Charlie Nicholas tears into rivals for shameful refereeing complaints ahead of Celtic clash

By David Walton

January 25, 2022

Charlie Nicholas has absolutely torn into Rangers ahead of their Glasgow derby date with Celtic next week.

The Ibrox club threw their dummy out the pram after last week’s 1-1 draw at Pittodrie. After being absolutely riled by Scott Brown, Rangers incredibly held talks with the SFA over decisions they feel went against them in the match [Sky Sports].

It was all the more laughable considering Rangers got away with a massive decision in the first-half. Allan McGregor should’ve been sent off and a penalty awarded to Aberdeen. However, referee Kevin Clancy decided not to take action.

Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images

And just a week away from their trip to Celtic Park, Nicholas has hammered the Ibrox club for their “joke” behaviour. Speaking via his Scottish Daily Express column [print edition, 25/01, page 58], Nicholas said: “If I was the Rangers manager, I would be more focused on my own players and asking why they got caught up in things, with Dons captain Scott Brown especially. Why did they take the bait and get involved in it?

“Yes, Clancy had a poor game and got a lot of decisions wrong but it certainly wasn’t one-sided. Aberdeen should have been awarded a penalty when Ryan Hedges was caught by the leg of on-rushing Allan McGregor after the Aberdeen forward had knocked the ball past the Gers keeper when through on goal. There are plenty of times when Rangers get the benefit of the doubt but you never see them coming out to acknowledge such instances.

“Yet, they don’t hesitate to make their grievances public when they think they’ve been the victims of an injustice. It is an absolute joke. My first reaction to Rangers contacting the SFA was that this is a club trying to exert their authority by throwing their weight around when things don’t go their way.”

McGregor blow, but O’Riley & Hatate may be about to star for Celtic | Jackie McNamara on 67HH

McGregor blow, but O’Riley & Hatate may be about to star for Celtic | Jackie McNamara on 67HH
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic vs Rangers refereeing performance will be in the spotlight

Rangers have done exactly what you would expect Rangers to do in this situation – put the referees under pressure ahead of a colossal week for them.

There were eyebrows raised at Ibrox when they were immediately awarded 2 penalty kicks against Stirling Albion last Friday. Granted, there won’t have been many arguments about those decisions in particular, but it isn’t a great look.

Rangers have games against Livingston and Ross County before their Parkhead trip. Don’t b surprised if further decisions go their way in the run-up to the game. It would certainly be typical.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Their behaviour has been embarrassing. They’re a club that are so desperate to be taken seriously yet go crying to the authorities as soon as a decision goes against them. They scream “small-club mentality” and yet it feels as though nowhere near enough people are willing to call it out.

It was absolutely hilarious to watch them totally lose the rag against Brown last week. That’s the real problem for them, they can’t take the former Celtic captain getting another one over on them. Can’t have him getting yet another moral victory over his rivals.

It shows just how much he’s in their head. But all it’s done now is put the refereeing performance for next week’s derby into sharp focus.

In other news, Celtic striker Johnny Kenny confirms he has an injury; has just completed self-isolation period