Chris Sutton reveals Rangers ban hunch as Celtic icon admits Ibrox star proved him wrong

Chris Sutton believes that his criticism of Rangers captain James Tavernier may have resulted in him being refused entry to Ibrox.

The former Celtic striker was controversially denied media accreditation for Rangers home matches during their run to the Europa League final last season in his role as a BT Sport pundit.

The decision led the broadcaster to release a statement insisting it would “not be forced to split a team of professionals behind and in-front of screen” as they relocated to an empty Celtic Park instead of setting up a studio at Ibrox for a match against Sparta Prague last November.

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No confirmation has been given over whether Sutton is officially banned from the stadium, but he reckons the issue stems from him branding Tavernier a "serial loser" in a newspaper column three years ago.

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton was refusd entry to Rangers home matches last season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The 49-year-old admitted, however, that the Rangers skipper has now proved him wrong after leading the Light Blues to the Premiership title in 2020-21 and lifting the Scottish Cup last season.

“I called him that when he hadn’t won anything at that particular time,” Sutton explained on the BT Sport Currie Club podcast hosted by presenter Darrell Currie. “I was factual at that time.

“I have got great admiration for James Tavernier and the way he has played for the last number of seasons and for the way he’s captained Rangers. They demolished Celtic by 25 points and last season he did brilliantly to take Rangers to a Europa League Final.

“I can’t call him a serial loser now. He’s answered in the best way.

“But are we really going to get offended by little snippets like that? I’ve not heard James Tavernier say anything about this.

“He’s done exactly as he should do and I have total admiration for him and the way he’s conducted himself and how he’s dragged the Rangers team up to a level where they are a real force back in Glasgow now.

“I don’t know which things I’ve said which Rangers don’t like. The easiest thing would be for someone to give me a call and say, ‘we don’t like that or you’ve said this or that’. It’s not for me to resolve.”

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