One of the main figures in protests against the current Rangers board, Sandy Chugg, will stand trial in July following his arrest after the League Cup semi final on 1st February, which saw Celtic beat the Ibrox side 2-0.
Chugg was arrested on Argyle Street for threatening and abusive behaviour, but denied the charges.
An initial hearing of 1st July at Glasgow Sheriff Court will take place, before the trial date of 29th July.
Chugg was arrested under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 for threatening or abusive behaviour, where a person commits an offence if:
(a)A behaves in a threatening or abusive manner,
(b)the behaviour would be likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm, and
(c)A intends by the behaviour to cause fear or alarm or is reckless as to whether the behaviour would cause fear or alarm.
The Sons of Struth claim to a group of ‘like minded Rangers fans who hold dear the values of Struth. Dignity, honesty and openness’. But as we reported on this site several months ago, Chugg has an unsavoury past.
Chugg was a former leader of the Rangers hooligan group ‘Inter City Firm’ and was jailed for three years in 1990 for drug dealing, specifically the sale of LSD and Temazepam. He was also given a community service order in 2000 for being in possession of a stun gun.
Rangers handed the convicted drug dealer three lifetime bans over his hooliganism, the last being handed to him in 2007 for attending Rangers’ European clash against Osasuna – despite being handed an indefinite suspension by the club. The bans were lifted in August 2011.
He also tried and failed to organise violent clashes during Scotland’s 1998 World Cup campaign in France, which was foiled after a six-month operation involving Scots, French and Spanish police forces. The bus carrying them was intercepted by Police at Salou in Spain, included members linked to Ulster Loyalist terror groups [Ulster Freedom Fighters and the Ulster Volunteer Force] and were heading to Bordeaux intent on causing trouble at the Scotland – Norway match.
If found guilty, the Sons of Struth co-founder could face a fine or given his previous criminal history, a prison sentence.
The League Cup semi final match was marred by sectarian and racist singing from the Rangers supporters as they watched their team fail to put up a fight against their city rivals. While Celtic unfurled offensive banners mocking Rangers over their financial history.
Despite this Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, speaking after the match, said: “As usual, the vast majority of the 50,000 fans were here to enjoy the game and support their respective team. They deserve credit for their excellent behaviour. However, again, it is the minority of fans who spoiled the occasion by for example setting off flares and singing sectarian songs. We dealt with any incidents swiftly and with minimum disruption.”
Sons of Struth spokesperson and fellow co-founder Craig Houston was not available for comment on Sandy Chugg’s arrest or impending trial despite numerous attempts to contact the self-appointed fans spokesperson.