Life In The 3rd

 

Annan Athletic FC v Rangers FC, at Galabank Stadium, Annan, Scotland, on Saturday 23rd September 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Charles Green, the new owner of Rangers Football Club, sits in the stands within Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday 24th August 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

These images are part of an ongoing project, a document of an unusual, exciting and historically unprecedented year in Scottish Third Division football. The project, ‘Life In The 3rd’, is a photographic journey through the Scottish footballing Irn-Bru Third Division which this year is graced by the presence of the mighty Rangers Football Club.

Rangers have found themselves playing in the lowest division, not because of bad results on the pitch, but because of years of poor financial results and mismangement. These financial complexities culminated in the club being bought by a new investor, Charles Green, and the Scottish footballing authorities refusing to recognise this new financial arrangement, and as such Rangers were deemed to be a new club and company, and faced no option but to work their way back to glory from the bottom of the Third Division.

The images show what it means to be a fan in these interesting times, with the clash of a corporate footballing team versus semi-professional status teams, and a city team with their fans visiting rural towns and countryside local supporters. The photographs document the small stadiums across the Scottish landscape, stadiums which have crowd capacities of 2,000 compared to Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium crowds of 51,000. The pictures also show that across the divide, fans are fans, fathers take their sons along to games, and certain footballing traditions are to be found despite the team supported or stadium locale.

– Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

 

Chairs for the media, prior to the Irn-Bru 3rd Division football game of Berwick Rangers FC versus Glasgow Rangers FC, at Shielfield Park, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, England, on Sunday 26th August 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Young boys await the team coaches, prior to the Annan Athletic FC v Rangers FC, at Galabank Stadium, Annan, Scotland, on Saturday 23rd September 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Annan Athletic FC v Rangers FC, at Galabank Stadium, Annan, Scotland, on Saturday 23rd September 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Rangers fans watching intently, during the Annan Athletic FC v Rangers FC, at Galabank Stadium, Annan, Scotland, on Saturday 23rd September 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Queen’s Park FC train in Lesser Hampden stadium, Glasgow, Scotland, Thursday 4th October 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Rangers FC train at their Murray Park facilities, Glasgow, Scotland, Friday 5th October 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Fans and balloons, prior to the Stirling Albion FC v Rangers FC, at Forthbank Stadium, Stirling, Scotland, Saturday 6th October 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Brian Allison scores for Stirling Albion FC, during their home game with Rangers FC, at Forthbank Stadium, Stirling, Scotland, Saturday 6th October 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Rangers FC fans in despair, during the Stirling Albion FC v Rangers FC, at Forthbank Stadium, Stirling, Scotland, Saturday 6th October 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Rangers FC manager Ally McCoist faces the press, after the Annan Athletic FC v Rangers FC, at Galabank Stadium, Annan, Scotland, on Saturday 23rd September 2012. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2012, all rights reserved.

 

 

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