Q. So you were a Rangers season ticket holder, when did you stop?
A. A few years ago. I work weekends and was seldom getting to games.
Q. How do you feel about how Rangers were treated in 2012?
A. How do any of us feel? It wasn’t our fault, one guy came in and did all the damage, then sinister forces took advantage. Every last one of us feel the same way.
Q. How do you feel about the League Cup semi-final, are you looking forward to it?
A. Not really, but we need to do whatever it takes to make sure we don’t get embarrassed. Years of being subjected to the effects of what Charles Green called “bigotry” means we need to fight with everything we’ve got. We can’t let Celtic embarrass us, need to stand up to them.
Q. Thanks, Robert. One more question, are you available to referee that game?
A. You know me, aye ready!
The forthcoming League Cup semi-final will be one of the most difficult games to referee and police in the history of Scottish football. The police will have their most experience Match Commander on duty. The SFA will not have their most experienced referee on duty, instead they have given the game to former Rangers season ticket holder, Bobby Madden.
The authorities must be independent and be seen to be independent. Former season ticket holders are acceptable and welcome as referees, but when you face extraordinary circumstances, take extraordinary care in selecting your referee. I don’t know a single ‘Rangers’ fan who doesn’t have animated views on what happened in recent years. They want to beat us next month more than at any time in original-Rangers 140-year history. Why is one of them the referee?
Craig Thomson is widely regarded as unaligned and Scotland’s top official. There must be a story explaining why he wasn’t given the game.
Our team selection for the League Cup semi-final doesn’t bother me. We can have Scepovic, Guidetti, Stokes or Griffiths up front, Efe and Charlie at the back, I’d still back us to win. Can’t say I’m too worried about the other lot either, even if they manage to hold onto all their, ‘stars’.
What does concern me is how the game is refereed. Before it, CQN will write about how important it will be to keep 11 men on the field, not to dive into tackles inside our penalty area, and not to get drawn into a levelling battle.
You can write the script about how this one is going to play out, we’ll be kicked, elbowed and incited, with liberal dramatic tumbles taken in and around our box. In a decade writing CQN I’ve only discussed referees around a dozen times but the selection for this one is alarming. Mr Madden will be scrutinised more than at any time in his professional life. He has an enormous challenge ahead.[calameo code=0003901718eccc6101c78 lang=en page=1 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]