Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Rangers Lack Money, but Not Support at Home

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Rangers Lack Money, but Not Support at Home

Article excerpt

Among the highlights of weekend matches, the Rangers and Kilmarnock is likely to become a pilgrimmage for fans after the Glasgow team went into bankruptcy administration.

The outstanding matchups this weekend in soccer

Saturday

Rangers vs. Kilmarnock

It isn't often that Scottish soccer has the eyes of the world upon it. But this game is likely to fill the 51,000 seats of Ibrox Park, the Rangers' home in Glasgow.

What might have been a humdrum league fixture will turn into a pilgrimage, an act of faith by thousands of people who cannot imagine life without one of the nation's biggest institutions.

The Rangers went into financial administration this past week. The debts are still being counted, in tens of millions. The police threatened to call off the game until they were assured they would be paid for their services.

And the players, many of them foreigners, are being asked to run without guarantees that any or all of them will be paid what is on their contracts for much longer.

Sunderland vs. Arsenal

In England, it is a weekend of F.A. Cup rather than Premier League fare. For Sunderland, rejuvenated since Martin O'Neill gave up unemployment to coach the team early in December, this is a chance to chase some glory -- and to avenge a league defeat against Arsenal just seven days earlier.

For Arsenal, this journey north represents yet another attempt to re-start a faltering season. Arsenal limped home from Milan after being given the biggest hiding in its Champions League history Wednesday.

The F.A. Cup becomes its last hope of silverware this season. And it has to be done without Thierry Henry, the match winner at Sunderland last Saturday. The aging Henry has flown back to New York to start preseason training with his full-time employer, the Red Bulls.

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Ausburg

Off the beaten track, even for the Bundesliga, Ausburg is one of those modest German clubs that spends a century below the top division, and now struggles to stay there without taking financial risks. The Bavarian club borrows players like the Japanese Hajime Hosogai from Leverkusen and the Korean Koo Ja-cheol from Wolfsburg, and ekes out draws where it can. …

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