SFA challenges Charles Green to provide proof of ‘bigotry’ against Rangers
THE Scottish Football Association has written to newco Rangers chief executive Charles Green to demand an explanation for the comments he made prior to Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup match against Brechin City.
• Bigotry, jelousy and ‘wrong motives’ behind decision to vote against Rangers being allowed back into SPL, says Green
Green claimed that bigotry was one of the reasons for his club being denied entry to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
SPL clubs voted against Green’s newco being admitted to Scottish football’s top-flight earlier this month, before Scottish Football League sides voted in favour of the Ibrox club playing in the Irn-Bru Third Division, rather than the First Division.
And speaking to BBC Scotland before Rangers’ extra-time win over Brechin, Green said: “Some of it has been driven by bigotry, some of it’s been driven by jealousy and some of it’s been driven by all the wrong motives.”
Asked to expand on what he meant by bigotry, Green said: “We’ve got a position whereby Rangers were thrown out of the league and these clubs are still appealing with fans to buy
“What’s happened with Rangers, as an outsider looking in, although I am now an insider, is absolutely incredible where it seems to me the whole of Scotland have wanted to kick this giant club while it was down.”
The SFA yesterday asked Green to supply any evidence he may have of bigotry pertaining to the decision by the other SPL clubs – he has until 7 August to respond – and should he fail to do so then the Rangers chief
executive can expect to be fined by the governing body.
Celtic were asked for their views on Green’s remarks but a spokesperson for the SPL champions said: “These comments are not worthy of any response from Celtic Football Club. We presume the matter would now be one for the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football League to deal with.”
Rangers manager Ally McCoist had also launched a withering
attack on the SPL at the end of last week – claiming the top flight was pursuing an agenda “as hostile as possible” against the newco – and yesterday Rangers legend Sandy Jardine waded in, saying he has “no trust” in the people at the top of Scottish football.
Jardine, the figurehead of the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund, and Gordon Smith, another former Rangers player, were at the draw for the second round of the Ramsdens Cup, which saw the Ibrox club paired with Falkirk.
Although refusing to comment on Green’s “bigotry”
remark, Jardine did respond when asked how he felt about Ibrox chairman Malcolm Murray’s reported claim that Rangers could be back in the SPL quicker than the minimum three-year period that would be required to gain promotion via the three SFL
Murray’s comments are believed to indicate that league reconstruction will be brought in to ease a quicker passage back to the top for Rangers, however Jardine was dismissive.
“I do not know anything about that but to do any reconstruction you need to be able to trust the top of the people at the top of the game,” said Jardine. “After what we have been through I cannot say that I do.”
Smith, too, would not be drawn on Green’s weekend comments and poured cold water on Murray’s claims. “I don’t understand where that one came from unless of course people know something I don’t know,” said Smith. “I thought Rangers were in the Third Division and having to work their way up from there. Perhaps other people have heard whispers but I have
certainly not heard anything that would involve Rangers moving up quickly.”
Smith is a former chief executive of the SFA and was
reluctant to join Green, McCoist and Jardine in criticising officials running the game. “There is tremendous pressure on guys like Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster as there is a real wind of change happening,” added Smith. “We have seen one of our biggest clubs, some would say our biggest club, go down three divisions which is incredible.
“People will always criticise the top people in organisations, as I found out when I was chief executive of the SFA. I therefore find it difficult to do so, as I do not know everything that is going on in the background.”
“A lot of the time people will criticise things without knowing the full extent of what is going on and sometimes chief executives get criticised for decisions made by the organisational structure and not them. At one time secretaries like Jim Farry could make decisions but that power is not there now.”
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