Former Rangers player and current Motherwell coach Maurice Ross has landed himself in hot water after an appearance on BBC Sportsound over the weekend, during which he criticised Celtic and other SPFL clubs.
St Mirren have issued a furious statement and written to Motherwell Chief Executive Alan Burrows after he made ‘derisory’ comments about the two club’s Scottish Premiership fixture was postponed at the weekend.
The club said: “I deprecate any suggestion that we or any other football club would take advantage of this pandemic for personal gain. Any notion that we have been ‘opportunistic’ in seeking to discharge our public health responsibilities is a fallacy.
“I cannot fathom why Mr Ross would seek to publicly call into question the integrity of a fellow SPFL member club for adhering to the agreed protocols, which are in place to protect players, officials and clubs.”
Yet one high-profile Scottish football journalist reckons his comments about Celtic, aired live on the BBC, were actually worse than anything said about the Buddies.
Guardian writer Ewan Murray, a well-known Hearts fans, took to Twitter to point out that Ross wasn’t exactly in the best position to criticise the Bhoys.
His comments about Celtic were worse. A coaching staff member at a club tanked 5-1 by Rangers weeks earlier. https://t.co/9PGK2TdlbM
— Ewan Murray (@mrewanmurray) October 20, 2020
Ross had said on Sunday’s edition of the Sportsound programme: “I think Celtic have a good squad but that starting eleven was probably the weakest I’ve seen from them in 20 years. I think the formation played into Rangers’ hands also.
“Griffiths, struggling for fitness? How long does he take to get fit that boy, Ajeti? It takes you six weeks to get fully fit, but pre-season is normally four weeks and we are four months into it now. How can you not be fit? What are you doing?”
Probably not comments that many Celtic supporters would disagree with, but given he is a current coach in the same division as the Hoops, they are still pretty disrespectful.
There’s a growing trend in the Scottish media landscape for current players and coaches to give their opinionated views on the situations and behind-the-scenes happenings at other clubs.
It happened with Kris Boyd and Stephen Craigan when they were still playing and now current pros such as Andy Halliday, Maurice Ross and Charlie Adam are all weighing in on big-name outlets.
Frankly, I reckon media careers should probably wait until playing retirement and they have coaching jobs in another country.
It’s not a great look to slag off clubs you’re currently competing against or could come up against in cup competitions.
After St Mirren’s statement, Ross may take more care with his views in future on a mainstream broadcaster.