Our thoughts on the ridiculous SFA decision to take a case against Rangers manager Steven Gerrard after horror challenge from Dundee player
I was in two minds about writing something about this. It’s difficult to talk about a situation involving such obvious bias against one side without coming across as leaning too far in the other direction. Similarly it’s equally tough to relive the, frankly stupid, ordeal and not come across as just a bit ranty. In any case, let’s jump in, shall we?
We’ve talked a bit before about how we don’t really like Dundee, for good reason. They are, for all intents and purposes, cloggers. Hatchet Men, they call them. They go out onto the pitch with an actual game plan of injuring their opponents and dressing it up under some vague tactical approach of “the physicality of the Scottish game”. When Rangers played them almost two weeks ago, they managed to injure, and remove from the game, 3 first team players alone.
Absolutely, without a doubt, the worst was the shocker of a challenge on Alfredo Morelos by Ryan Edwards. The latter flew in, completely out of control, landing studs up on Alfredo’s knee leaving him with a painful gash and needing to be stretchered off. It was, unquestionably, a red card offense by any metric.
Yet Edwards wasn’t even booked for it. Yes, it was that kind of game. Dundee were hacking the legs off every Rangers player they could get close to, but the officials allowed it to happen and offered little to no protection. Certainly this wasn’t really surprising – given Kevin Clancy was the referee for the day, an individual with a track record of, at best, an anti-Rangers lean. Still, such an awful challenge not even getting a caution is a new low, even for him.
Steven Gerrard, naturally commented on this in his post-match interview. When asked his thoughts, he simply stated that he “wondered if the result would have been the same, had the challenge been reversed.” Completely harmless, right? Just speculation, no ulterior motives, and definitely a lot less savage than what Clancy and his ilk deserved.
Nonetheless, the SFA decided to come out and charge Gerrard for his comments. Wait, what? Gerrard? Not Edwards? Yep, you read that right. Poor little Johnny SFA has thrown his toys out of the pram. How dare that manager call out a clear lack of integrity with one of our matchday officials!
The thing is though, he didn’t. He simply asked a question, nothing more, nothing less. He never questioned Clancy’s motives, or even his decision, nor did he ever raise the issue of corruption and bias in the SFA itself. Such topics are perhaps relevant and justified, when one sees the pattern of strange occurances such as these, but Stevie G never went there. The SFA may have wanted him to, but he didn’t.
Seems obvious to me that it’s just a storm in a teacup, another way for the SFA to show how much they don’t like Rangers. Either that, or it serves to deflect from the poor decision and to try to reign in anyone who may dare question the untouchable system. Regardless, I don’t think there’s much chance of Gerrard getting punished with this – he has almost no case to answer for and the Light Blues will doubtless fight his corner.
The real questions, of integrity of the system itself, remain unasked and unanswered. Hopefully all this will help bring a little more partiality to refereeing in the Premiership, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.