Kilmarnock hit back at Rangers' Club 1872 statement on ticketing issues
Rangers' fan organisation - Club 1872 - condemned Kilmarnock's "failed" ticketing system
Last Updated: 14/08/19 6:28pm
Kilmarnock have contested a statement made by Rangers supporters group Club 1872, who have criticised ticketing issues which arose prior to the two sides' season-opening Scottish Premiership clash.
Club 1872, a Rangers fan organisation, made a statement on Wednesday after events at Rugby Park before and during the encounter on August 4.
The group condemned Kilmarnock's "failed" ticketing system, which they claim caused away supporters to be "crushed and squeezed together toward the turnstiles" prior to the game, and led to some Rangers fans feeling "in a state of alarm".
"Kilmarnock's new ticketing system did indeed fail despite suggestions to the contrary. It has been accepted there was also a failure to deal properly with the problems this caused," the statement read.
"There was no recognisable plan of action to deal with such a situation and it was very close to kick-off before someone thought this problem, which had started to cause panic among those Rangers supporters, who were being pushed and squeezed together toward the turnstiles, should be brought to the attention of the police.
"By that time some Rangers fans were being crushed and in a state of alarm, and there are many testimonies which bear that out."
Away fans also invaded the pitch and fell through an enclosure for disabled fans, whilst celebrating Connor Goldson's injury-time winner at the end of Rangers' 2-1 win.
The statement criticised Killie managing director Phyllis McLeish, who accused Rangers fans of breaching a gate and forcing entry into Rugby Park.
It also hit out at pundits and a politician, William Coffey, "for making misinformed as well as misleading comments" on the incidents that occurred.
The organisation said that the club would like an "apology from Kilmarnock for having pointed the finger of blame at Rangers fans for the issues which arose ahead of kick-off".
In response, Kilmarnock have said they note "with disappointment" that Rangers issued a statement via Club 1872.
It read: "As Rangers have recognised, problems before the match had no bearing on the incident at the second goal when Rangers supporters entered the field of play and damaged the disabled roof covering to the point of collapse.
"It was extremely fortunate that no disabled supporters were seriously injured.
"We look forward to Rangers Football Club taking action to identify those responsible and dealing with those fans appropriately.
"As a club that cares about the safety of all supporters, we will continue to work with all parties to conclude our investigation and work to ensure we provide the safest, friendliest and most welcoming football experience we can."
Rangers have also told Sky Sports News that "appropriate action" would be taken after their supporters came onto the pitch and caused the disabled fan enclosure to cave in towards the end of the match.
The club also stated however that these events were partially caused by the new ticketing system at Rugby Park.
Police Scotland's enquiries are ongoing - as they continue their investigation into the disabled fan shelter roof collapse on August 4.