Rangers FC

Historically speaking, Rangers FC (also known as Glasgow Rangers) is one of the most dominant football clubs on the British Islands. Since its inception in 1872, the club has won more than 50 Scottish Championships and more than 30 Scottish Cups, as well as the 1972 Cup Winners' Cup. Since 1888, they have enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Celtic, with the two clubs being traditionally referred to as the "Old Firm".

Basic facts

Founded: 1872
Country: Scotland
City: Glasgow

Home grounds

Ibrox Park (1899-1997)
Ibrox Stadium (1997-)

Main trophies

Scottish Football League/Scottish Premier League/Scottish Premiership: 54
Scottish Cup: 33
European Cup Winners' Cup: 1

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Scottish Football League: 1890–91, 1898–99, 1899–1900, 1900–01, 1901–02, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1917–18, 1919–20, 1920–21, 1922–23, 1923–24, 1924–25, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1936–37, 1938–39, 1946–47, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1952–53, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97
Scottish Premier League: 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11
Scottish Cup: 1893–94, 1896–97, 1897–98, 1902–03, 1927–28, 1929–30, 1931–32, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1952–53, 1959–60, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2007–08, 2008–09
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1971–72

Prominent players

John Greig, Jimmy Fleming, Willie Thornton, Jim Forrest, Davie Cooper, Ally McCoist, Duncan Ferguson, Trevor Steven, Paul Gascoigne, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Alan Hutton, Andrei Kanchelskis, Tore André Flo, Ronald de Boer, Barry Ferguson

Club records

Most games played: John Greig (755)
Top goalscorer: Ally McCoist (355)

Aberdeen FC and Rangers FC teams line up
Aberdeen and Rangers before the 1978 Scottish Cup Final.


Rangers was founded in 1872, by a small group of rowing enthusiasts that regularly get together on Glasgow Green to play the game of football. While the club was originally named Glasgow Argyle, it was renamed as Rangers at one of the first club meetings to be held.

One of the first great moments in the club's history took place in the fourth edition of the Scottish Cup. Rangers advanced all the way to the final and first after a second replay could their opponent Vale of Leven claim the title. In 1886, they did their first appearance in the FA Cup (they had also been listed the previous year, but withdrawn).

They were one of the eleven clubs to participate in the inaugural Scottish Championship in 1890, eventually going on to share top honors with Dumbarton in the first season of the competition. By 1919, Rangers had won nine Scottish Championships and four Scottish Cups.

The largest city in Scotland would the dominant region of Scottish football. It would also stand out by its violent crowd disorder. The first so-called brake clubs emerged in Glasgow already in the 1880s and signified the first organized supporter groups including away fans.

The Bill Struth era

In 1920, the club's long-time assistant manager Bill Struth was promoted to manager; this marked the beginning of an unprecedented 34-year long period with him in charge of the club.

It was during this time that Rangers finally replaced Celtic as the best club in the country, claiming 19 Scottish Championships and 10 Scottish Cups by the time Struth left the club in 1954. The torch was then passed to Scot Symon, who led the club to another six Scottish Championships and five Scottish Cups before a streak of bad results led him to leave Rangers in 1967.


First European trophy

The early 70s were not a particularly happy period for the club due to the 1971 Ibrox disaster, when a large-scale crush led to the deaths of 66 people. Nevertheless, the following year saw the club recover from the tragedy to win their first European trophy by outlasting Dynamo Moscow 3-2 in the Cup Winners' Cup final. Not long after that, Jock Wallace took over as manager and eventually managed to halt Celtic's domestic dominance by claiming three Scottish Championships and three Scottish Cups from 1973 to 1978.

With only two Scottish Cups to their name in an 8-year period after Wallace's departure, it was high time for changes. The club returned to the spotlight with the appointment of Graeme Souness as player-manager in 1986; this hiring led to the so-called Souness Revolution, which saw Rangers acquire a number of high-profile signings. Souness – and later Walter Smith – led Rangers to nine consecutive Scottish Championships and three Scottish Cups from 1987 to 1996. Even after their departure, the club continued to ride a streak of good results, claiming seven Scottish Championships and six Scottish Cups by 2011.

Financial difficulties forcing the club to a new journey

Due to numerous financial difficulties surrounding the club, the 2011/12 season saw Rangers enter the process of liquidation. The club went on as a new company (soon renamed The Rangers Football Club Ltd), and had to start their new journey from the fourth tier of Scottish football.

By Martin Wahl


Rangers logoRangers shirt logoRangers logo consists of a blue ball with a red lion outlined by a circle with “Rangers Football Club” in uppercase letters. The word “Ready”, which stands for the club's motto, could also be found in the logo. There is, however, an alternative logo used on the shirt, which is based on the initials of the club's name (RFC).

Rangers FC timeline

1872 The club is established (as Glasgow Argyle).
1891 First time winner of the Scottish League Championship.
1894 Winning their first Scottish Cup.
1899 The club move to Ibrox Park.
1920 Bill Struth is appointed as manager.
1928 Winning their first Double (Scottish Cup and League).
1947 Winning their first Scottish League Cup.
1949 Winning their first Treble (Scottish Cup, League Cup and League).
1971 The Ibrox disaster.
1972 First European cup title (European Cup Winners' Cup).
2012 The club is entering bankruptcy.
2012 The club re-establish and reentering the league (Third Division).


Football clubs also founded in 1872

Dumbarton FC logoDumbarton FC

Football clubs ordered after establishment

Scottish Football League record

Season Position Points Notes
2017-18 2 62  
2016-17 3 58  
2015-16 - -  
2014-15 - -  
2013-14 - -  
2012-13 - - Not allowed competition
2011-12 2 63  
2010-11 1 80 54th league title
2009-10 1 77 53th league title
2008-09 2 73  
2007-08 1 79 52th league title
2006-07 2 65  
2005-06 3 62  
2004-05 2 81  
2003-04 2 74  
2002-03 1 87 51th league title
2001-02 2 77  
2000-01 2 70  

Scottish Professional Football League – facts, stats and history

Champions League record

Season Tournament stage Notes
2011-12 Third qualifying round  
2010-11 Group Stage  
2009-10 Group Stage  
2008-09 Second qualifying round  
2007-08 Group Stage  
2005-06 Round of 16 Eliminated by Villarreal
2004-05 Third qualifying round  
2003-04 First group stage  
2001-02 Third qualifying round  
2000-01 First group stage  
1999-00 First group stage  
1997-98 Second qualifying round  
1996-97 Group Stage  
1995-96 Group Stage  
1994-95 Qualifying round  
1993-94 First round Eliminated by Levski
1992-93 Group Stage  

Champions League – facts, stats and history


The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football – David Goldblatt (2008)

Image source:
Colin Smith