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SFA Judicial Panel & SFA Directors receive threats and abuse after Rangers sanctioned

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A Scottish FA spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned that the safety and security of Judicial Panel members appointed to a recent Tribunal has been compromised by a wholly irresponsible betrayal of confidential information.

“The Judicial Panel consists of volunteers from across the spectrum of sport and business in Scotland. They are appointed on the basis of anonymity yet all three panel members have reported intrusion into their personal and work lives, including abusive and threatening communication.

“This has been extended to directors of the Scottish FA, whose private details have been published on internet sites and who have, themselves, been victims of abusive communication.

“This culminated tonight in a visit by Strathclyde Police, who are taking seriously the threats made towards the individuals involved. We are thankful for their advice and support in these matters.”

Rangers fans websites Rangersmedia and Follow Follow are but two websites that have named the three judicial panelists, with a number of posters using abusive sectarian language when referring to these individuals.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist reacted angrily over the punishment imposed on the Ibrox side and demanded that the judicial panel be named, despite the clubs officials who attended the hearing knowing full well who they were.

McCoist said: “Plain and simply, I think it is an absolutely shocking decision. I found out last night and I was shocked and absolutely appalled by the way this supposedly independent judicial panel was coming down on us in this form.

“Who are these people? I want to know who these people are. I’m a Rangers supporter and the Rangers supporters and the Scottish public deserve to know who these people are, people who are working for the SFA.

“Make no mistake about it, this is an SFA decision. They have appointed the panel so therefore they are working for the SFA, but who are they?

“I think we have a right to know who is handing out this punishment to us, I really do. Like everyone else involved – our team, our supporters, our staff and a lot of neutrals – I’m staggered at the severity of the punishment.

“This decision could kill our football club, simple as that. Make no mistake about it. This panel is not totally to blame for the death of our football club if it happens but this particular decision could kill our football club.

“You would hope there would be sympathetic ears within the SFA over an appeals process but you just don’t know what is coming next. It is complete and utter guesswork.”

The judicial panel members sign up on the knowledge that their anonymity is secured. The clubs have all agreed on this, including Rangers, so why is the Rangers manager making a demand that those responsible be named for all to see? What does he expect to gain from breaking their anonymity? Will he now slam those Rangers supporters who are targeting the panelists with threats and abusive comments? Will he demand them to take a step back, to walk away from an issue that could see the club further shamed?

The Scotsman journalist Tom English was right earlier, when he posted on twitter: “The witch-hunt of the Hampden 3 is objectionable and bloody dangerous. Ally McCoist completely irresponsible in his interview yesterday. Transparency is what we want, but if transparency means putting people’s safety at risk…Some real lunatics out there as we all know.”

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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