RANGERS have very much led the way in Scotland when it comes to punishing supporters for behaviour that is damaging to the club or the game in this country.

The Ibrox club has banned more fans than any other for the offence while, at the same time, seeking to educate through high-profile initiatives.

But events at Shielfield Park underlined that there can be no let-up in the fight against what has, for many years, been the scourge of Scottish football.

All decent Rangers supporters were despairing of the daft laddies who sullied the name of the club with their highly unfortunate choice of songs against Berwick at the weekend.

Light Blues officials now must, with the help of Strathclyde Police, endeavour to identify those responsible for shaming the club in a live televised match.

Issuing them with bans would send a strong message that such actions will not be tolerated by a club attempting to return to the forefront of the game in this country.

The conduct of a minority of supporters in Northumberland came out of nowhere. But they should not be glossed over in case there is any repeat.


Rangers have made significant progress in eradicating the sectarian songs among the club's support. That, in itself, explains why the recurrence of notorious chants at Berwick was so jarring.

The club will ban anybody found guilty of sectarian singing. However, that alone will not prevent any outbursts in the future, even if Rangers fans have generally behaved impeccably this season.

Supporters themselves need to police the terraces, and drown out any fans who might revert to some old songs. There needs to be a consensus that the club has moved on, as well as greater encouragement to sing acceptable songs about the team and its history.

There is far greater unity between the club and its supporters under Charles Green than recent regimes, and that working relationship should be utilised.

Fans and the club must work together to continue to encourage the singing of appropriate songs and further distance the club from the extreme views of a small minority.