Tannadice chairman hits out at ‘flawed’ disciplinary process
Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson has demanded a review of the SFA’s disciplinary system after claiming it is a flawed process, in the wake of the three-match ban handed out to defender Gavin Gunning for kicking Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk.
And Thompson revealed that, following his side’s 1-0 home defeat to the Parkhead side, he had been asked to submit a complaint for review against two Hoops players, which he fears could turn the disciplinary system into a ‘snitches charter’.
Thompson told the Sunday Mail: “Our annoyance is not over Gavin’s ban. If a player does something wrong, he deserves his punishment.
“It’s about the process by which it was established.
“There were two other incidents in the game we felt were worthy of being looked at but which weren’t highlighted on TV. But when we spoke to the SFA we were told that if we wanted to report them, they would be considered.
“It’s not the clubs’ job to start highlighting incidents of player discipline from other clubs – that’s what we have match officials and supervisors for.
“It’s up to authorities to handle these thing properly.”
Thompson felt the fact the incident featured prominently on the BBC Scotland highlights package would lead to Compliance Officer Vincent Lunny making decisions based on the edited highlights package. The Tannadice chairman added: “What happens, though, is whoever’s editing the television highlights package is setting the agenda for what Mr Lunny will or won’t act upon.
“They may be right to highlight issues – but what gets left out? They only have a certain time to show a game so they have to judge what stays and what goes.
“It’s about fairness for everyone. United are not the only club who feels this way – other people have contacted me to say they feel the same.”
Meanwhile, Thompson has lifted the ban imposed on the BBC and STV, calling it a ‘heat-of-the-moment reaction’.
No place for Rhodes in Strachan’s system
Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has revealed that Jordan Rhodes faces more time on the bench for his country as the former Celtic boss admitted: “Jordan is at his best when he plays with another striker, with lots of people round about him, and lots of crosses. We don’t get that at international football.”
Since Kenny Miller’s retirement, Strachan has been left with Jamie Mackie, Leigh Griffiths - who started up front against Belgium in place of the injured Steven Fletcher - Ross McCormack, Steven Naismith and Rhodes.
Strachan’s preference for playing one up front has meant Rhodes has been limited to substitute appearances, despite being a favourite of the Tartan Army. But Strachan has warned that Scotland don’t get enough of the ball to play a 4-4-2 formation with two wide men and two up front, saying: “We would get counter-attacked all the time.”
Strachan added: “We have to understand in international football the system doesn’t suit you at times.”
Kenny Shiels: I’ve changed my ways
Former Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels has been out of management for three months, and says he is after another job in Scotland - and that he’s prepared to be less controversial.
The Northern Irishman was repeatedly hauled before the SFA beaks last season and promised: “If I do get a new job I will need to create a new dynamic in terms of being less controversial.
“I was up in front of the SFA three times and one was a double because I had said someone was lying about me. I dug a deeper hole because I said he fabricated evidence.
“In future, I know I’ll have to let people make their own judgments. But it does hurt when you are innocent.”
Shiels has been working for the SFA, coaching elite players at the body’s Centres of Excellence, which he said was keeping him ‘sane’.
And Shiels added: “Being on a training ground is where I like to be. I’d work for any club and with any group of footballers.
“I’ve never been out of work before so this is a new experience. I also need to make a living.
“I’ve learned I’ve got to be less honest. And I’m being totally truthful when I say that. If I get another job in Scotland there is no way I will ever be in trouble with the authorities again. I have to lose that reputation.”
Easdale bids for City investment in Rangers
Bus boss Sandy Easdale is reportedly seeking investment from the City as he attempts to quash a revolt at Rangers.
McGill’s buses tycoon Easdale is set to become the Ibrox club’s single largest shareholder, and is believed to have helds talks with a number of investors he is keen to have on board, in order to battle the group headed by Clyde Blowers boss Jim McColl and former Rangers director Paul Murray.
Sources told The Sun: “The City investors Sandy’s spoken to like his no-nonsense style and appreciate his track record.”
Aberdeen given Robson boost
Aberdeen have been given a boost with the news midfielder Barry Robson could return for next week’s match with Partick Thistle.
Robson underwent minor surgery on his knee last month but the 34-year-old is set to return to training ahead of schedule.
Manager Derek McInnes revealed that Robson was ‘probably a wee bit ahead’ of where the club thought he was.
McInnes warned that the former Celtic and Dundee United man was not a shoe-in for the squad to face the Jags but that he would be given every chance to prove his fitness.
St Mirren lacking in confidence, admits striker
St Mirren striker Steven Thompson has said that the Buddies are lacking in confidence - but that they need to raise their game to save Danny Lennon’s job.
The St Mirren boss has come under fire after winning just one game in 13 after their victory in the League Cup final six months ago, and veteran striker Thompson knows that the squad is full of underachievement.
The hitman added: “We’ve not played brilliantly but we haven’t been diabolical either. We’ve let in soft goals and not been converting our chances.
“There isn’t a player in the team who has played to his maximum level.”
Defeat at home to Motherwell next weekend could see Lennon given the boot, but Thompson revealed that the former Cowdenbeath boss had met with the players to discuss the next step.
“We had a really positive discussion on Monday and got a lot of things out in the open. It was a good chat on where we need to go and how to move forward.
“The manager is a clever man and well aware of the situation – he is not naive enough to think everything is rosy. We need to make sure things improve quickly.”