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18th May, 2017 | 4:43pm

Rangers chief sends passionate message to fans ahead of season finale

By Matt Farr

Rangers chairman Dave King has hailed the supporters for their ‘steadfast loyalty’ as their season draws to a close.

The Scottish club have endured a rather miserable time on their return to the Scottish Premiership this term, having struggled to compete alongside Celtic and Aberdeen at the top of the table.

Despite a managerial change during the latter part of the season, which saw Mark Warburton replaced by current chief Pedro Caixinha, Rangers are set to finish in third place, potentially 36 points behind rivals Celtic.

But chairman King admits it has been a season ‘below expectation’ for the club, although he has moved to thank the Ibrox fanbase for their continued commitment to the Rangers cause, in a passionate message on Thursday.

He told the club’s official website: “I can only marvel at the steadfast loyalty of our supporters. They are appreciated all over the world for the way they have stood by the club in the past five years.

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“On behalf of the Board and the staff, I thank every one of them. The team didn’t perform to expectation this season but it is important to remember that some targets have been met.

“In particular, getting back into European competition was one of our non-negotiables for this season. We are now back on that stage and looking forward immensely to the Europa League qualifiers.”

Their third-place finish sees Rangers book their place in the qualifying stages of the Europa League, which are due to take place this summer.

However, they suffered a disappointing defeat in their final home game of the season on Wednesday night, where they were beaten 2-1 by Aberdeen.

But there is still hope of Rangers and Caixinha finishing their season on a high, with one game still to play against fourth-placed St. Johnstone on Sunday.

In other Rangers news, Tam McManus has taken a dig at the club following the defeat to Aberdeen.

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