. However, Rangers won three promotions in four years, returning to the Premiership for the start of the 2016–17 season. During their time in the Scottish lower divisions, Rangers became the only club in Scotland to have won every domestic trophy. In 2020–21, Rangers won the Scottish Premiership, their first Scottish championship in ten years, and it was a then world record fifty-fifth league win. Additionally, this victory stopped their rivals, Celtic, from breaking the domestic record by winning ten titles in a row.

Formation, early years and William Wilton

Rangers Football Club was founded in March 1872 by four enterprising young men, namely brothers Moses McNeil and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell, and William McBeath, who convened at West End Park, now known as Kelvingrove Park. The club's inaugural match took place in May of the same year, resulting in a goalless friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green, with David Hill also a founding member. Rangers held its first annual meeting and elected staff in 1873, while 1876 saw the club's first international player in the person of Moses McNeil, who represented Scotland in a match against Wales. In 1877, Rangers reached the Scottish Cup final, drawing the first game, but controversially refused to turn up for the replay, leading to the cup being awarded to Vale of Leven. Nevertheless, Rangers won the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup the following year, defeating Vale of Leven 2–1 to secure their first major cup. In 1888, the first-ever match against Celtic took place, with Rangers losing 5–2 in a friendly to an opposition predominantly composed of guest players from Hibernian.

The Scottish Football League was inaugurated in the 1890–91 season, with Rangers, then playing at the first Ibrox Stadium, being one of the ten founding members. The club's first league match took place on 16 August 1890, resulting in a 5–2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing joint-top with Dumbarton, Rangers shared the title for the only time in its history following a 2–2 draw in the play-off held at Cathkin Park. In 1894, Rangers achieved their first-ever Scottish Cup victory, defeating rivals Celtic 3–1 in the final. By the turn of the 20th century, Rangers had won two league titles and three Scottish Cups. During William Wilton's tenure as match secretary and later team manager, Rangers won ten league titles, cementing their status as one of the most successful clubs in Scottish football history.

Bill Struth and Scot Symon

Bill Struth and Scot Symon are considered by many as titans in the history of Rangers Football Club. Taking over as manager after William Wilton's death in 1920, Bill Struth went on to become the most successful manager in the club's history. Over the course of his tenure, which spanned an impressive 34 years until 1954, Struth guided Rangers to a staggering 18 league championships, 10 Scottish Cups, two League Cups, seven war-time championships, 19 Glasgow Cups, 17 Glasgow Merchant Charity Cups, and other war-time honours. Under Struth's leadership, Rangers set a new record by becoming the first club in Britain and second club in Europe after MTK Budapest to win nine consecutive league championships in a row from the 1938–39 season until the 1946–47 season. His contribution to the club's success is further highlighted by the fact that he won more trophies than any manager in Scottish Football history.

During his time as manager, Struth oversaw several historic moments, including a British league attendance record on 2 January 1939 when 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Year's Day Old Firm match. In the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League.

Following Struth's departure, Scot Symon continued the club's success, winning six league championships, five Scottish Cups, and four League Cups. Symon also achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the second manager to win the domestic treble in the 1963–64 season, which saw the emergence of 'Slim' Jim Baxter, one of the club's greatest players. However, Rangers suffered a setback when they lost by their biggest Old Firm margin of 7–1.

Under Symon's guidance, Rangers also made significant strides in Europe. The club reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960, although they lost 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. The contributions of both Struth and Symon to Rangers' history remain revered to this day.

Bill Struth and Scot Symon are considered by many as legends of Rangers Football Club, not only for their incredible success on the pitch, but also for their impact off it. Struth, in particular, is widely regarded as a pioneer in the way football clubs were run, with his emphasis on discipline, professionalism, and attention to detail setting new standards for the sport. Symon continued this tradition of excellence and brought his own innovations to the club, particularly in his tactics and team selections.

It's also worth noting that Rangers Football Club has a unique history that is closely intertwined with the city of Glasgow and the district of Govan, where the club is based. The poverty that plagued the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was a major factor in the formation and early success of the club, as football provided an escape and a source of pride for the local community. Over the years, the club has continued to be a symbol of resilience and determination, with generations of fans supporting the team through thick and thin.

Despite facing numerous challenges over the years, including financial difficulties and fierce competition from rivals, Rangers Football Club has remained a powerhouse in Scottish football and beyond. The club's success is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion of everyone involved, from the players and coaches to the fans and staff. For new or young supporters, it's important to remember that Rangers Football Club is more than just a football team - it's a symbol of community, resilience, and excellence.

Ibrox disaster, European success and Jock Wallace

The Ibrox disaster is a tragic event that still casts a long shadow over Rangers Football Club. On 2 January 1971, the culmination of an Old Firm game turned to horror when large-scale crushing on a stairway exit claimed the lives of 66 fans. The devastation and sorrow that followed was immeasurable, with families and communities left shattered by the loss of loved ones.

The subsequent enquiry into the disaster revealed that the crush likely happened ten minutes after the final whistle, triggered by someone falling on the stairs. It was a sobering reminder of the dangers that can exist in a large-scale sporting event, and the need for constant vigilance and safety measures.

A benefit match was held to raise funds for the victims' families, with a joint Rangers and Celtic team playing a Scotland XI at Hampden, but it was a small consolation in the face of such overwhelming loss.

In 1972, Rangers achieved a measure of success on the European stage, lifting the European Cup Winners' Cup after a hard-fought victory over Dynamo Moscow. It was a moment of triumph amidst the ongoing grief and mourning, but it was tempered by the fact that Rangers were banned from Europe for two years due to the behaviour of their fans.

As the club struggled to recover from the disaster and its aftermath, new managers took the helm, trying to bring back the glory and success that had once defined Rangers. But it was a difficult road, with setbacks and disappointments along the way. John Greig, a club legend, served as manager but was unable to replicate his success on the pitch. Jock Wallace brought notable domestic success but was unable to maintain his momentum in his second stint as manager. Graeme Souness eventually took charge, bringing new energy and renewed hope to the club.

But the memories of the Ibrox disaster, and the lives lost, continue to resonate through the history of Rangers Football Club, a solemn reminder of the fragility of life and the enduring impact of tragedy.

Graeme Souness, Walter Smith and 9-in-a-row

Graeme Souness became the manager of Rangers in April 1986, taking over from interim manager John Greig. His appointment was met with excitement and anticipation from Rangers fans, as Souness had a reputation as a fiery and driven player who had achieved great success at Liverpool, both domestically and in Europe. Souness was tasked with bringing similar success to Rangers, who had gone three years without a league title. His first season in charge was promising, as Rangers finished in second place and reached the final of the Scottish League Cup, which they lost to Aberdeen. However, Souness's real impact was felt in his second season in charge, when he embarked on a major overhaul of the squad and led Rangers to their first league title in nine years. This was the start of a period of dominance for Rangers, as they won nine consecutive league titles under the stewardship of Souness and his successor, Walter Smith.

1988-89 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 44 games, won 26, drew 13, and lost 5.
They scored 87 goals and conceded 32.
Top scorer: Ally McCoist with 23 goals.
1989-90 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 44 games, won 28, drew 10, and lost 6.
They scored 84 goals and conceded 34.
Top scorer: Ally McCoist with 35 goals.
1990-91 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 44 games, won 28, drew 11, and lost 5.
They scored 86 goals and conceded 33.
Top scorer: Ally McCoist with 34 goals.
1991-92 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 44 games, won 30, drew 6, and lost 8.
They scored 109 goals and conceded 45.
Top scorer: Ally McCoist with 49 goals.
1992-93 season:

Rangers won the league title, Scottish Cup, and Scottish League Cup.
They played 63 games, won 45, drew 10, and lost 8.
They scored 145 goals and conceded 54.
Top scorer: Ally McCoist with 39 goals.
1993-94 season:

Rangers won the league title and Scottish League Cup.
They played 49 games, won 35, drew 9, and lost 5.
They scored 99 goals and conceded 33.
Top scorer: Ally McCoist with 38 goals.
1994-95 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 36 games, won 27, drew 5, and lost 4.
They scored 78 goals and conceded 28.
Top scorer: Brian Laudrup with 19 goals.
1995-96 season:

Rangers won the league title and Scottish League Cup.
They played 46 games, won 34, drew 7, and lost 5.
They scored 101 goals and conceded 31.
Top scorer: Brian Laudrup with 23 goals.
1996-97 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 36 games, won 26, drew 8, and lost 2.
They scored 77 goals and conceded 26.
Top scorer: Gordon Durie with 17 goals.
Note: These stats only include the Scottish league and domestic cup competitions, and not European competitions.

2006-07 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 38 games, won 25, drew 7, and lost 6.
They scored 67 goals and conceded 30.
Top scorer: Kris Boyd with 32 goals.
2007-08 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 38 games, won 27, drew 6, and lost 5.
They scored 67 goals and conceded 27.
Top scorer: Kris Boyd with 20 goals.
2008-09 season:

Rangers won the league title and Scottish League Cup.
They played 38 games, won 27, drew 7, and lost 4.
They scored 75 goals and conceded 24.
Top scorer: Kris Boyd with 27 goals.
2009-10 season:

Rangers won the league title.
They played 38 games, won 24, drew 8, and lost 6.
They scored 67 goals and conceded 29.
Top scorer: Kris Boyd with 26 goals.
Note: These stats only include the Scottish league and domestic cup competitions, and not European competitions.

Dick Advocaat, Alex McLeish and Paul Le Guen

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.

Rangers F.C. showing French card display at Ibrox to welcome Paul Le Guen
Card display at Ibrox to welcome Paul Le Guen
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.

Walter Smith's return and Ally McCoist

Walter Smith: A True Giant of Scottish Football

On the 15th of March, 2021, Scottish football lost one of its true giants. Walter Smith, the legendary manager of Rangers, passed away at the age of 73 after a long battle with illness.

Smith's impact on Scottish football cannot be overstated. He was a true gentleman and an iconic figure in the sport, beloved by fans and players alike. His passing leaves a void that can never be filled, but his legacy will continue to inspire generations of football fans in Scotland and beyond.

Smith had two spells as manager of Rangers, first from 1991 to 1998, and then again from 2007 to 2011. During his first spell, he won an incredible 13 trophies, including seven Scottish Premier League titles, three Scottish Cups, and three Scottish League Cups. He also led Rangers to the UEFA Cup final in 1992, where they were defeated by Italian side Sampdoria.

After a brief spell managing Everton in the English Premier League, Smith returned to Rangers in 2007 for his second spell as manager. He again achieved incredible success, winning 10 trophies over three seasons, including three consecutive Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish Cups, and two Scottish League Cups. His leadership helped Rangers reach the UEFA Cup final in 2008, the first time in 36 years the club had reached a European final.

Overall, Smith won an incredible 23 trophies during his time at Rangers, cementing his place as one of the greatest managers in the club's history. His achievements were a testament to his exceptional managerial ability and his ability to inspire his players to greatness. But Smith's impact on Scottish football went beyond the trophies he won. He was a true gentleman, respected by all who knew him, and his influence on the sport will continue to be felt for many years to come.

Smith was not just a great manager, he was also a great man. His kindness, his humility, and his commitment to helping others made him an inspiration to many. He was a mentor to many young players, helping them to develop not just as footballers, but as people. He was also a philanthropist, supporting many charities throughout his life, including the Beatson Cancer Charity, for which he helped raise millions of pounds.

The outpouring of grief and tributes from the football community in Scotland and beyond following Smith's passing was a testament to the impact he had on the sport and the lives of those around him. His passing leaves a void that can never be filled, but his legacy will continue to inspire generations of football fans in Scotland and beyond.

In the words of Rangers Football Club, "Walter Smith was one of the greatest figures in the history of Rangers Football Club, no one can dispute that. But he was also a true giant of Scottish football and a wonderful human being, and that is how he should be remembered."

Rest in peace, Walter Smith, and thank you for everything you did for the beautiful game.

After Walter Smith's departure, Ally McCoist took over as manager in June 2011. McCoist faced a difficult challenge, as the club was struggling financially and facing administration. During his time as manager, McCoist worked tirelessly to keep the club afloat, despite facing numerous obstacles and challenges.

In particular, the administration of Rangers Football Club in 2012 was a dark moment in the club's history. The actions of former owner Craig Whyte and his associates were widely condemned, as they had run the club into the ground and caused immense damage to its reputation. McCoist and his team were left to pick up the pieces, and they did so with great courage and determination.

Despite the challenges, McCoist remained committed to the club and its supporters. He worked tirelessly to keep the team competitive, even as the club faced financial difficulties and uncertainty. His dedication to Rangers Football Club and his leadership during a difficult period will always be remembered by fans.

In conclusion, Walter Smith was a true giant of Scottish football, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations of fans. His impact on Rangers Football Club was immeasurable, and his achievements as manager will always be remembered. While the challenges faced by Ally McCoist during his tenure were significant, his commitment to the club and its supporters was unwavering. Together, Smith and McCoist embodied the spirit and determination that make Scottish football so special.

The Journey to the top

On 1 June 2012, Rangers Football Club plunged into an abyss after four months in administration. A failure to reach a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) agreement with creditors forced The Rangers Football Club plc (later renamed RFC 2012 plc) into the process of liquidation. The administrators completed a sale of the business and assets to Sevco Scotland Ltd, which later renamed itself The Rangers Football Club Ltd. However, most of the first-team players refused to transfer across to the new company.

The new company failed to secure the transfer of Rangers' previous place in the Scottish Premier League. Instead, they were awarded associate membership and placed in the lowest division, the Third, rather than the First Division as the SPL and SFA had sought. Rangers had to agree to several conditions, including a one-year transfer ban, to transfer their Scottish Football Association (SFA) membership in time for the club to begin the 2012–13 season.

With most key Rangers players refusing to transfer to the new company, the club faced a daunting task. A very different Rangers team lined up for the first league match in the Third Division. However, they 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. Rangers started their league campaign with three successive draws before losing 1–0 to Stirling Albion, the bottom club in the country at the time.

Despite beating their own attendance records, Rangers struggled to progress in various competitions. They 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. However, Rangers clinched the Third Division title on 30 March after a goalless draw at Montrose.

The following season, Rangers performed better and secured the League One title and promotion to Scottish football's second tier on 12 March 2014. They also reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup, where they lost to Raith Rovers, and the semi-final of the Scottish Cup, where they lost 3–1 at Ibrox to Dundee United.

However, playing in the Scottish Championship in season 2014–15 proved more challenging, with Rangers losing home and away to both Hibernian and Hearts, as well as 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, Ally McCoist resigned from his position as manager 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 tenure, Rangers won just three matches.

Rangers then appointed former player Stuart McCall as their third manager of the season for the remaining fixtures. Under McCall's stewardship, Rangers finished third in the league and then reached the Premiership play-off final, where they lost 6–1 on aggregate to Motherwell. The journey was difficult, and the bitterness of what had transpired before still lingered, but the fans remained hopeful that better times lay ahead for the club.

Warburton, Premiership return, Caixinha and Murty

Mark Warburton was appointed as Rangers' manager on a three-year contract in June 2015. Under his leadership, Rangers won the 2015-16 Scottish Championship and gained promotion to the Scottish Premiership, after a four-year absence from the top tier. The team also reached the 2016 Scottish Cup Final, beating their Old Firm rivals Celtic in the semi-final, but eventually losing to Hibernian in the final. However, after a poor first half of the 2016-17 season, Warburton and his assistant David Weir left the club on February 10, 2017. Graeme Murty was appointed as caretaker manager, and Pedro Caixinha eventually took over as the permanent manager.

Caixinha's first full season as manager was a disaster. After winning the first leg of the first qualifying round of the 2017-18 Europa League 1-0 at home, Rangers lost 2-0 away to Progrès Niederkorn from Luxembourg, resulting in their elimination from the tournament. This was Progrès' first-ever win in the competition and only their second-ever goal. The team's poor form continued, with losses to Celtic in the league and Motherwell in the Scottish League Cup semi-final. After a 1-1 draw against last-placed Kilmarnock, Caixinha was sacked, and Murty was appointed as caretaker manager for the second time. Caixinha's tenure was described as "a desperate mess from start to finish".

In late December, following a failed search for a more experienced manager, including an unsuccessful attempt to appoint Derek McInnes from Aberdeen, Murty was appointed as manager until the end of the season. During his interim spell, Murty won back-to-back games against Aberdeen and defeated Hibernian away from home. However, his second stint as manager ended prematurely when he was sacked following a 5-0 defeat to Celtic on May 1, 2018, resulting in Celtic winning their 7th consecutive league title. Rangers finished in third place for the second year in a row, behind Celtic and Aberdeen.

The Gerrard era

Steven Gerrard, the former captain of Liverpool and England, was appointed as the manager of Rangers on a four-year contract on May 4, 2018. Gerrard's reign began auspiciously with Rangers remaining unbeaten in their first 12 games, securing a berth in the UEFA Europa League group stage. However, the team suffered a setback when they lost to Celtic in the first Old Firm match of the season, and were subsequently eliminated from the League Cup by Aberdeen the following month. On December 29, Rangers triumphed over Celtic at Ibrox, resulting in Brendan Rodgers' first defeat in 13 Old Firm games, and their first league victory over Celtic since March 2012. Nevertheless, Aberdeen knocked Rangers out of the Scottish Cup with a 2-0 victory at Ibrox on March 12, 2019.

The 2019-20 season saw Rangers once again qualify for the UEFA Europa League group stage, but they lost to Celtic 2-0 at Ibrox in the first Old Firm match of the season on September 1. The next day, the club signed Ryan Kent from Liverpool for £7m. Despite dominating the League Cup final, Rangers were defeated 1-0 by Celtic. On December 12, Rangers secured a spot in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 as group runners-up after a 1-1 draw with BSC Young Boys, marking their first appearance in European football beyond Christmas since the 2010-11 season. On December 29, Rangers secured a 2-1 win over Celtic at Celtic Park, their first victory at their arch rival's stadium since October 2010. However, a downturn in form, including losses to Hearts in the Scottish Cup and Hamilton in the league within five days, left Rangers 13 points behind Celtic in early March. However, all professional football in Scotland was halted later that month due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. On May 18, 2020, the SPFL officially ended the season, with Celtic being awarded the league title, determined by points per game.

On March 7, 2021, Rangers claimed the league title for the first time in a decade, culminating in an undefeated league campaign and setting a club record of 102 points.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Europa League Final

In the midst of the 2021-22 season, Rangers' manager Steven Gerrard departed for Aston Villa, leaving fans on the edge of their seats. But fear not, because the club brought in former Rangers midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst to take charge. And boy did he make an impact!

Van Bronckhorst led Rangers to their first European final in fourteen years, taking down top teams like Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Braga, and RB Leipzig on their path to face Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2022 UEFA Europa League Final. But that wasn't all! The team also made it to their first Scottish Cup final in six years, where they dominated and took down Hearts to secure another trophy.

Fast forward to the 2022-23 season, where Rangers made history by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Fans were ecstatic as the team prepared to face off against some of the biggest names in football, including Napoli, Liverpool, and Ajax. Unfortunately, things didn't quite go as planned, and Rangers lost all six group matches with only two goals scored and a −20 goal difference overall. Despite the disappointing result, fans remain hopeful and excited for what the future holds for this talented team.

Crest and colours

Rangers Football Club stands out among football clubs due to its unique feature of having two official crests. The original scroll crest, representing the overlapping letters RFC, has been in use since the club's inception in 1872, although the oldest piece of memorabilia bearing this crest dates back to the 1881-82 season. Today, the scroll crest appears on the club's strips, while the lion rampant club crest is used on official club documents, club merchandise, and by the media. Both crests have undergone minor modifications since their introduction.

In 1959, the scroll crest was replaced with the lion rampant club crest, featuring a lion rampant, an old-style football, and the club's shortened motto, Ready. The team name, Rangers Football Club, surrounded this crest. The lion rampant club crest underwent a modernization process in 1968, with the lion rampant, team name, club motto, and old-style football remaining unchanged. This crest was slightly updated in the early 1990s and most recently in 2020.

The modern circular crest, which is regularly featured on club merchandise and by the media, has never prominently appeared on the club strip. However, the scroll crest made a return to the chest of the club shirt in 1968, appearing alongside the modernized club crest. For the start of the 1978-79 season, the scroll crest was featured on the team's shorts.

Over the years, the way the scroll crest has appeared on the club shirt has varied slightly. From 1990 to 1994, 'Rangers Football Club' and the 'Ready' motto appeared above and below the crest, respectively. Between 1997 and 1999, the scroll crest was featured within a shield. After winning their 50th league title in 2003, five stars were added to the top of the scroll crest, one for every ten titles won by the club. On December 8, 2012, the team wore a special crest in a home league match against Stirling Albion, commemorating the 140th anniversary of the club's formation. The crest featured the words '1872-2012' above the scroll crest, with '140 years' below.

Rangers F.C. is known for their iconic club colours of royal blue, white, and red. However, during the first forty-eight years of the club's existence, the team sported a plain, lighter blue home shirt. The only exception to this was a four-season period from 1879, when the side wore a hooped style featuring the lighter shade of blue and white. The traditional strip is typically accompanied by white shorts (often with royal blue and/or red trim) and black socks with red turn-downs. In 1921, Rangers switched to the now-famous royal blue home shirt, which has remained a staple ever since. Black socks were first introduced in 1883 and became a more permanent fixture from 1896 onwards, with the addition of red turn-downs to the socks in 1904.

While the traditional home kit remains relatively consistent, the design of Rangers' away strips has undergone more significant changes over time. The original change strip, used between 1876 and 1879, was all white with 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, although dark and light blue have also been prevalent. In 1994, the team introduced a third kit, typically worn when both the home and away kits clash with their opponents. The colours featured in the third kit have included combinations of white, red, dark and light blue, black, and even orange and blue, which were first seen in 1993-94, worn once in 2002-03, and reintroduced in 2018-19 and 2022-23.

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors

Rangers Football Club has had a range of kit suppliers throughout their history, each bringing their unique style and approach to the team's attire. The club's current kit supplier is Castore, with their partnership starting in 2020 and continuing to the present day. Here is a breakdown of the various kit suppliers Rangers has had over the years.
Rangers FC Kit Manufacturers
Period Kit Manufacturer
1978-1990 Umbro
1990-1992 Admiral
1992-1997 Adidas
1997-2002 Nike
2002-2005 Diadora
2005-2013 Umbro
2013-2018 Puma
2018-2020 Hummel
2020-Present Castore
In terms of front of shirt sponsors, Rangers has worked with a variety of companies throughout their history, with 32Red being the current sponsor. Here is a list of the front of shirt sponsors over the years.
Rangers FC Shirt Sponsors
Period Shirt Sponsor
1984-1987 CR Smith
1987-1999 McEwan's Lager
1999-2003 NTL
2003-2010 Carling
2010-2013 Tennent's
2013-2014 Blackthorn
2014-Present 32Red
Rangers has also had a few different back of shirt sponsors, with Socomec currently occupying the position. Here is a list of back of shirt sponsors over the years.
Rangers FC Shirt Sponsors (Continued)
Period Shirt Sponsor Position
2017-2020 Utilita Top
2020-2021 The Energy Check Bottom
2020-Present SEKO Logistics Top
2021-2022 Sportmongo Bottom
2022-Present Socomec Bottom
Finally, Rangers has also had some sponsors on their sleeve, with BOXT currently occupying the space. Here is a list of sleeve sponsors over the years.
Rangers FC Sleeve Sponsors
Period Sleeve Sponsor
2020-2022 Tomket Tires
2022-Present BOXT


Broxi Bear, the beloved mascot of Rangers Football Club, is known to fans for his energetic performances and playful antics. His name is a clever nod to the club's home stadium, with "Broxi" being an anagram of "Ibrox". Broxi is a friendly brown bear, with bright blue inner ears and nose, and is often seen wearing the team's signature blue and white strip.

Broxi made his first appearance in a match against Raith Rovers on 13 November 1993, and quickly became a fan favourite. He was later joined by his "wife" Roxi and their "son" Boris, who also donned Rangers strips and made on-field appearances at Ibrox. However, in 2001, Roxi and Boris stopped making on-field appearances, although they continued to feature on some club merchandise.

In a thrilling return, Roxi and Boris were reintroduced to fans before a match against Dundee on 9 September 2017, to the delight of the crowd. Broxi, Roxi, and Boris have since become a beloved trio, representing the playful and family-friendly spirit of Rangers Football Club.

Supporters & Rivalries

Rangers Football Club boasts one of the strongest supporter bases in world football, as evidenced by their consistently high home league attendances. According to the CIES Football Observatory's analysis of stadium attendance figures from 2013 to 2018, Rangers ranked 18th in the world during that period, with a staggering 27.4% of total Scottish attendance accounted for by the club. This places Rangers 8th overall in terms of national attendance share.

The Rangers Worldwide Alliance, a network of supporters clubs established for the benefit of both the club and its fans, has grown to encompass more than 600 registered supporters clubs and over 30,000 registered members. In addition, there are numerous unregistered supporters clubs currently active. The official club website lists over 100 supporters' clubs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland alone, with over 100 further clubs spread across 35 countries worldwide. The Alliance includes representatives from a broad range of locations, including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Australia. Some of the far-flung locations with registered supporters clubs include Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Qatar, Bahrain, China, India, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and even Antarctica. The popularity of Rangers in Hong Kong is evident from the establishment of Hong Kong Rangers F.C. by an expatriate fan.

Rangers fans have contributed to several attendance records, including the highest home attendance for a league fixture, which was set on 2 January 1939 with a staggering 118,567 fans in attendance. The record for highest attendance for a Rangers game was achieved in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Hibernian on 27 March 1948, when 143,570 fans filled Hampden Park to see Rangers beat Hibernian 1-0.

In 2008, up to 200,000 Rangers supporters made their way to Manchester for the UEFA Cup Final, with many arriving without match tickets. While most supporters behaved impeccably, a minority of fans were involved in serious trouble and rioting, resulting in 42 arrests for various offences. However, in 2022, Rangers supporters set a new record for the largest ever travelling support abroad, with an estimated 100,000 fans arriving in Seville for the UEFA Europa League Final. Impressively, there were no arrests made in Seville, as Rangers supporters impressed Spanish police with their good behaviour.

The Old Firm, consisting of Glasgow-based clubs Rangers F.C. and Celtic F.C., has emerged as the club's most prominent rivalry. Rangers traditionally draws support from the Protestant Unionist community, while Celtic garners support from the Catholic community. The first Old Firm match was won by Celtic, and since then, over four hundred matches have been played, with the rivalry fueling a number of assaults that have occasionally resulted in fatalities. In fact, an activist group monitoring sectarian activity in Glasgow has reported that emergency room admissions during Old Firm weekends have increased beyond normal levels. Journalist Franklin Foer further noted that from 1996 to 2003, eight deaths in Glasgow were directly linked to Old Firm matches, along with hundreds of assaults.

The club's rivalry with Aberdeen emerged following an incident during the 1979 League Cup final, in which Rangers' Derek Johnstone was accused of diving, resulting in the dismissal of Aberdeen's Doug Rougvie and a Rangers victory. The following season, Aberdeen's John McMaster was given the kiss of life at Ibrox after a stamp on his throat by Willie Johnston. Tensions between the two sets of supporters boiled over during a league match in 1988 when a tackle by Aberdeen player Neil Simpson on Rangers' Ian Durrant led to Durrant being injured for two years. Resentment lingered, culminating in an article in the Rangers match program branding Aberdeen fans "scum," which was later retracted by Rangers in a full and unreserved apology accepted by Aberdeen and its supporters.

Rangers' relaunch in the Third Division during the 2012–13 season saw the club renew its original rivalry with Queen's Park, the first time they played each other in the league since 1958. The club advertised matches with Queen's Park as the "Original Glasgow derby," while the Scottish media and Queen's Park referred to the matches as the "Oldest Derby in the World."

Major shareholders (4% or above)

Rangers FC Major Shareholders
Shareholder Name No. of Ordinary Shares Held % of Issued Share Capital
New Oasis Asset Limited 63,172,893 14.47%
Douglas Park 52,550,000 12.04%
Stuart Gibson 44,000,000 10.08%
George Alexander Taylor 43,074,998 9.87%
Borita Investments Limited 27,611,955 6.33%
Club 1872 Shares CIC 22,202,838 5.09%
John Bennett 22,198,803 5.09%
George Letham 21,274,516 4.87%
Perron Investments LLC 20,250,000 4.64%
Tifosy Investment Nominees Limited 17,610,000 4.04%
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