Terry Butcher rages at sending off and SFA’s “kangaroo court”

In the wake of Greg Tansey’s ridiculous, and game-changing, red card, Terry Butcher trained his guns on referee Stevie O’Reilly, while lambasting the SFA’s fast-track disciplinary system, deriding it as a “fast-track to nowhere” and denouncing the appeals procedure at Hampden as a “kangaroo court”.

Raging after his player was sent off, the Caley Thistle manager said there is “no justice”. He said: “If we appeal, I’m not going down there. Somebody else can go.”

Tansey was sent off in the 36th minute after O’Reilly adjudged that he had elbowed Georgios Samaras in the head. “It changed the game,” said Butcher, “without a shadow of a doubt. I’m going mad about it. The sending off kicked the players in the stomach and kicked the fans in the stomach. They pay good money to come here. The referee’s refusing to talk to us but apparently he said that Greg led with his elbow but his elbow was nowhere near Samaras’s face. He was very quick to produce the red card.”

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“If anything, it was a deadly assault with a fingernail,” said Butcher, by turns furious and sarcastic. “The player (Samaras) has gone down very easily and I can’t even talk about the rest of the game because we’re down to ten men. Up until that point we were very much in the match.”

Butcher’s dismissal of the SFA’s disciplinary hearings as a kangaroo court had its origins in an incident involving Chris Hogg during a game against Motherwell in October. Hogg was red-carded, Caley appealed and then lost their case in front of a three-man SFA panel who heard that Crawford Allan, the referee on the day, stood by his decision and was backed-up by the match-day compliance officer. “It was five against one,” said Butcher. “So the odds aren’t great are they? It costs a thousand pounds to lodge an appeal and that’s a lot of money to a club like this, especially if you think that there’s going to be no justice at the end of it.”

Even Neil Lennon admitted that the red card was a tough call on Caley. “I haven’t seen it yet. They had their backs to us when it happened and looking at it, I thought it was an elbow, but I gather it might have been harsh. It definitely put us in the ascendancy.”