Rangers: Raith ‘besmirched honour’ of David Weir

RANGERS claim Raith Rovers have “besmirched the honour” of Ibrox assistant manager David Weir over their questioning of striker Ryan Hardie’s early return from Scotland Under-19 duty.

Ryan Hardie in action for Rangers against Falkirk. Picture: Michael Gillen
Ryan Hardie in action for Rangers against Falkirk. Picture: Michael Gillen

The Glasgow club are seeking an apology over the affair, which will come to a head when the two clubs meet at Ibrox today.

The Kirkcaldy club released a statement on Thursday asking if the Scottish FA’s compliance officer agreed with them that Rangers, through Weir, “have breached SFA articles and rules by requesting and securing the early release” of Hardie so he could be available to face Raith.

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The under-19s are in Bulgaria for a double-header, with the second game taking place last night. Rangers claim Rovers waived the opportunity to bring back Craig Wighton, who is on loan at Raith from Dundee.

Craig Wighton, currently on loan at Raith Rovers. Picture: Jane Barlow

A Rangers statement read: “Rangers FC insists there are no grounds for Raith Rovers’ allegation that a rule breach may have been committed by the club.

“Rangers also consider that Raith Rovers’ spurious claim could have besmirched the honour of assistant manager David Weir. Neither Rangers nor David Weir acted wrongly in requesting the return from under-19 Scotland duty of Ryan Hardie ahead of tomorrow’s match against Raith Rovers.

“This was done with the approval of the SFA, within the rules and in the full knowledge that Raith Rovers would be offered the same opportunity to bring Craig Wighton, their loan player from Dundee, home.

“They declined but then issued a statement alleging Rangers has somehow broken the rules. This action is baffling.

“Rangers acted within the rules and the very thought that David Weir, who served his country with great distinction winning 69 caps, might have been trying to undermine an international side is preposterous.

“An apology to David is the very least Raith Rovers should be offering.”