Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has urged fans to enjoy every moment of the team’s Europa League final and wants the city of Seville to be left with a positive impression of the club and its supporters.
The Ibrox club face Eintracht Frankfurt in Wednesday’s showcase match, the first time since 2008 a Scottish side has played in a major European final.
The semi-final win over RB Leipzig sparked a rush from fans to book travel and accommodation in the Spanish final ahead of the game at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, though Rangers have only been allocated 9,500 tickets.
UEFA have advised supporters without entry to the game not to travel but Robertson said that he was expected “several tens of thousands” of fans to be in Seville. He said he hoped everyone would enjoy a memorable trip and urged everyone to respect the city and the locals.
“My message to the supporters, with or without tickets, is to go and join the occasion,” he said. “I remember myself in 2008 thinking ‘Will I see Rangers in a European final again?’ and here we are, it’s fantastic.
“So go and enjoy the occasion. Go and be a great ambassador for Rangers. We’re going to a beautiful city in Seville so go and enjoy the city but let’s go and do it in the right way and the right manner.
“Respect the city, respect the locals. There’ll be people going about their day-to-day business and I remember Glasgow when Leverkusen and Real Madrid were in Glasgow and it was a great atmosphere that day. Hopefully we can create a similar atmosphere in Seville.
“There’s going to be disruption to people’s day-to-day lives but hopefully we minimise that and do it in a way that’s positive and that when we leave the local people have a positive impression of Rangers.”
Rangers were knocked out of Champions League qualifying early this season before going on a Europa League journey that saw them come through a tough group before knocking out Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Braga and RB Leipzig.
The run has already been lucrative and a win in the final would bring in millions of pounds on top of what has already been earned.
Robertson said that, while the prize money and associated revenue would make a huge difference, and could strengthen the squad as well as develop the infrastructure at the club, he believes the reputational boost could also be huge for Rangers.
“The run we’ve had now is probably slightly more money than we would have had from qualifying for the Champions League,” he said. “It’s a terrific boost, it allows us to do so many things.
“Beyond the money, it’s the profile.
“You look at the profile the players get and the ability to attract new players when you come to the summer. I think when you’re in a European final it makes the club much more attractive.
“Financially it’s been a fantastic addition to what we budgeted for so that allows us to look at strengthening the team in the summer, it allows us to continue with the infrastructure projects we still have to do around the stadium and training ground. So it’s been a fantastic boost to the club’s finances.”