Scottish Football — 03 May 2013
Again, Why is football different?

A number of weeks ago, I wrote a piece on how footballers are treated differently to the public when I looked at the Carlos Tevez court case with regards to his driving offences.

However, now it seems that it is not only the players which are treated differently, even board/former board members get special treatment.

The former Rangers chief executive, Charles Green, was recently fined £2500 by the Scottish Football Association for racist comments towards and about the club’s commercial director, Imran Ahmad.

Shocking

Under the Equality Act of 2010, surely Green has to go to court for making the comments? If this were someone like you reading this, or me writing the piece, we would have faced criminal action, as well as a substantial fine and probably community service.

Fair enough, Green has been hit with a substantial fine – not for him, but for ‘normal’ people it is a considerable amount of money – but the fine hasn’t even come from the court of law: it’s come from the SFA.

Where is the legal action? I’m not calling for Green to be jailed or anything, I’d just like to see people of a certain stature within both Scottish and British society treated in the same way the vast majority of the country does.

I do believe that things which happen on the football park should be dealt with by the football authorities. However, the things I’m referring to are acts of violence and the like. Not matters such as these. Especially not when Mr. Green has so openly said these racist comments.

Although I did another piece saying how politics shouldn’t mix with football, that piece was in reference to how someone’s political views should not influence a footballing decision which is best for the respective club. Not when someone has been racist to someone else in football.

“He’s my pal”

Initially, the 59 year old claimed it was almost like a term of affection as Mr. Ahmad was a close friend and business associate of his. I’m sorry, but I don’t refer to the man that owns the corner shop, whom I speak to every day, give my money to, in the same way that he referred to someone of that race. It’s just wrong.

Even if Mr. Ahmad wasn’t offended by the term, someone who overheard it could have been or his family could have been offended by it and for someone of such stature in Scottish Football to publicly state it is madness. There’s no other word for it. Well, none that my boss would like to be published on the site.

I think Green has done the right thing in resigning from his position at the Gers, but he should never have put himself or the club in the position that he did with his comments. The club is undergoing a period of rebuilding, something which will take investment and time.

This latest incident involving yet another member of the Rangers hierarchy may have just destroyed all the work which has went in to rebuilding the club and its reputation. Although he is no longer at Ibrox, his legacy will remain and the question to ask is, will players of an ethnic minority be willing to play for a club which has a racist past?

Past is past

Obviously, what is done is done, and it cannot be changed. The next step for Rangers is to go out and prove that they are not a racist club. For me, this brings back memories of Donald Findlay and his sectarian singing incident.

That disgraceful act by the then vice-chairman of the club destroyed the work which was done previously to build up the view that the club was not sectarian towards Catholics.

What Rangers need is stability. The club looked to have that until this action. For several years now, the club have not had a good chairman, owner…for me, the whole Rangers hierarchy needs a re-shuffle.

A new owner, a new everything.  

Sometimes, it is best just to stand back, look at the mess that has been made and then start again. Maybe someone needs to take this view with a club which still has a massive following, great potential for success and most importantly, rebuild something which would benefit the whole of Scottish football.

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Blair Condie

I'm currently a student at Stirling University in Scotland, where I have just finished my third year for my degree in Sports and Journalism studies. I have an interest in a number of sports, including football, golf, tennis, rugby and American football.

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