Celtic captain Scott Brown believes that the SFA would have thrown the book at him had he committed a similar offence to Ross County skipper Andrew Davies’s stamp on his groin during the Highlanders’ 3-0 defeat at Parkhead last weekend.
Davies drove his studs into Brown as he lay on the pitch following a legitimate tussle with County forward Billy Mckay. The Englishman was shown a straight red card by referee Steven McLean, a sanction which saw him miss Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Partick Thistle and which will also rule him out of today’s home game against Hibernian.
However, Brown insists that, should he have been the perpetrator of such a “cowardly” assault, he would have been forced to watch Celtic’s remaining league and Scottish Cup matches from the stand.
“It was a wee scratch,” he said. “Looking back it’s quite bad. At the time I didn’t realise how bad it was because I’d slid in with Billy Mckay, we were arm in arm and I fell over, pushed the ball and [Davies] has waited and then stood on top of me.
“If that was me doing that I’m getting a solid five-game ban and I’m probably not playing again for the rest of the season. I’d be all over the papers for weeks on end and he’s got a two-game ban. I kicked Neymar on the back – my big toe almost touched him – and I got a three-game ban for that so there are rules for some and not others.
“Everyone has been talking about my tackling but I’ve never deliberately stood on anyone’s hee-haws before. Davies has done me a favour because I didn’t want any more kids so it’s saved me going to hospital.”
Brown also does not accept that he deserves to be the victim of rough treatment [Aberdeen striker Sam Cosgrove was also red-carded for a straight-leg lunge on him at Pittodrie six weeks ago] because he can dish it out. “I play hard but I play fair for most of them, although now and then you mistime one and you get booked and that’s fair play,” he said. “But I don’t stand on anyone, especially where he stood on me. He’s waited until the ball has gone flying past and then he’s properly gone for it; you can see it on his face and then he’s just walked off.
“He’s a captain of a team in a relegation battle, who probably has players looking up to him, so for him to do that is probably not what Ross County need at the moment.”
Hearts manager Craig Levein recently opined that every Premiership player deserved more protection from Brown but the midfielder was having none of that. “Let him have his own say; he seems to be talking just to talk for the sake of it,” he said. “I play week in, week out, I play hard and get booked now and then but I’ve been suspended once this season, whereas [Aberdeen captain] Graeme Shinnie has had two suspensions already so I don’t know where he is getting those accusations from.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes that opponents are attempting to make a name for themselves by taking out the old gunslinger but Brown is unmoved by their attempts.
“To be fair, I don’t give a sh*t,” he said. “If they want to continue doing it then we’ll happily play against ten men most weeks. It’s part and parcel of the game, going in for a tackle, but to do it as cowardly as that isn’t great.”