SCOTTISH football fans were last night tipped to rally around any club that is at risk of going out of business due to the coronavirus shutdown – just like Rangers supporters after the Ibrox club’s cataclysmic financial implosion in 2012.

There was an astonishing upsurge of backing for the stricken Glasgow giants when they were placed in the old Third Division and forced to take on part-time opponents eight years ago.

Ally McCoist’s men attracted huge crowds despite playing against minnows like Annan, Elgin City and Montrose – and the attendance of 50,048 at their final league match against Berwick Rangers was a world record for a fourth tier fixture.

Rangers' three main supporters groups at the time, the Assembly, Association and Trust, also endorsed a "fighting fund" which was set up to safeguard the Govan club's future and which raised almost £500,000.

Kieran Maguire, a football finance lecturer at the University of Liverpool and a host of the Price of Football podcast, has predicted that many clubs in this country face going bust in the coming weeks due to a “cash flow crisis”.

However, he feels the way Rangers that fans responded after the 54-times Scottish champions suffered their old-field meltdown shows that any top flight clubs experiencing difficulties in the weeks ahead will be able to rely on assistance.

READ MORE: Neil Cameron: Jim Traynor's replacement is a Rangers PR disaster

“When Rangers had their financial problems their fans were incredibly supportive because they could see the bigger picture," he said.

“It could be that some clubs will have really organised fans’ groups and will be renewing their season tickets early. If, that is, they can afford to do so. Remember, people in other industries will be losing their jobs as well.

“There might also be crowdfunding. The savvier fans out there might be able to come up with those type of solutions. But for many clubs that will be too little, too late.”

Maguire admitted that television broadcasters, season ticket holders and sponsors would be legally entitled to demand millions of pounds back in compensation if, as is a possibility, the season is declared null and void or leagues are decided on current league placings.

However, he is confident most of the stakeholders in the game will take a more understanding view during what is an unprecedented crisis.

“I don’t think many season ticket holders will demand their money back,” said Maguire. “I want my club to be in existence next year. If I start demanding money back that is going to reduce the chances of that.

“What are the broadcasters and the sponsors going to do? A lot will depend on whether they are going to take a short or a long-term view of their relationship with the club.

“If Sky, who have just signed a new deal with the SPFL, don’t want to jeopardise that they won’t demand money back. Provided the matches are taking place at some point in the year, they will just go along with that because they are living in exceptional times at the moment.

“I don’t think they have got any alternative. If they took a harsher line and that leaks out then the backlash against the broadcasters from the fan bases would be very, very severe.

“If Sky were insisting that matches had to be played at such and such a date and were going to take money away from the game if they didn’t then I would imagine a lot of fans would say ‘if that’s your attitude, I’m cancelling my subscription at the earliest available opportunity’. Broadcasters will take sensible point of view.

“Each of the options has merits and demerits. What the clubs, the broadcasters and the SPFL all want to do is somehow complete this season with a full set of fixtures. That will minimise the potential litigation.”