Rangers’ first Scottish Premiership title for 10 years was confirmed Sunday after Celtic’s drew 0-0 at Dundee United to stand 20 points behind their Glasgow rivals with six games left to play.
Steven Gerrard’s men have stormed to the title without losing a game to end Celtic’s record-equalling nine consecutive Scottish league titles.
Rangers were not even in the top-flight for four of those seasons after the club was demoted to the fourth tier following liquidation in 2012 due to financial troubles.
“This club has been to hell and back over the past 10 years,” said Gerrard after Saturday’s 3-0 win over St Mirren put Rangers on the brink of a first major trophy since 2011.
“I’ve only been part of it for three, but I can certainly relate and I’ve got that feeling and that affection with the fans and I know what they have been through.”
The former England and Liverpool captain never won a league title during his legendary 17-year career at Anfield.
However, Gerrard has transformed Rangers’ fortunes, both domestically and in Europe, since taking his first senior managerial role in 2018.
The newly crowned Scottish champions have reached the last 16 of the Europa League for the second consecutive season and face Slavia Prague on Thursday.
🏆 We Are Rangers
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) March 7, 2021
Rangers were denied the chance to rub salt into Celtic wounds by winning the title at Celtic Park in two weeks’ time in their next league fixture.
Celtic dropped points for the 12th time in the league this season with caretaker manager John Kennedy taking charge for just the second time since Neil Lennon resigned last month.
The issues that have dogged Celtic all season cost them at Tannadice as they dominated but failed to find the net with 27 attempts on goal.
“Our objective was to get to 10, but Rangers have been better than us this season,” Kennedy told Sky Sports. “We’ve been champions for so long, but we’ve not been good enough this season.”
Thousands of Rangers fans ignored coronavirus restrictions to descend upon Ibrox on Saturday to get the title celebrations going early.
“Once we got close or achieved our first big part of success together, which was always going to be the hardest, I had a good idea what the reaction would be like,” said Gerrard.
“I think what you’ve seen today is 10 years of what these supporters have been through. I’m delighted for them and really proud of the players efforts because they’ve been outstanding this season.
“From a league point of view, they’ve been close to perfect.”
The Scottish government condemned the scenes outside the stadium on Saturday and pleaded with supporters not to congregate again on Sunday.
Justice Minister Humza Yousaf tweeted: “I understand Rangers fans will be desperate to celebrate but please remember you must stay at home.
“No mass gatherings are allowed. We cannot risk any further spread of the virus.”