Wednesday 17 January 2018

Celtic manager Neil Lennon lashes Scottish FA over naming Rangers appeal board

NEIL Lennon believes it is "grossly unfair" that the Scottish Football Association have named the three-man panel who are to hear Rangers' appeal against SFA sanctions next Wednesday.

The administration-hit Ibrox club were hit with a 12-month transfer embargo and a £160,000 fine for breaches of regulations.

The SFA decided to name Lord Carloway, Partick Thistle chairman Allan Cowan and Spartans chairman Craig Graham after consultation with the police and after the original tribunal members were revealed last month.

Before Sunday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Hearts at Celtic Park on Sunday, the Hoops boss expressed surprise that the panel had been named and then said: "I think it is grossly unfair. These people do it voluntarily, they do it because they love the game, and do it for the right reasons.

"I don't think there is any need but there you go, that's the decision the SFA have made, so you need to go and ask them why they have done that.

"I just think it puts extra pressure on these people and they are under enough pressure as it is."

Manager Ally McCoist had called for the original panel members to be named after Rangers were hit with the sanctions.

And he today welcomed the SFA`s decision to name those who will hear the appeal.

He said: "We just want transparency and clarity and I`m delighted that the appeals panel has been named.

"The three gentlemen have got a decision to make and we obviously hope it`s a good one for us.

"We will react to the decision when it`s made."

McCoist has yet to read the SFA document but expects a fair hearing next Wednesday.

He said: "I haven`t ploughed through the 27,000 words this morning. We have been training and I didn`t have time to do that.

"Andrew Dickson will certainly be reading it and, if I don`t read it, I will get the important bullet points from Andrew."

On the outcome of the appeal, McCoist added: "I`m scared to forecast or guess anything at the moment.

"We will get a fair hearing and hopefully the appeal will go our way.

"It`s got the potential to damage us like you`ve got no idea.

"Effectively the worst scenario is that the embargo stays and we are not allowed to sign players for a year and half our squad goes in the summer and we are left with a pretty depressing situation."

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