Rangers tonight seemed to have dropped their COVID “morals” as they allowed Nathan Patterson and Bongani Zungu to make an appearance in tonight’s 5-2 win over Royal Antwerp in their Europa League home tie. Patterson got himself on the scoresheet and Zungu made a second half substitute as the Ibrox club paved their way into the last 16.
But, what happened to dealing with those players that had “personally let down” Gerrard? The Ibrox boss said at the time, “That will be dealt with internally. The players will be fined and we are in dialogue with the SFA and the Government to find the solution in terms of those boys.”
So what was the solution? What did the Government recommend? And if you follow the timeline of the Celtic and Aberdeen Covidiots, the next few days will be interesting to see EXACTLY what the SFA will do about it as the silence from the Hampden beaks is deafening.
That’s now twice the Govan club’s players have been found in serious breach of COVID rules and a grand total of SEVEN players (that we know of) have now made a conscious choice to stick two fingers up to not only their fellow professionals but to each and every one of us that follow the rules and haven’t seen friends and family for weeks on end.
The Government were quick to step in and call off two of Celtic’s fixtures, and rightly so, for Boli Bolingoli’s jaunt to the Mediterranean at the beginning of the season.
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Both Celtic and Aberdeen felt the pinch with a £30,000 fine by the SPFL when the games governing body said, “However, the requirement of individual players to adhere to their clubs’ carefully-designed protocols is a matter of personal and professional responsibility on the part of those players.”
Both clubs faced a media storm after those breaches and as yet the Govan side have been commended by the Scottish Government for their swift action on the first breach of protocol (which Celtic and Aberdeen also did with their players) and for the clubs second breach, The First Minister fired a broad warning to the whole of Scottish football with her “football must get it’s house in order” statement.
Lastly, Gerrard has laid his cards on the table here. He was quick to condemn and offload George Edmundson and Jordan Jones for their part in the first COVID breach. Both players had struggled to make a impact on the Rangers first team and both players also have a combined salary of over £15,000 per week. Jones career in many eyes of the Ibrox fans was over anyway after his sending off in the Glasgow Derby in 2019 where he inadvertently got injured, ruling himself out for weeks.
Jones and Edmundson were a victim of not only their own stupidity, but also of circumstance, which Gerrard used fully, to his advantage.
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