Change the lyrics of the Billy Boys and it will be fine. UEFA can’t do anything then, can they?
Rangers deal with a 2nd charge which falls under the umbrella of bigotry for sectarian shouting throughout the very first leg of the Ibrox club’s Europa League tie with Legia Warsaw.
It has resulted in the club choosing to refuse tickets for the next away video game in Europe and Rangers will find out their penalty when UEFA’s control, principles and disciplinary body satisfy on Friday, August 30.
Some advocates have been advancing the idea that fans might change the words to the song and they would be able to continue without worry of reproach.
The proposed strategy would see the offending word, ‘f *****’, eliminated and changed to something else.
However UEFA’s rules have forbidden this as well. That was explained in a ruling made versus Linfield who were penalized for singing the Billy Boys in the past.
The Northern Irish club had actually argued the song was sung by simply a couple of individuals while the bulk of the Linfield support had sung a non-sectarian version.
UEFA declined that argument in their choice saying: “The control, ethics and disciplinary body refers here to the song ‘Billy Boys’ shouted by the club fans. ‘Billy Boys’ is a loyalist tune from Glasgow, sung to the tune of “Marching Through Georgia.” It came from the 1930s as the signature tune of one of the Glasgow razor gangs led by Billy Fullerton and later on became seen to show the long-running sectarian divide in the city.
Find out more”In April 2014, the Irish Football Association (IFA) presented punishments for “any … tune or chant that is unquestionably sectarian or offending”. Linfield advised their advocates that this included all variations of Billy Boys, including the Marching Through Georgia tune– this also validated by the club in the course of these proceedings.
“The control, principles and disciplinary body can not comply with the club arguments. The number of fans singing this tune is irrelevant in the light of Article 14 DR– ‘any person under the scope of Post 3’.
“Second, here as well, the message connected to this tune is clearly sectarian which contravenes the above arrangement. The reality that the club condemns any version of the “Billy Boys” song suggests that the club accepts the unfavorable nature of this song. It can not pretend to condemn any variation of the “Billy Boys” song, however simultaneously not be liable for its advocates sectarian attitude.”
That led to Linfield being bought to close the north stand of their stadium, where the singing had started, with 300 seats removed from the Irish League side’s next European video game.
In 2006, Rangers were likewise penalized by UEFA for singing the Billy Boys after the governing body appealed their own initial findings which recommended they couldn’t penalize the singing of the tune.
After Rangers were fined ₤ 13k for the incident in Spain when they played Villarreal, then club owner David Murray met fans groups and ultimately released a prolonged statement which revealed a UEFA regulation made it clear they need to reveal prior to every video game, locally and in Europe, that any variation of the song is banned.