Raging Rangers, seething Celtic and furious Craig Levein among 5 infamous times clubs have hit the SFA warpath

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Rangers have raised concerns with the SFA over the performance of Kevin Clancy in Tuesday’s 1-1 Pittodrie powderkeg.

A letter fired off to Hampden from Govan pinpointed EIGHT decisions that infuriated the Ibrox side including the sending off of Ryan Kent, the part Scott Brown played in the winger’s second yellow card and the official’s failure to order a retake when the ball moved before Lewis Ferguson slotted home a penalty equaliser for the Dons.

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Talks have reportedly now been held between the governing body and Ibrox bosses – with that dialogue understood to have been constructive.

It comes just two months after Celtic chairman Ian Bankier stoked controversy by telling his club’s AGM the Hoops regularly make representations to the SFA over the standard of refereeing.

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Indeed Rangers ’ correspondence of concern is not the first time a Scottish club has written to the governing body to vent about referees.

Here’s five previous occasions that whistlers have found themselves in the line of fire.

Mike McCurry – Dundee United – versus Rangers, May 2008

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Ref McCurry found himself in Dundee United boss Craig Levein’s bad books after disallowing a goal and failing to award a penalty to the Tannadice side in a 3-1 defeat at Ibrox that ended their European hopes.

The whistler later admitted he got both calls wrong, claiming his view was blocked for the spot kick incident and his linesman had flagged for the offside goal. But United contacted the SFA to complain about McCurry’s performance while Levein – who claimed the ref had “bottled it” – told McCurry to stuff his apology as the Tannadice men threatened to take legal action.

“It is widely thought that there is a bias shown against ‘provincial’ clubs when visiting Glasgow,” Tannadice director Derek Robertson said. Saturday’s game is highlighted as a prime example of this.

Raging Rangers, seething Celtic and furious Craig Levein among 5 infamous times clubs have hit the SFA warpath
© PA Photos

“This is damaging to the game as a whole and Dundee United believes that this situation should not be allowed to continue without careful examination and constructive proposals and dialogue between the clubs and the authorities.

“For the record, the club will be backing the manager on all the important issues raised by him following the match in question and hope that his honestly held views can be used as a catalyst for constructive change.”

David Somers – Hearts – versus Hamilton, December 2009

Forget clubs writing to the SFA. Former Hearts boss Csaba Laszlo penned his own letter to Hampden in December 2009 after a stormy defeat at Hamilton. Referee David Somers was at the centre of Laszlo’s fury after Hearts had Michael Stewart and Ismael Bouzid sent off before they were refused an injury time penalty in the 2-1 defeat.

The drama carried on after the final whistle too as Somers issued a further FOUR red cards including for Hearts masseur Alan Robson after a brawl in the tunnel. Jambos’ Suso Santana and Ian Black saw red along with Accies’ Leon Knight.

Stewart had his red card downgraded to a yellow on appeal after Somers himself admitted he was not happy with his decision. Both clubs were fined £10,000 for their indiscipline though.

Laszlo blasted: “It is clear to me that I share the views of a number of other managers who genuinely believe that the standard of officiating is one of the biggest challenges the game in Scotland faces.”

Dougie McDonald – Celtic – versus Dundee United, October 2010

SFA chief Stewart Regan held crisis talks with refs’ boss Hugh Dallas after the high-profile fall-out dubbed ‘Dougie Gate’ led to the resignation of assistant referee Steven Craven. McDonald incensed Celtic when he overturned the award of a 70th minute penalty kick after consulting his assistant, the FIFA ref telling Hoops boss Neil Lennon he’d changed his mind after being alerted to a mistake by Craven.

The Hoops won the match thanks to Gary Hooper’s last minute strike but Celtic chiefs wrote to the governing body to complain about the officials, sparking an SFA probe. McDonald was given a warning for exaggerating his assistant’s role in the decision to overturn the spot kick – awarded after Dusan Pernis brought down Hooper.

Raging Rangers, seething Celtic and furious Craig Levein among 5 infamous times clubs have hit the SFA warpath
© PA Referee Dougie McDonald changed his mind about giving Celtic a spot kick against Dundee United in 2010

But Craven resigned over the abuse he received following the storm. He told Sunday Mail Sport in an exclusive interview soon after: “Dougie ran towards me and said: ‘I think I’ve f***** up.’ After the game Dougie said we should tell the referee supervisor (Jim McBurnie) that I called him over to question the penalty award.

“I went along with it because I wanted to be supportive of Dougie. But then Neil Lennon came in after the game and asked Dougie why he hadn’t given the penalty kick. We told Neil the version that was a lie.

“It was wrong to lie. And I’m not proud that I went along with Dougie’s suggestion. I decided to quit a few days later. I’d had enough of Hugh Dallas and John Fleming (the SFA referee development officer).”

SFA chief Regan subsequently promised a campaign to increase respect for officials. But a month later referees went on strike for a weekend, affecting 20 matches, in protest against the SFA who they said weren’t doing enough to protect them from undue criticism and questions over their integrity.

Willie Collum – Celtic – versus Rangers, October 2010

Just a week after Dougie Gate, Celtic wrote to the SFA again seeking clarification. This time it followed a controversial penalty awarded to Rangers in the Hoops’ 3-1 defeat to their arch rivals at Parkhead on October 24.

Daniel Majstorovic was punished when Kirk Broadfoot went down in the box in the second half of a fiery encounter and Kenny Miller slotted home the clinching goal from 12 yards.

But the Hoops were seething at the award with Broadfoot accused of conning the ref and Neil Lennon accusing Collum of bottling out of red carding Lee McCulloch. Collum was subjected to threatening phone calls from irate supporters afterwards with Celtic boss Neil Lennon describing the abuse towards the whistler as a “desperate situation”.

Raging Rangers, seething Celtic and furious Craig Levein among 5 infamous times clubs have hit the SFA warpath
© SNS Group 0141 221 3602

But he added: “It’s absolutely nothing to do with the game. It’s outside influences and I don’t want it to come to that.

“Until last weekend, I didn’t have a problem with any referee and, all of a sudden, we seem to be the world’s worst because we are questioning a couple of controversial decisions that have gone against us. But I am not doing anything any other manager wouldn’t do, so I think we are blowing this a little bit out of proportion.”

Willie Collum – Rangers – versus St Mirren, 2018

Rangers made a formal complaint to the SFA over Collum, questioning his competence as a top flight whistler, after his decision to red card Daniel Candeias late in a 2-0 win at St Mirren. Their anger was stoked further when the SFA took the unusual step of detailing Collum’s reasons for issuing the second yellow to the winger.

They stated he was booked and subsequently sent off for goading Buddies star Anton Ferdinand by blowing kisses at him while celebrating Alfredo Morelos’ injury time clincher. Rangers insisted the whistler couldn’t possibly have seen the player making a gesture. But an appeal against the sending off was thrown out by Hampden disciplinary beaks.

Raging Rangers, seething Celtic and furious Craig Levein among 5 infamous times clubs have hit the SFA warpath
© SNS Rangers’ Daniel Candeias is shown a red card by Willie Collum against St Mirren

Raging Rangers bosses wrote to the SFA to highlight their concerns and claimed a “number of people within the SFA” believe Collum got the Candeias call wrong and insist there are “underlying issues” with the official’s ongoing performance – a statement they later claimed referred to Collum impetuousness and general competence.

It was the Ibrox club who were to be punished though after being hit with five charges of bringing the game into disrepute. The SFA found the club guilty of two breaches – criticising officials in a way that indicated bias and not acting in the best interests of Scottish football – resulting in two separate fines totalling £6000.

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