RANGERS fans in the Borders are planning to band together in order to help save their troubled club.
Hawick Rangers Supporters’ Club secretary Michael Hook confirmed branches in the region were considering hosting a series of functions to raise cash after the Scottish football institution went into administration on Tuesday.
And he is sure blue-nosed Borderers, who travel on buses from Galashiels, Kelso and Selkirk as well as Hawick every week, will join the rest of the Ibrox support on Saturday to get behind their side against Kilmarnock, despite their 10-point deduction virtually handing the Scottish Premier League title to rivals Celtic.
Mr Hook said: “It is a worrying time for all Rangers fans but we have got to get behind the team.
“We have had full buses all season going up to the games and, in fact, we have a waiting list for Saturday’s match with Kilmarnock.
“I hope the fans get right behind the team as they have all season and do not start any demonstrations as I don’t think we know the full story yet.
“There are at least four buses going up every week from the Borders and we are thinking about setting up a Borders-wide group. We would retain our own clubs but would get together and raise funds for the club through social functions.”
Rangers’ former chairman Craig Whyte announced on Monday the club’s intention to move into administration due to an unpaid tax bill which could total nearly £75 million.
Mr Whyte has claimed the SPL champions will emerge stronger but some fear they are heading towards liquidation, which would probably mean that Rangers have to work their way back from the Third Division.
Mr Hook added: “I have had hundreds of texts, Facebook and Twitter messages telling the fans to get in early on Saturday and get behind the team. We still have Super Ally (McCoist) and he has conducted himself well, as you would expect from our manager.
“I like to think Craig Whyte has a plan. All we achieved under David Murray was great but the economic climate has not helped. I am sure if the recession had not taken place the bank would not have been as quick to call in their money.”
He believes Celtic would miss their great rivals if they did go into liquidation.
“Celtic fans are obviously having a laugh just now and if it was the other way round I would probably be doing the same,” added Mr Hook. “But I am sure if we disappeared they would miss the Old Firm games. There is something special about them.”
Scottish Football Association development officer for the Borders, Drew Kelly, said he feared the club may be forced to close their state-of-the art training complex Murray Park, which could set back youth football across Scotland, including the Borders. Mr Kelly said: “There is shock at how quickly it has happened but it is probably a sign of the times.
“If a club the size of Rangers can go into administration then any club can.
“One of the few plus points is that Rangers have appointed an administrator rather than HMRC, so hopefully they will lean towards keeping the youth development at Rangers going.”