Rangers have pulled out of the controversial Sydney Super Cup clash with Celtic after claiming the organizers were “unwilling to live up to their commitments” to the Ibrox club.
The sides of the two Glasgow giants had protested their clubs’ decision to register for a friendly in Australia during the World Cup break.
Rangers have now announced they will not be taking part – three days before Celtic visit Ibrox in the Cinch Premiership.
A statement said: “Rangers can confirm that the club will not participate in the Sydney Super Cup in November 2022.
“After it became clear that the tournament organizers were unwilling to honor their obligations to Rangers, we terminated the club’s agreement with the organizers with immediate effect.”
Rangers is understood to have cited issues with branding and payments, as well as the timing and manner of the initial announcement.
A number of Rangers fans were unhappy at the idea of playing support act for Australian Parkhead club boss Ange Postecoglou at a homecoming jamboree.
Gers supporters disrupted the clear Premiership win in Dundee before the international break on several occasions by throwing toilet paper rolls and tennis balls onto the pitch.
Club 1872, a fan group that owns about a five percent stake in Rangers, had also criticized the Australia tournament, among other concerns about the Ibrox hierarchy.
The withdrawal comes ahead of a crucial period in the Rangers season, with the Europa League quarter-finals against Braga and a Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic in April, along with a trip against St Mirren.
Some Celtic supporters had also criticized their club’s decision to sign up for a friendly against their city rivals.
The Glasgow sides were due to meet at the 83,500-seat Accor Stadium on November 20 in a tournament also attended by A-League sides Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers, at the invitation of the New South Wales Government.
Rangers commercial director James Bisgrove had claimed his club would earn the equivalent of a season’s domestic broadcast revenue by entering the competition.
“This is something the board unanimously saw as a positive opportunity for Rangers Football Club,” he added in early March.
Rangers are believed to be exploring other commercial opportunities for the World Cup break.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/rangers-pull-out-of-controversial-friendly-against-celtic-in-australia-41508058.html Rangers withdraw from controversial friendly against Celtic in Australia