Dundee United seek SFA advice after Rangers boycott Scottish Cup tie

Rangers opt not to take up ticket allocation

Dundee United have asked the Scottish Football Association for guidance after Rangers instructed their supporters to boycott February's William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round clash at Tannadice.

The SFA board were expected to discuss the issue today, with United facing a quandary over ticket prices for the match - Rangers' first away match to Clydesdale Bank Premier League opposition since they were relaunched as a new company and denied entry to the SPL - after the Glasgow club announced they will not accept their ticket allocation.

Rangers' position has prompted United to request that they retain all revenue from the match and that the usual equal split of gate money not apply.

Cup competition rules are in place and only an amendment could prevent Rangers from benefiting financially from the match.

Under "alterations and additions to rules", rule 47 (a) states: "The board shall have the power to temporarily suspend, amend or add to these rules as circumstances may dictate from time to time, as it deems appropriate in its reasonable discretion, to facilitate the smooth running of the competition, or in order to ensure that the Scottish FA is capable of meeting the commitments put upon it under the terms of its television and sponsorship contracts."

These amendments may only be made at the SFA annual general meeting, though, and the 2012 AGM was held in June, when Rangers' situation was the main subject for discussion.

Following Monday's draw, Rangers supporters' groups immediately called for a stay-away protest. Some Rangers fans believe United chairman Stephen Thompson was an influential figure in their demotion to the Irn-Bru Third Division.

Thompson had also refused to refund Rangers fans when a match at Tannadice between the two clubs in 2009 was abandoned at half-time due to adverse weather conditions.

Rangers chief executive Charles Green announced the ticket allocation would not be accepted and the United board, led by Thompson, met to discuss the Scottish Cup clash.

A statement from United read: "It is with huge disappointment that we read both the content and tone of the statement from Rangers, stating that they will not be taking any tickets for our Scottish Cup tie in February and urging their supporters not to attend.

"However, we do not intend to enter into a war of words with Rangers or to dignify their position by responding in kind.

"We have noted their decision not to take any tickets for this cup tie and will now act accordingly in arranging the match.

"The statement from Rangers makes it clear that their fans should not attend.

"We have therefore raised a number of related matters with the Scottish FA and will be making no further public statement until their advice has been received."

Rangers supporters will be able to watch the fixture from afar after the SFA today announced Sky Sports will screen the fixture on February 2.

PA

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