Police Scotland have decided not to publish correspondence with the club from Ibrox in the build up to the weekend at the start of March that saw multiple breaches of the law.
Thousands of fans turned up at Ibrox on March 6 where they were able to exchange hats and scarves with players through a side gate. Before the match Steven Gerrard gave a friend a lift to Ibrox to video his triumphant arrival.
After the match the team manager and players were screaming out of a Dressing Room window to law breaking fans. No arrests were made.
Fans returned to Ibrox the following day, over at Murray Park players boozed away in front of fans crushed outside a perimeter fence. Later on players left in people carriers, showing off their drinking to fans on Social Media.
Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney and Humza Yousaf were quick to condemn the scenes of law-breaking but in true political fashion kicked the issue into the long grass by ordering a review.
A month on The Scotsman reports:
The police force said correspondence between Rangers Football Club, Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government and senior officers would be kept secret due to concerns releasing it would “compromise operational policing”.
Scenes of thousands of Rangers fans taking to the streets of Glasgow on the weekend of March 6 and 7 were condemned by politicians with the behaviour of fans labelled “disgraceful” by senior police officers in the aftermath.
John Scott QC, a leading lawyer, was commissioned to undertake a review of the policing approach by Police Scotland and found officers had acted proportionately.
The approach taken by police had been criticised by the SNP MSP Sandra White who claimed the approach had failed to protect the public after Chief Constable Iain Livingstone insisted the police took “appropriate steps” to manage the crowds.
However, the decision to keep the discussions between the main stakeholders involved in the policing of the weekend secret was heavily criticised by opposition politicians.
Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur said the public “deserve to see how these decisions were arrived at” and whether the Scottish Government or Glasgow City Council “sought to influence them”.
He said: “Under the SNP the default seems to be to keep discussion under wraps. There is obviously huge public concern over the decisions taken about the policing of title celebrations, especially when the light touch approach is contrasted with that taken by the police in regard to the Sarah Everard protests.”
In the aftermath of the celebrations Police Scotland claimed requests to Rangers to tell fans to go home were ignored by the club, with Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham ‘strongly condemning’ the “lack of support” from the football club.
Responding, the club claimed they “initiated open dialogue with key stakeholders” including Mr Yousaf, the Scottish Government, the SPFL, and Police Scotland around the implications of a league title.
However, Police Scotland officials said the details of these discussions. if published, would provide criminals with knowledge of key policing methods and would harm the ability of individuals to discuss plans due to a fear of having their opinions made public.
In a letter leaked to on-message media outlets Douglas Park claimed that street furniture should have been cleared by Glasgow City Council to allow the law-breakers to do as they please in George Square. No Police horses were required.
“Dereliction of duty” ????
— G man (@gdog2010_john) March 9, 2021
Minibus you say? pic.twitter.com/zR23UftzvT
— D Mcguire (@DMcGCfc1888) March 10, 2021