Rangers have accused a section of their supporters of being “intent on causing damage to our club”.
The Ibrox club released a withering statement on Tuesday, just hours after influential fans’ group Club 1872 questioned the “judgment, competence and honesty” of the Rangers executive team, led by Stewart Robertson, James Bisgrove and David Graham.
The furore has erupted in the wake of Rangers’ controversial decision to agree to play a friendly match against bitter city rivals Celtic in Sydney later this year.
Supporters believe the move undermines the intensity of the Glasgow derby and protested during Sunday’s cinch Premiership match away to Dundee by throwing tennis balls and streamers on to the pitch.
Rangers claim the unrest is driven by those with further motives and said the group in question had sparked a “propaganda war”.
Their statement read: “The rest of this season is arguably one of the most crucial periods in our illustrious 150-year history.
“The men’s first team and women’s team are competing for major honors, both domestically and in Europe.
“It is deeply regrettable that the same small rump of ‘supporters’ remains intent on causing damage to our club. It is particularly concerning to note the timing they have chosen to launch their latest attack.
“It is lost on nobody that those intent on creating maximum disruption are those who have either enjoyed, or craved, a role within our club.
“The collective desire of our board, management and players is to have unity of purpose over the coming months. Rest assured, we will address the disruptors and their propaganda war at the end of this season.
“For now, nothing matters but results on the field.”
Club 1872 said in its statement, released on Tuesday morning, that Rangers ‘executive team had been “dismissive, patronising and at times openly hostile” whenever the fans’ group had attempted to “represent the interests and concerns of supporters on a variety of topics such as ticketing, safe standing, disabled facilities, season ticket renewals, Scottish football governance and merchandise issues “.
The statement read: “Unfortunately, the contempt shown to supporters over this issue (participation in the Sydney Cup) is only the tip of the iceberg and has been ongoing, albeit less visibly to the majority of supporters, for almost two years.
“It is a source of great regret that we are having to raise these matters publicly, having always attempted to engage privately and constructively with the club, but the current custodians of Rangers Football Club have refused to speak with us privately despite repeated attempts to do i know.
“The experience of Club 1872 directors, both past and present, is that Rangers’ executive team, led by Stewart Robertson, James Bisgrove and David Graham, has developed an extremely unhealthy disdain for the Rangers support and that inaccurate information has regularly been disseminated through the club’s own public statements, briefings to fan media and highly selective leaks to a small group of individuals within the Rangers support.
“This conduct has not, in our opinion, been intended to advance the aims of the club, but instead to serve the interests of a handful of members of the plc board and executive team and to protect them from healthy scrutiny and justified criticism.”