CHRIS SUTTON has accused the Ibrox hierarchy of setting “a very dangerous precedent” in their meltdown following the derby defeat to the champions at Parkhead a week ago.
The losers are pointing fingers at everyone else for the responsibility of their failure against Brendan Rodgers’ side as the hosts won 2-1 to move eight points clear at the Premiership pinnacle.
Philippe Clement threw an almighty strop after experiencing defeat in his 17th game as Ibrox boss after taking over from the axed Michael Beale in October, as CQN highlighted yesterday.
Observing the extraordinary scattergun reaction from within Ibrox in the inevitable reverberations of the second loss of the campaign to Celtic, former Hoops goal hero Sutton said: “People can make their own mind up on what Rangers’ motivation was for sparking a game of statement tennis with the SFA.
ENDGAME…Philippe Clement looking for excuses at Parkhead.
“For me, it was a blame game, a deflection tactic, after they fell short in another big match against Celtic.
“It’s blame Willie Collum, blame everyone else and take very little responsibility over the things that they can control. The decision not to award Rangers a penalty was the correct decision however they got to it and the handball by Alistair Johnston was totally irrelevant.
“What is the merit in having a pointless argument over was it or was it not handball? Rangers were not wronged, so what are they moaning about?
“It’s been a strange old week and some may want to bring greater scrutiny on how it’s taken the best part of two years for Rangers to have a Premiership penalty awarded against them, but we didn’t see any statements or bafflement on that astonishing stat.”
Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “What Rangers’ statement has brought is a pile-on. And it’s all so unnecessary. It stirs the pot and puts more pressure on referees going forward.
“This route they’re going down by asking for Willie Collum not to be involved in any of their games is none of their business. And it’s a very dangerous precedent to set.
A LOT OF FUSS ABOUT NOTHING…Alistair Johnston challenges Abdullah Sima in the incident where the Ibrox club claim they were robbed of a penalty-kick.
NULL AND VOID…the Ibrox argument is scuppered by the VAR image that proves Sima was offside in the build-up.
“What would be the protocol for that? Are we then going to scrutinise referees’ performances over time and the mistakes they’ve made or a particular referee’s past?
“We know what Scotland is like and that’s a can of worms that should never be opened. Collum got a subjective call wrong and you could question the competency there. There are also things that can be improved with VAR, I think we all agree that.
“But you cannot be asking for an official to be removed from your games for getting a subjective decision wrong. It’s just not going to happen.”
Sutton added: “I go back to asking what Rangers’ motivation was? Were they doing it on behalf of all clubs, for the greater good of the Scottish game?
“Or was it to deflect and pile pressure on referees further down the line? I think we all know which one it is and it’s so unnecessary.
“We have a title race on and you have to pick your battles. They’ve picked the wrong one with Willie Collum and at that moment Scottish football didn’t need it.
GLASGOW BELONGS TO US…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his derby winner along with Paulo Bernardo, scorer of the first goal, and Luis Palma.
“Philippe Clement has gone in and done a good job. Maybe he’s created a siege mentality and he’s trying to strengthen that by saying everyone is against us.
“There has to be someone to blame and it’s Willie Collum to blame as far as Rangers fans are concerned. It’s not Cyriel Dessers for missing a guilt-edged chance or other players.
“Rangers should concentrate on the things they can control – and the fact of the matter is they are in a real title race.
“Celtic got a foothold again with that victory seven days ago, but things are a long way from being done and dusted.”
The Govan gaffers will continue to stir the pot with football getting a welcome winter break. They have rolled the first snowball that will create the avalanche.
Are they equipped to cope with the fall-out? Time will tell.