Rangers Vs Celtic friendly in Australia cancelled as Ibrox club withdraw from controversial Sydney Super Cup
The Glasgow giants were scheduled to meet outside of Scotland for the first time
and live on Freeview channel 276
Fans of both clubs have expressed their anger over the decision to stage the four-team tournament, which is scheduled to take place during the domestic football shut down for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, on the other side of the world.
A short statement released by Rangers confirmed their decision to withdraw from the competition, citing a failure by the even organisers to meet the club’s obligations.
It read: “Rangers can confirm the club will not be participating in the Sydney Super Cup in November 2022.
“After it became clear the tournament organisers were unwilling to fulfil their commitments to Rangers, we have, with immediate effect, terminated the club’s agreement with the organisers.”
GlasgowWorld understands that Rangers were frustrated with several issues around the uncoordinated announcement and promotion of the fixture, including the failure to recognise or use the ‘Old Firm’ tag a key factor.
It is believed a problem also arose over the first payment due to the Light Blues.
It’s also understood that the planned friendly Down Under had been in the pipeline before Celtic had appointed an Australian manager.
Celtic broke the news of their participation as a “homecoming” tour for Ange Postecoglou but did not confirm their opposition until the A-League announced further details of the Super Cup.
Rangers then followed with their own announcement and they released a video interview with commercial director James Bisgrove, who claimed the financial offer to take part was too good to turn down.
Bisgrove also admitted the money generated from their trip abroad could match the television revenue received from the SPFL over the course of an entire season.
That led both sets of supporters to stage high-profile protests at subsequent games.
During a Premiership match against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, Light Blues fans unfurled a banner that read “Money over morals. No d£rby friendlies”, before repeatedly disrupting a match against Dundee by throwing tennis balls and streamers on to the pitch.
The angered demonstration was viewed as a message to the Ibrox board that ‘the ball is in your court’.
A section of the Celtic support also made their feeling known against St Mirren at Parkhead with a banner that read “We’re not half of anything. Unless there’s money to be made. Shove your ‘Old Firm’ derby up your a***.”
According to reports, Rangers had rejected former chairman Dave King’s cash offer to cover the bill if the club decided to make a U-turn on their decision to face their rivals earlier this week.
The South Africa-based business wrote to the Gers board but current chairman Douglas Park is thought to have refused King’s proposed deal.