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In McClung -v- Doosan Babcock, Mr McClung claimed that he had been discriminated against due to his allegiance to Glasgow Rangers Football Club. Mr McClung’s primary argument was that that support for a football club should be given the same protections under the Equality Act 2010 as race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and disability.

The Tribunal heard that Mr McClung was a lifelong football fan, having attended his first match when he was eight, and that he spends most of his disposable income on football matches. Mr McClung gave evidence that he normally attends at least one or two home games every month, along with away games and cup games.

Mr McClung alleged that his manager excluded him from work opportunities because of his love of Rangers and that he had been subjected to discriminatory comments, including one colleague’s remark that Mr McClung was “unusually okay for a Rangers fan”.

He told the Tribunal: “I live my life in accordance with being a Rangers fan. I don’t go to church. I go to Rangers. It’s a belief to me.

“If people say their religion is protected, how many times do they go to church? I would argue it’s as important to me as someone who has a religion.”

The Tribunal was told: “He never misses a match and considers it a ‘massive’ part of his life. It motivates him to do and be the best he can.”

After hearing representations from both Mr McClung and his employer, employment judge, Lucy Wiseman, ruled that being a football fan is “a lifestyle choice, rather than relating to a substantial aspect of human life and behaviour”.

She added: “However fanatical [Mr McClung’s] support for Rangers, it lacked the required characteristics of cogency, cohesion, and importance.

“I say that because support for Rangers has no larger consequences for humanity as a whole, nothing underpinning it beyond a desire for the team to do well/win and no impact on how people lived their lives.”

Judge Wiseman went on to say that it instead resembles “support for a political party”, which prior cases have determined is also not a philosophical belief attracting the protection of the Equality Act 2010.



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