Steven Gerrard has written a message to Rangers fans, asking them to stay at home and not follow the team to Parkhead when they face Celtic next Sunday.
On Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon threatened the continuation of elite sport in Scotland after thousands of Rangers supporters gathered to celebrate their side’s title win last weekend.
Both clubs confirmed this week they took part in a ‘multi-agency’ meeting that had representatives from the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, and Police Scotland to prepare for the Old Firm game on March 21. Meanwhile, Celtic erected fences around their stadium.
As part of a letter posted on the club’s website, Gerrard said: “It is a great privilege to be the manager of this great football club, and with that comes great responsibility. I believe we must take collective responsibility to ensure we uphold the good name of this 150-year institution which represents far, far more than 11 players on the pitch.
“With that in mind, we must remember who we represent, we must remember who we are, and we must remember what this club stands for.
“The players would want nothing more than to hear the fans sing and support us in the ground and hear you behind every pass, every tackle, and to lose themselves in utter euphoria when the ball hits the net.
“Sadly, however, right here and right now, you can’t be there with us. You can’t follow us to Parkhead as Champions – and the first time we can say we are Champions in a decade.
“That hurts me, it hurts my management team and it hurts my players.
“Make no doubt about it, we want you there with us, but sadly, right now, you can’t be. The best place you can support my players and I this Sunday is from the comfort of your own home. We know you are with us here in spirit and we know how much last weekend meant to you when we secured the title.
“We know all of you enjoyed it, but we must stay safe, and stay at home.”
Club captain James Tavernier also posted his support of the message on the official Rangers Instagram account, with a video message urging fans to stay home, which was captioned: “Message is clear and unequivocal. Stay home. Stay safe.”