Rangers vow to appeal SFA fine and hit out at "double jeopardy"

Rangers have vowed to appeal after being fined £10,000 over Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos' Old Firm gestures.

Alfredo Morelos gestures following his red card against Celtic in December. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Alfredo Morelos gestures following his red card against Celtic in December. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

The Ibrox club, who have also been hit with a further £5,000 punishment for failing to control their players during a stormy clash with Hibernian at Easter Road, claim there is a "double jeopardy" aspect to the Scottish FA system.

Kent and Morelos both escaped individual suspensions from the SFA for their actions at Parkhead on December 29 as Rangers claimed a 2-1 derby win.

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Instead, it was Rangers who were cited over the failure to ensure their players refrained from "conduct that may incite disorder".

Kent made an apparent gun gesture after putting Steven Gerrard's side ahead while Morelos was seen drawing his hand across his throat as he walked off following his stoppage-time red card.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson said: “We're extremely disappointed. We're going to appeal it.

“We have been disappointed for quite some time in the way that the disciplinary process is working. We've been quite vocal in that.

“There's also been a lot of lobbying going on in the background for changes and it's good to see other clubs are joining in that lobbying campaign at the moment.

“There will be more to come out on that in due course but we will be appealing the fine.

“We're extremely disappointed in the fact it's almost a double jeopardy. The player can be punished but the club can also be punished. That's just not right.

“The basic rule that applies, or has been applied in this situation, we don’t feel is fair. There is no natural justice to that.

But beyond that we feel there are still severe flaws within the judicial process and we are in active discussion with the SFA to address that. A lot of that will go on behind the scenes.

“I know the fans are maybe frustrated that they don’t always see what we are doing or hear what we are doing, but they can be assured that there is a lot of lobbying going on behind the scenes to change that.”

Rangers claimed that Morelos had made a "gesture used commonly throughout South America to indicate quite simply that something - in this case, the match - is finished".

But that did not wash with the SFA independent disciplinary panel, which fined Rangers chiefs an immediate £7,000 - with another £3,000 payable if there is a repeat offence in the final three and a half months of the current campaign after ruling they had breached disciplinary rule 204.

The Ibrox club have also been found guilty of failing to ensure their players and officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion at Hibs the week before their Old Firm victory.

Gerrard's bench exploded with rage as Hibs defender Ryan Porteous was sent off for a wild lunge on Borna Barisic and then found themselves in an angry confrontation with the home backroom staff.

Those scenes have now earned the club an immediate £3,000 fine with another £2,000 suspended until the end of the season. Rangers coach Tom Culshaw has already been handed a two-game ban - one suspended - while Jack Ross' number two John Potter was issued with a censure after both were sent to the stands following the incident.

Ibrox bosses announced last month that they were "astounded" to be issued with the SFA charges.

In a statement, they added: "It is concerning that it seems the governing body is seeking to hold Rangers to a different and more stringent code of conduct than that applied to others, with unprecedented charges being levied against the club."