Rangers crowds march on Glasgow city centre after title win

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image copyrightGetty Images
image captionSupporters arrived in huge numbers at George Square

Thousands of Rangers supporters have marched on Glasgow city centre to celebrate their club's Scottish Premiership title win.

The club and the police had urged fans to disperse after they gathered at Ibrox Stadium for the final game of the season as Rangers beat Aberdeen 4-0.

Police Scotland said some arrests had been made for anti-social behaviour.

Glasgow remains in level 3 of Covid lockdown restrictions, with large gatherings outdoors not permitted.

Fans clambered onto the gates outside the stadium after the final whistle. Flares and smoke bombs were also set off.

media captionMarching fans pack the 'squinty' bridge over the River Clyde

Large numbers of fans then marched towards Glasgow city centre and unofficial celebrations in George Square.

Police Scotland said it had declined a request to facilitate the march to George Square and urged the crowd to go home.

Ch Supt Mark Sutherland, divisional commander for Greater Glasgow division, said: "Today is understandably a significant day for Rangers Football Club and its supporters. We understand the importance of football in Glasgow.

"We are however still in the midst of a pandemic and under Coronavirus restrictions people should not be gathering for any reason."

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image captionGlasgow city centre was taken over by celebrating fans
image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe post-match procession made its way through the streets between Ibrox and Glasgow city centre

Police Scotland said the march was "largely peaceful in nature" and it would not be proportionate to disperse the crowd by force.

Ch Supt Sutherland added: "We will continue to police these events in a proportionate manner and officers are engaging with those who have gathered and are encouraging dispersal while tackling any anti-social behaviour."

After the match, Rangers tweeted "We are the champions" and repeated an earlier call for fans to celebrate "in a safe and sensible manner" and disperse from Ibrox.

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image captionFans clambered onto the stadium gates after the match
image copyrightPA Media
image captionHundreds of fans packed together outside the ground
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image captionCrowds increased in the lead-up to the 12:30 kick-off

Scotland's Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf also called on supporters to take "responsibility" for their actions while level three restrictions remain in place.

He tweeted: "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 yesterday's announcement about Covid in Glasgow.

On Friday night, Rangers supporters set off a large number of red flares and smoke bombs on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow.

The Ibrox club's first title in a decade was wrapped up in early March when thousands of fans gathered outside Ibrox and in Glasgow city centre.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThere was a large police presence throughout the build-up to Saturday's final game of the season
media captionRangers fans lined the River Clyde with flares on Friday night

Supporters were also accused of breaking coronavirus rules in Belfast and in Corby - which is known as "little Scotland" - following Rangers' win.

Last May, thousands of Liverpool fans flouted social distancing guidelines and gathered outside Anfield to celebrate the club's first Premier league title in 30 years.

And in November hundreds of Celtic supporters defied the level four restrictions and converged on Celtic Park to call for the removal of the club's then manager Neil Lennon.