New Rangers chief Green in dock over bigotry claims

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By a Newsnet reporter

The owner of newco Rangers, Charles Green, has been told to provide proof after claiming that sanctions imposed on the new Ibrox outfit were the result of bigotry.

Green made the claims in a pre-match interview before the team played their first ever tie against Brechin City on Sunday.

In the interview, which was broadcast by the BBC, he said: “My frustration’s been, after 30 years of business, I have never experienced anything like the last three months,” adding, “Some of it has been driven by bigotry, some of its been driven by jealousy and some of its been driven by all the wrong motives”.

Asked to expand on what he meant by bigotry, Green complained that fans of other clubs had pressurised directors to deny top flight membership to newco Rangers by refusing to buy season tickets.

“We’ve got a position whereby Rangers were thrown out of the league and these clubs are still appealing with fans to buy season tickets,” he said.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist also criticised the Scottish Premier League for pursuing “as hostile an agenda as possible” towards the club, adding “Rangers have not been punished enough in their eyes”.

According to the Herald newspaper, Vincent Lunny, the SFA’s compliance officer, has requested that the Ibrox chief executive provide proof of his “bigotry” allegation, which would then allow the governing body to take action.

The newspaper claims a deadline of August 7th has been set for Green to respond.  If he cannot back up his claims then the new club could face further penalties.

Before Sunday’s game, Green also commented on the finances of Rangers Glasgow rivals Celtic – describing the Parkhead club’s corporate situation as “complicated”.

He was also photographed applauding when the travelling Rangers fans sang a song that described hating SFA Chief Stewart Reagan.  Some fans displayed banners that accused the SPL and SFA of being “corrupt to the core”.

Celtic refused to comment on Green’s remarks, and released only a short statement that read: “These comments are not worthy of any response from Celtic Football Club.  We presume the matter would now be one for the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football League to deal with.”

Sunday’s first outing for the newco team also witnessed pockets of Rangers fans indulge in chanting that many will have considered inappropriate and if allowed to continue may prove troublesome for Green’s new club, who have yet to be granted full SFA membership.

Green’s outfit are expected to have their membership of the SFA ratified this Friday, which will also see the oldco’s SPL membership transfer to Dundee FC.

However, after only one game into their spell as the Scottish Football League’s newest recruits, the new club’s image is already being marred with the scourge of bigotry, something the football authorities and the Scottish government are fighting hard to eradicate from the game.