The Rangers faithful can act shocked all they want but SFA’s charge against Steven Gerrard was deserved and building up for quite some time.
The Rangers are confused as to why manager Steven Gerrard has been issued with a notice of complaint by the Scottish Football Association. There may even be some sympathy with that view. Or maybe it’s based on a series of comments on a totting up basis.
The Sun carried the story last week that Gerrard had been charged for allegedly breaching disciplinary rule 72. The full charge is available from the Scottish Football Association, broadly it relates to making statements to the media about the performance of match officials.
The charge on 23 September quotes the Rangers v Dundee United match on 12 September. It will be heard on 8 October. It does feel an odd one to some extent, even after a few days of the news breaking. But with time and more thoughts there is some logic to the complaint. Let’s take a look at the background.
During the match Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was involved in a tackle with Dundee United’s Ryan Edwards. Morelos had one of his severe rolling abouts on the pitch and was stretchered off with a cut on his leg.
There was though much debate about the severity of the incident at the time, but no further retrospective disciplinary action was taken against Edwards by the Compliance officer.
After the match Gerrard was reported as saying:
“He’s a lucky boy that it’s only a gash. I was impressed with United today so I don’t want to make headlines and say a kid should have got this or that.
“I don’t want to be that type of manager.
“But what I would say is that I’d be very interested to see what the decision would have been from the officials had the shoe been on the other foot and Alfredo had made that tackle.”
That’s left the Light Blues board bemused by the charge and as usual a statement has been rolled out by the Ibrox club:
“This is a bizarre charge which we will robustly contest at the scheduled hearing.
“As is often the case, Steven Gerrard was asked for his view on a flashpoint in the match, with leading questions relating to the challenge that caused the injury and whether it should have been deemed a red card. On several occasions, he refused to do so.”
Until he did comment that is. It’s not much of a defence for a manager to say the media were asking tricky questions. The actual specific comments the charge has been based on still haven’t been revealed publicly yet.
But let’s be really honest here and avoid green tinted views where we can about the comments. If the charge is based purely on the comments above, is that really serious enough to be cited in this way? Isn’t that itself making a mockery of Scottish Football?
On the other hand though, there is the prospect of the rest of Scottish football wondering what took so long. This isn’t a first comment from him about referees. Are the SFA acting like a referee pointing at various places on the pitch to indicate several bad tackles throughout a game?
If we go back to his very first Scottish Premiership league match at Aberdeen, Gerrard was off to a flying start as he launched quite an attack about referees being against Rangers:
That set a tone but little in the way of action followed. So why now? Well there is a common theme if we look at the examples below too:
There’s a definite pattern there from just a few examples. Perhaps this charge represents a form of totting up over several occasions and this latest is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Let’s see what the outcome is in a week or so’s time.