Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke has accused Rangers fans of living in the “Dark Ages” after being targetted with anti-Catholic abuse during his side’s William Hill Scottish Cup pummelling by Rangers.
The emotional former Scotland defender – who spent 30 years in England after leaving St Mirren in 1987 – claimed he woke up each day and thanked Chelsea for taking him away from the west of Scotland, as it meant he and his family no longer had to put up with the sectarianism there.
Clarke’s comments came in response to the chants of “sad Fenian b*****d” that echoed round Ibrox on Wednesday 20th February as Rangers booked a quarter-final clash with Aberdeen with a 5-0 win.
Clarke condemned the Rangers support for the sectarian abuse directed at him and the fact that such attitudes remain in his home country, which he left in his early 20s when he was transferred from St Mirren to Chelsea.
“It’s lovely being back in the west of Scotland, really nice,” the former Chelsea defender said sarcastically, before revealing that he had been approached about becoming Rangers manager after Pedro Caixinha’s sacking in October 2017.
“When I was approached by Rangers about taking over the job here I was assured that ‘we don’t have that in the west of Scotland any more. It’s gone’.
“They can call me a b*****d or a w****r. No problem, thanks, guys. But to call me a Fenian b*****d, come on. Where are we living in? The Dark Ages?
“They are not allowed to call my assistant (Alex Dyer) a black b but they can call me a Fenian b*****d. What are we doing in Scotland?
“I wake up every morning and thank Chelsea for coming and taking me away from the west of Scotland because my children don’t understand this. Thankfully when I go down there my children, my grandchildren don’t have to worry about this. So, fantastic to be back in Scotland,” he added.
Rangers issued a statement after Clarke’s comments which read: ‘Rangers wishes to make it clear unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated at Ibrox. Everything will be done to eradicate this kind of behaviour.’
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said he fully supported the club’s statement.
“We don’t support any kind of unacceptable behaviour from the terraces and that’s the way it will always be at Rangers,” he said.
“We want to try and stamp it out of the game in general so we are always talking about the football.”
Picture: An image of the corner flag at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, taken ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round replay match between Rangers and Kilmarnock. (Jane Barlow/PA).