The club from Ibrox have vowed to appeal Jon Flanagan’s retrospective red card and claimed that an elbow from Jozo Simunovic on Jermain Defoe escaped any censure.
Flanagan was yellow carded by Kevin Clancy for elbowing Scott Brown with the SFA Compliance Officer today upgrading that to a red card and two match suspension.
In a statement handed to the Evening Times the Ibrox club explain:
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?
While they are perfectly entitled to appeal Flanagan’s suspension bringing an opposition player into their statement breaks new water.
Celtic have shown a reluctance to do anything other than issue statements in relation to incidents in recent seasons but after having Simunovic named some fans will be expecting action rather than simply words.
The issue of compliance has been a problem for the SFA from the first weekend of the season when a red card issued to Alfredo Morelos was downgraded to yellow.
Additionally, Scott McKenna, Steven MacLean, Dolly Menga, Darnell Johnson, Ryan Kent and now Flanagan have been offered retrospective suspensions following incidents missed in matches against Celtic.
In January Celtic asked for John Beaton to publicly explain why no action was taken following attacks on Ryan Christie, Brown and Tony Ralston.
That request was ignored with Beaton in charge of Celtic’s match at Aberdeen earlier this month.
Following the March derby clash both sides were fined £7,500 with Celtic opting not to comment or appeal against that decision.