Rangers manager Philippe Clement has, not for the first time, gently scolded Rangers’ board over something he didn’t agree with, after admitting he was not consulted about the club’s Willie Collum request.
The boss, speaking before today’s crunch cup tie with ‘Scott Brown’s Ayr United’ (not as catchy as ‘Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham’ is it) explained about the club’s request:
“That’s something (being consulted) for in the club and we’ve talked about it – that will happen in the future, yes.”
In short, Rangers’ board made the demand of the SFA without actually asking Clement his verdict of such a demand, and from what he said in the same presser about Collum, he clearly didn’t support it.
In simple terms, while the request played to the galleries and Rangers fans appeared to generally support it, there was a sense of ‘paranoid tim’ about it too, with the club trying to strong-arm the SFA over a refereeing decision they didn’t agree with.
The club was right not to agree with that decision, but using muscle to borderline threaten the SFA into not giving Collum as a ref maybe took it a bit too far.
And Clement did not support it, it seems.
It does happen – tennis fans might be aware French Open legend Rafael Nadal had umpire Carlos Bernardes banned from his matches over a disagreement over time violations, and that one lasted a year. They’ve mended that fallout and all is fine now, but these kinds of requests do happen.
But Clement did not back Rangers’, and would have preferred to have been asked first on this one.
Bottom line – we all know Collum either made a huge error or covered it up, or both, but Clement doesn’t want any grudges going forward.
We all do make errors, and the idea of having a ref banned from Rangers matches does seem a bit OTT when one is rational.
As Clement says, the day he believes a ref is biased against his team is the day he would quit the job.