Police Scotland have found “no criminality” in a video posted on social media which appeared to show Rangers players allegedly using sectarian language during last week’s title celebrations.
An investigation was launched after TikTok footage emerged of players and others singing inside a function suite after Rangers were awarded the Scottish Premiership trophy for the first time since 2011.
But Steven Gerrard’s side will now face no further action after officers decided there was no evidence of wrong-doing.
A police statement on Friday said: “In relation to a video circulating on social media showing Rangers players allegedly using sectarian language on Saturday 15 May, extensive enquiries have been carried out and no criminality has been established.”
Rangers bosses released a statement issuing a swift defence of the players once the claims emerged on Monday.
“We are aware of a video circulating on social media,” the club said. “It is evident that this video was shared with an adjoining narrative which attempts to discredit our players and the reputation of Rangers Football Club. This highlights the dangers of ‘trial by social media’.
“It is deeply concerning that this video has been taken as genuine and has been shared widely including by some political representatives who should be mindful of their influence and legal processes.
“Our squad is richly diverse. Sectarianism is unacceptable and has no place in our club which is underlined by our Everyone Anyone campaign.
“We are confident that no criminality took place, we have sought legal advice and look forward to cooperating with Police Scotland.”
Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said Rangers should sack any guilty players.
Yousaf – who has since been moved to health secretary following a shake-up of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s cabinet – wrote on Twitter: “I have also been made aware of this clip, if (and I stress if) this clip is genuine then any player or staff member found to be guilty of anti-Catholic hatred should be shown the door by the Club. It is right Police Scot investigate & determine the facts around it.”
Sturgeon also hit out at the behaviour of Rangers fans after thousands of supporters defied Covid-19 warnings against large gatherings and descended on Ibrox and Glasgow’s George Square to celebrate the title win.
Five officers were injured and 28 arrests were made – with the force saying many more will follow – after the celebrations grew out of hand.