THE Union Bears, the Rangers supporters group, have accused the club of scapegoating their fans following the decision from UEFA to close sections of Ibrox for their upcoming Europa League fixture against Legia Warsaw.

UEFA found Rangers supporters guilty of racist behaviour during their Europa League qualifier against St Joseph's, leading to the partial closure.

Rangers decided to close two areas of the Club deck, as well as the part of the Broomloan Front where the Union Bears are situated.

The fan group have now issued a statement in response, arguing that the decision 'displays the basic level of contempt' shown to the Union Bears and stated their belief that the group are 'an easy sacrifice' for Rangers to make.

The statement read: "Following on from UEFA’s decision to decision to disproportionately punish Rangers as a result of the use of a supposedly sectarian & racist term, and the subsequent decision by Rangers to scapegoat the Unions Bears and those within BF1 for this, we would like to clarify our position.

"The Union Bears as a group are completely aware of our unique position as being the voice of Ibrox Stadium, and the responsibilities that come with that. We have always liaised with the club in a positive manner, and at no time has the group ever been taken to task for the nature of singing within BF1, not the content of our material.

"Chasing appeasement from two dubious organisations in UEFA & FARE, it ultimately appears that nth club are happy to relinquish all responsibility to the Union Bears, to tarnish our name within the support. Since the formation of the group in 2007 there has been no section of the support more active in introducing new Rangers chants, specifically about our great club, something which will continue.

"This brings us to the incredible decision of Rangers to ban only supporters from BF1 from Ibrox on Thursday night, whilst relocation all other supporters in the Broomloan Front. The supporters were notified this week in two hugely contrasting emails. One of which apologised for the inconvenience and asked for cooperation on this matter, whereas the other, which was reserved strictly for supporters in BF1 was abrupt and unceremonious.

"This action itself, however small it may be, displays the basic level of contempt shown to not only members of our group but other supporters within BF1. The club have been only too happy to use our display and actions at Ibrox to help wrestle back control of the club. However, the avoid confrontation, the group become an easy target.

"The club have actively facilitated the targeting of our group and the support as a whole, whilst offering no form of defence. We find this wholly disappointing given the loyalty shown by our support in recent years. Whilst the club are solely dependent of our supporter’s loyalty, the seem content in adverse judgement of our fans and are reluctant to unite against our critics.

"We are grateful for the support shown to us thus far, we anticipate however that this will not be the last attack on the group, and those within BF1. As has been the norm in recent years, the Union Bears will not shy away from these attacks and continue to support Rangers in a positive manner."