No, not a world record, but 49,118 fans who showed up at Ibrox to watch Rangers play their first home match of the season in the Scottish Third division nearly broke the record for highest attendance in a fourth-tier football match, having to settle for a European record.
It’s a whole new world for the most successful club in Scottish history. Financial problems have led them, shortly after winning three consecutive league titles, to the bottom of the pile and a new beginning on their way up. Something similar to what happened to Fiorentina in Italy a few years ago, just on a bigger scale, because Rangers are just a bigger and more important club to the SPL and even on a larger scale.
After missing out on a win against Peterhead at the exotic Balmoor Stadium, the target for week 2 wasn’t just to get their first win and begin the long road back to the Premier League, but also fill out the stadium and get Rangers fans quickly behind their team in a very unfamiliar situation for them.
It wasn’t the 50,897 who showed up two years ago in Brazil for a match between Santa Cruz and Guarany de Sobral in a Serie D match in Brazil, but it wasn’t far off. Rangers got a 5-1 win as well over East Stirling, putting them on top of the table in the third division, hopefully keeping that spot till the end of the season, with goals Le McCulloch, Francisco Sandaza and a hat trick from Andrew Little. All that was left was to say thank you to the fans, who’ll hopefully give this battered club the support it needs, and frankly Scottish football needs, for them to move back up the leagues as quickly as possible.
Never mind ‘Sell-out Saturday’ – this is ‘Sold-out Saturday’. That’s testament to the passion, loyalty and commitment shown by the Rangers support and we thank you all.