ST MIRREN last night accused Dundee United of “unacceptable” behaviour, after the Tannadice club’s criticism of Jim Goodwin’s conduct in their Boxing Day fixture culminated in a two-match for the Paisley skipper.
United used social media to highlight Goodwin’s forearm smash on United midfielder Stuart Armstrong after the off-the-ball incident was missed by referee Bobby Madden. Goodwin, who had been booked for another incident, was substituted soon after the flashpoint, in the 43rd minute, by manager Danny Lennon in what looked a precautionary measure. St Mirren went on to win the match 4-1.
Punishment was dished out to Goodwin yesterday when he was offered and accepted a two-match ban for his offence, but United’s role in helping bring the matter to the attention of the Scottish Football Association has incensed St Mirren.
After the match, United posted standalone video footage of the incident on their YouTube page with multiple replays and links to their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
After accepting the immediate suspension offered by SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny, who cited Goodwin for violent conduct “by striking an opposing player, namely Stuart Armstrong of Dundee United FC, on the face with an arm”, St Mirren released a statement making their displeasure clear.
“As a club we were disappointed to find one of our players singled out for criticism by another football club both in the media and thereafter on their website. We accept that football is a game of opinions but we find this unacceptable,” it read. “As a club, we have on many occasions been aggrieved by decisions, tackles and challenges made on our players. We have, however, dealt with such matters behind closed doors, via the appropriate channels and in a professional manner. We are of the view that one club should not be commenting on another club’s players in public and feel that these issues should be dealt with by the governing body (Scottish FA) to protect the integrity of the game.”
Before the ban was offered, Lennon admitted his surprise at United’s actions. “My football club would not do that. It’s not in the make-up of our club to be putting anything out there (on social media),” he said. “With the very good coverage that the BBC give our game, nothing would go unseen by the SFA and the disciplinary panel. So I found it a little bit strange that another club would do that.”
Goodwin was back in the Saints side that drew 1-1 with Hearts on Sunday but will now miss league games against Kilmarnock and Celtic this week. Lennon added: “Jim has fantastic qualities but like anyone, he has weaknesses. However, what he brings to this football club as captain and by being a terrific guy off the pitch and a winner on it is great.”
Meanwhile, St Johnstone have lost their appeal against Patrick Cregg’s quickfire red card for a challenge on Paul Cairney during his team’s 0-0 draw with Hibernian on 21 December. The wrongful dismissal claim was rejected by a SFA disciplinary tribunal and a two-match ban was upheld.