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BEEB BLASTS BACK IN MORELOS ROW

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BBC SCOTLAND insists its football coverage and analysis is “editorially fair” following an attack from Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson who claimed the broadcaster “vilified” the Ibrox side’s striker Alfredo Morelos.

The Gers chief appeared to suggest that incidents involving his team’s players are highlighted more than others on the Beeb’s Sportscene programme.

He also claimed coverage was influencing decisions made by SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte.

Robertson also criticised the SFA’s approach to “re-refereeing” games, a week after goalkeeper Allan McGregor became the first Rangers player to be hit with a retrospective ban this season.

Eight other top-flight players have received punishment after matches.

Robertson’s comments came amid an ongoing long-term disagreement between Rangers and the broadcaster.

But BBC issued a statement which read: “The central part of this dispute is that Rangers is continuing to operate an exceptional ban of one of our journalists.

“We have offered to return to Ibrox to provide commentary, as per our contracted rights, while we try to find a permanent solution to the overall dispute, but Rangers have said this is unacceptable.

“Our coverage, including analysis and comment, is editorially fair.

“We will continue to speak to both Rangers and the SPFL about the situation as we believe it’s in the best interest of our audiences to restore the ability to bring commentaries from all SPFL grounds.”

BLAST AT THE BBC…Stewart Robertson isn’t happy with the broadcaster.

Robertson told the club’s official website on Monday: “We understand incidents are highlighted from all sorts of sources. The correlation with Sportscene is obviously very high.

“We, as a club, have our own issues with the BBC Scotland. BBC have refused to attend Ibrox since November 2015 – and the dispute has gone on much longer than that.

“They recently asked to come to Ibrox, but only to cover the matches. They would not be interviewing our manager and our players.

“Now, if they are treating us differently in that respect, are there other areas where they are also treating Rangers differently in terms of the incidents which we are seeing being highlighted at the weekend?

“You only have to look at the Alfredo Morelos incident in the Old Firm game, where they seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time examining Alfredo’s actions, but at no time at all did they look at any other actions from that game with the same scrutiny.

“Morelos was then effectively vilified for three weeks on various BBC platforms. So you have to question if they are treating us differently – they have confirmed in writing that they are treating us differently from every other Premiership club – where else are they treating us differently?”

After going into detail about Rangers’ view of the stand-off with the broadcaster, Robertson added: “It is important the compliance officer isn’t influenced unduly by Sportscene given that background. All we ever want from the BBC is to be treated fairly, in a balanced way and in an accurate way.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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