Barry Ferguson did a lot more than moan to his favourite newspaper, it seems to me.
He also admitted that he instructed his players to go in hard on Celtic’s.
We sanction players for that. But if those players were simply following the instructions of their coaches, shouldn’t we sanction the coaches too? What would the charge be? Bringing the game into disrepute?
Ferguson may think that his tactics and his comments are reasonable. But the laws of the game do not permit an “anything goes” attitude when you come up against a superior football team. His excuse that Celtic had better technical players does not absolve him or his players of the sort of barbaric behaviour that they were guilty of during the match.
I mean for God’s sake, can you imagine the kind of game we would have in this country if every club sent its players out to “get in their faces” and “bite ankles” when they came up against better sides?
There would be anarchy. It would be a bloodbath.
As E-Tims pointed out, Ferguson’s instructions were carried out to the letter.
Ankle injuries saw Abada and Ideguchi leave the field, the latter player on the end of a vicious and thuggish challenge which Don Robertson only punished with a yellow card. Our captain left the field with a cheekbone injury which will require surgery.
So there is little doubt that he was well pleased with the efforts of his players, and when you face a team that is intent on this kind of “football” you look to the officials to protect you as best they can.
Robertson was scandalously lax in that department, and having failed then to do it on the pitch the least the SFA should do is provide restitution after the fact.
It is absolutely clear that Alloa’s players were sent out to stop Celtic playing football at any cost.
Any cost to us.
This is something the governing bodies should investigate and should punish and they don’t need to look too far for the evidence.
A national newspaper has helpfully published Ferguson’s confession.