Monday 06 September 2010 | Rangers feed

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Rangers fans jailed over Manchester riot following Uefa Cup final defeat

Eleven football fans convicted of rioting in Manchester following Rangers' 2008 Uefa Cup final defeat in the city were given prison sentences - varying from six months to 3½ years - on Friday, less than two weeks before the Scottish club's Champions League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

 
Glasgow Rangers fans jailed over Manchester riot
Sweeper system: a street cleaner tidies up the debris in Manchester after the riot which followed the 2008 Uefa Cup Final Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Passing sentence at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Andrew Blake condemned what he described as "the worst night of violence and destruction suffered by Manchester city centre since the blitz".

The police forces of Strathclyde and Greater Manchester are to mount a full-scale security operation for the encounter between United and Rangers on Sept 14. Rangers' 3,500 travelling fans are to travel to Wigan Athletic's DW Stadium before being handed tickets and placed on official transport to Old Trafford.

But despite the scenes that married the 2008 Uefa Cup final, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has defended his decision to offer the club's stadium as a holding area for the Scottish supporters after insisting a similar gesture seven years ago passed without incident.

Whelan said: "Last time Rangers fans came to Wigan they were absolutely brilliant. I've no concerns at all about their behaviour.

"The fans will go into one of the lounges and have something to eat and drink. They'll no doubt want to stretch their legs after their coach trip.

"These are real Rangers supporters and they'll collect their match tickets at the DW stadium. I'm not expecting any trouble whatsoever."