RAGING Rangers claim they have been “singled out” after Jon Flanagan was hit with a potential two-match ban for elbowing Celtic’s Scott Brown during Sunday’s 2-0 home win.

The Ibrox defender was yellow carded by referee Kevin Clancy for the flashpoint incident, which was later referred to the SFA’s compliance officer Clare Whyte.

Following consultation of video evidence, the unanimous opinion of a three-man panel was that the caution should be upgraded to a red card

Flanagan will be banned for two matches unless he contests the charge – if he does, the fast-track hearing is tomorrow.

A club statement read: “Once again, there seems intent to change the decision of a Referee in a match involving Rangers.

“There seems to be a steady erosion of respect for Scotland’s Referees and the authority they are meant to enjoy under Rule 5 of the Laws of the Game.

“The decisions of referees regarding facts connected with play are meant to be final but referees are now routinely invited to change their decisions after a game has finished.

“It is particularly shocking that another Rangers’ player has been singled out for retrospective action and issued with a notice of complaint while Jozo Simunovic, the Celtic player who used an elbow to fell Jermain Defoe, has escaped any kind of censure.

“Why did one incident escape punishment while the other is now deemed worthy of a red card?

“We cannot understand how these two incidents could be studied yet only one be considered worthy of punishment. It seems as if Rangers’ players are being held to a different code of conduct from players at other clubs.

“We shall vigorously defend Mr Flanagan and have also asked for full transparency on what matters are brought forward for retrospective action. Are those decisions being made even-handedly?”

Flanagan would miss Sunday’s final Premiership match of the season at Kilmarnock, as well as the first league game of next term.

The former Liverpool player would be the fourth Rangers player to be hit with a ban following incidents involving the Hoops skipper in two games.

In the champions’ 2-1 win in March at Parkhead, Alfredo Morelos was sent off for elbowing Brown and Ryan Kent received a retrospective suspension for punching the midfielder on the jaw in the aftermath of the second goal.

Andy Halliday received a second yellow card after the final whistle for verbally abusing the 33-year-old former Scotland international captain.


About Author


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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