A Rangers fan has taken legal action against his ex-bosses after claiming his dedication to the Glasgow club cost him his job.
Eddie McClung, 50, believes he has lost a subcontractor role at a Grangemouth energy site due to his Ranger allegiance and is suing his former employers for £ 80,000 in damages.
The father of two claims other Rangers fans in the workplace were also targeted, adding: “They were going after a lot of Rangers guys. It was like a war zone.
Eddie, from Bonnybridge near Falkirk, has taken the case to an employment tribunal and wants to see the law changed to provide more protection for Rangers fans in the future, the Daily check-in reports.
Arguing that his dedication to the Rangers was behind the move, Eddie wants football fans to have the same kind of protection as workers who sue for religious or sexual bigotry.
Representing himself, Eddie proposed that being a fan of the Rangers is a “philosophical belief” worthy of special protection, as are pacifism, humanism and atheism.
If successful, the lawsuit will go to a full court in what is believed to be the first such case in the UK.
Eddie initiated action against energy construction company Doosan Babcock and recruitment firm NRL, with whom he started working as a project manager in January 2019.
He said a number of Celtic and Hibs fans worked where he was employed and that there was “a lot of joking” and alleges that another senior colleague told Eddie he was “exceptionally good for a Rangers fan “.
Eddie alleges that when the manager yelled at him twice for taking 45-minute lunch breaks he was being targeted for supporting the Rangers and the site’s toilets were defaced with graffiti mocking the Ibrox disaster of 1971, where 66 people lost their lives.
He said he received a week’s notice in May 2019 after the run-ins – and didn’t have enough work for him.
Eddie said: “Before, I never felt that someone was chasing me because I was a Rangers fan. There would be jokes, but they wouldn’t fire you for it.
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“I think it cost me my marriage because my wife and I parted ways over financial concerns. I lost £ 30,000 of salary which was to last until November 2019 and we had to sell the house.
Eddie said: “I have to prove that my support for Rangers is ‘genuinely held’, which I will do with memories and playing games.
“The next test is whether this is an ‘important aspect of human life’. This is covered by memories like attending games with my father before he died in 2018. He must have an” level of seriousness “which a Rangers fan implies. It takes time, money and effort.
“Then I think being a Rangers fan is a ‘way of life’. I wake up on a Saturday when there is a game and I think “great”. I work to pay my bills and hope there are enough left over to see as many games as possible.
“The last is to be ‘worthy of respect in a democratic society’. It’s child’s play. There are a few idiots but a lot of good people go to the games.
Eddie hopes his landmark case will offer protection from discrimination to fellow Gers fans.
He said, “I’m taking it all the way. I want Rangers fans to be protected from the same as I am. “
At a hearing in Glasgow last month, lawyers for Doosan Babcock and the NRL called his claims “sparse” and asked: “Could supporting the Rangers ever amount to a philosophical belief?
Both firms urged Judge Lucy Wiseman to dismiss the action.
Judge Wiseman adjourned the court to give Eddie time to prepare his claim.
Dooson Babcock and NRL have been contacted for comment but have not responded.