George Peat: Club chairman begged me not to help Rangers, says ex-SFA boss

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Former Scottish FA president George Peat has claimed the chairman of a club urged him not to help Rangers at the tail end of the 2007/08 season.

The Ibrox side had won the Scottish League Cup, and harboured hopes of sealing the Scottish Premier League title and the Scottish Cup, while advancing to the UEFA Cup final.

Former SFA president George Peat shares a joke with the media at a Hampden press cionference in December 2010. Picture: SNS Group

Former SFA president George Peat shares a joke with the media at a Hampden press cionference in December 2010. Picture: SNS Group

The Gers would go on to lose the European showpiece to Zenit St Petersburg and finished second behind Old Firm rivals Celtic in the title race, but did secure a cup double.

Rangers were scheduled to play five games in 11 days towards the end of the campaign and the season finale was delayed for all top six clubs by four days, to ensure a same-day finish.

Speaking to the BBC, Peat revealed that the chairman of what he referred to as a “prominent club” had contacted him by phone, asking him not to help Rangers out with their fixture backlog.

Peat continued: “The prominent club asked me not to [help Rangers] and I refused.”

Peat served as president of Scottish football’s governing body between 2007 and 2011, and was discussing his tenure when he was asked about disappointments from his time with the SFA.

“There were certain things that disappointed me. One in particular disappointed me,” he began.

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“I remember when Rangers got to the [UEFA Cup] final in Manchester. I got a phone call from a prominent chairman of a club requesting me not to help Rangers in any way.

“And it so happened that I had already had a meeting with Lex Gold at the SPL - what we were willing to do was to extend the season, because of the fixture pile-up that Rangers had - and I was most disappointed when I got back to the office to receive this call to ask me not to help them in any way.

“That really stuck in my throat,” he added.

Speaking to the Herald, former Gers captain Lee McCulloch described Peat’s account as “quite sad” adding: “The effort that we put into that campaign was unreal and I would be upset if there were people or clubs plotting against Rangers in the background at that time.

“It is a real shame that we didn’t get the best preparation possible and as much time possible to help us achieve what would have been something so special for the whole of Scottish football.

“It is quite sad in many ways if that was the case. I hope this chairman is named and we find out the truth.

“But I fear we will never get to the bottom of it and get the whole story of what happened and why we were forced into that situation. It just shows you what can go on behind the scenes in football.”