Celtic interim manager John Kennedy has called out Steven Gerrard for his ridiculous whining in relation to a covid-related Scottish FA punishment.
Five Rangers players were caught congregating and partying more than two months ago during lockdown restrictions designed to limit the spread of the pandemic.
Cited by the Scottish FA and banned for six games, Rangers have since appealed that decision, which is now not due to be heard until more than a massive eight weeks down the line from said party.
The Ibrox side are refusing to take their punishment despite the evidence and Gerrard even went on a rant recently suggesting Nathan Patterson should be treated differently because of his perceived potential as a Scottish right-back.
Gerrard said earlier this week [BBC Sport]: “The reason for the appeal is we think it’s harsh in terms of what went on on the night. We don’t think everything has been taken into consideration when you are talking about the boys in terms of age and how damaging it could be for them in their careers moving forward now.
“You’re talking about one of the brightest prospects ever in terms of right-back. This kid is going to go and play for Scotland and all of a sudden the SFA wants to ban him for that long. I don’t get it.”
Patterson, who will have been available for two derbies by the time the appeal is heard on April 20th, is apparently above the punishments other players and clubs have received over the last 12 months in similar incidents.
A ridiculous viewpoint I’m sure you’ll agree.
Kennedy is not having it, telling The Daily Record and other print outlets yesterday: “Steven’s got his reasons to do that and say it but our players are talented. We paid money for them and have high hopes for them.
“Look at the Bolingoli situation. Yes, he broke the law and he was harshly punished for it and rightly so. We’re not defending that but it was a massive setback in terms of his career at Celtic. That’s the punishment for stepping out of one.
“You can’t do it. We were then running behind and we had to fit those matches in somewhere else while losing a player who had been important to us. It wasn’t a good situation and there was a lot of pressure on us because of it as we were then playing catch up.
“Regardless of how talented or valuable the player may be, there comes a punishment when you step out of line. We’ve been dealt with harshly in the past and had to accept that.”
Kennedy is spot on with his comments and brings to light the strange nature of Rangers’ appeal and apparent power in setting a date for the hearing. Gerrard himself admitted Rangers were “in talks” over a date [BBC]. Who’s taking charge here?
Patterson is still just a kid but he has been deputising for James Tavernier and his presence is a boost to Gerrard’s options for matches during this period.
It’s absurd they have been able to play the SFA like a fiddle and dodge punishment on this issue so far when others, such as Celtic and Aberdeen, held their hands up and paid the price in short order.
Hopefully Celtic continue to keep this story in the spotlight.