BBC BLOGS - BBC Sport: Chick Young
« Previous | Main | Next »

Scots duo pay dearly for mistakes

Chick Young | 17:29 UK time, Friday, 3 April 2009

It was a tough enough shift for Barry Ferguson and Allan MacGregor looking on at Hampden on Wednesday.

It's going to be sheer hell for them if Scotland make South Africa.

It was meant to be one for the road at Cameron House. It turned into the end of the road. Oh, boys what have you done?

Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor at Hampden on Wednesday nightTwo careers in disarray, Rangers in a mess and the Scottish FA in utter shambles.

It started as a molehill and turned into a seething volcano.

Scottish football, the greatest soap opera in the sporting universe, has done it again. Walter Mitty couldn't have made it up.

Let's analyse this chronologically.

Several Scotland players start a drinking session on return from Holland, albeit around 4am when they splice the main brace. More morning than nightcap.

They make two big mistakes. They keep bevvying in the bar rather than the privacy of their rooms - and they get caught.

At this stage, it's an error of judgment by several of the squad, but it's the Ibrox pair who are hung out to dry - in not quite the required way - by the tabloid press. In fact, it turns into a witch hunt.

There is a sanctimonious, holier-than-thou savaging by self-appointed spokespersons of various backgrounds and the two players are left out of the team to face Iceland, having apologised to the manager.

In my opinion, George Burley arrived at the right compromise, albeit by a circuitous route. Why ostracise players who may yet have a role to play en-route to Cape Town?

But then came the V-sign madness. Not even a full blooded get-it-right-up-you job, but rather a wee camouflaged effort with fingers either side of the nose as if to suggest "honest, I was just scratching my cheek".

It was directed at the photographers - of course it was. But, in a heartbeat, the Tartan Army - many of them Rangers fans - took it as a personal slight. Well, they had already booed the players.

And don't tell me that is always right. They were bang out of order when they gave it tight to Gary McAllister - a marvellous player and servant to his country - who consequently quit playing for the dark blue jersey.

But, from that second, the booze brothers were adrift without a lifejacket.

It was a moment of utter lunacy by Ferguson and McGregor and at that point I resigned from their defence council.

Actually it was just about then that Walter Smith, who had telephoned the players and told them to apologise and keep their heads down, went off on one...and all hell broke loose.

But don't think it's just the players who have gone down for the last time.

While Rangers moved swiftly and decisively to take action against their own players, SFA president George Peat and his crew are adrift on a sea of confusion.

First, they say they want to draw a line under the affair and move on - that's Thursday afternoon - before Peat blows his top at the statement issued by his organisation.

Excuse me, but he's the president. Shouldn't he actually know what his organisation are doing?

And, if he wanted the players sent home, why didn't he do it himself when the story broke on Wednesday morning?

Like Ferguson and McGregor, the bungling SFA were all over the place, but at least the players had an excuse - they were mortal.

I am actually beginning to feel sorry for Burley, who, amid all this insanity, did salvage three points that keep us on course for Cape Town until the new season at least, and who now is being undermined by a president who appointed a chief executive and a manager to handle these very matters.

Meanwhile, the SFA ban the players but fail miserably to look in the mirror at their own miserable inefficiency.

Curious, is it not, that the association could not act efficiently when the players were on their watch but waited until they were returned to Walter Smith, who hesitated not a heartbeat.

What an embarrassing, unholy, undignified, shocking mess.

The demon drink has taken our game on the road hell.


or register to comment.

  • 1. At 6:42pm on 03 Apr 2009, throbbinrobin wrote:

    Stupid, spoiled boys. They don't deserve better, and certainly don't deserve to play for their country.

    Let us hope they are not missed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 6:52pm on 03 Apr 2009, Ron_Billy_Burgundy wrote:

    Excuse me but isn't this just a teeny bit over the top?

    Neither will EVER play for their country again, just because they made an immature V sign on TV? And look like having no future at Rangers either?

    Don't get me wrong, despite being a Rangers fan I haven't rated Ferguson for a number of years and am personally not bothered if he leaves Rangers as long as we get a few quid for him. Same goes for McGregor unless he has a dramatic chage of attitude. That's beside the point though.

    I think this has turned into a bit of a witchhunt now, too many hidden agendas and trying to respond to percieved public opinion by the SFA.

    To me, the punishment far outweighs the crime on this ocassion, particularly keeping in mind what has gone on in previous Scotland squads (James McFadden anyone?).

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 6:55pm on 03 Apr 2009, Ross F wrote:

    Nobody's in turmoil here, Chick. The only thing embarrasing, unholy,undignified and shocking are the players.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 6:57pm on 03 Apr 2009, macdja wrote:

    Spot on Chic.

    It was being blown out of proportion until they started gesturing to the cameras. They are a couple of eejits and Scotland and Rangers will be better off without them.

    Fair play to Rangers for taking action straight away on their return but the SFA have been in chaos all week. Gordon Smith might want to check with his boss before he goes making statements to the press.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 7:05pm on 03 Apr 2009, AntonioSaucedo wrote:

    C'mon Scotland. Cut this Puritanical nonsense and reinstate Barry and McGregor ASAP. OK, the pair made a mistake, well, a couple of V-ery bad mistakes, but they're quality. And, Scotland doesn't have that much of it to go around in the first place. Especially, Ferguson, one the best, if not the best, Scottish player of the last 20 years IMHO.

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 7:07pm on 03 Apr 2009, brian wrote:

    its the players who created this whole situation but its the SFA'S fault
    oh Chick wake up and see the facts only not your personal views stick to the facts,you'll never learn

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 7:11pm on 03 Apr 2009, A Douglas wrote:

    Seems to me that Rangers have pushed for this punishment and good on them. Looks like the SFA were just willing to let it slip. One thing is for certain how many other teams (Celtic in particular) would have punished players for their actions on international duty?

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 7:18pm on 03 Apr 2009, CTP wrote:

    finally chic brings his hammer to a working coalface! so long have we waited for a topical blog. thank you.

    btw, is mcgregor a ned too? never thought about it till now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 7:25pm on 03 Apr 2009, Rita Cocking wrote:

    Excuse me,is this what they call making a mountain out of a molehill?

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 7:25pm on 03 Apr 2009, fearlesswinston wrote:

    These two buffoons are embarrassingly pathetic!It's the sort of thing that primary schoolchildren do.Footballers have a reputation for being spoilt brats with not alot between the ears and these two charlies have confirmed it!

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 7:37pm on 03 Apr 2009, josepha67 wrote:

    They are a disgrace to Scottish club football and to the country!

    How long does this sort of disrespect have to go on for in this game, world wide?

    If this was Rugby Union, they would be ousted for life from club level also. These 30,000+ GBP per week players deserve everything thrown at them.

    Ferguson & MacGregor have done nothing for Scottish football anyway, so good riddance.

    These guys would make Scottish legends who earned 150 GBP per week feel ashamed!


    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 7:37pm on 03 Apr 2009, heezamrchief wrote:

    Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor fully deserve what has come their way this week, and should actually be transfer listed by Rangers. They have disgraced their club and country, and I don't think there has been any over reaction whatsoever. In actual fact, Walter Smith has probably been the reason taht the SFA became involved after they said it was closed. In fining and suspending the players, and in Ferguson's case stripping his of the captaincy, he made the SFA act further by banning the players for life. I, as a Rangers supporter, am in full backing of both Rangers and the SFA's punishement, after all, who was Ferguson (and I specify him as McGregor is complete egomaniac and isn't worthy of my concern) aiming his v sign at. Was it the the Scotland Supporters within Hampden Park. Well Ferguson should remember, that we are Glasgow Rangers, and that the majority of Rangers fans actually cheer on the national team. So he has insulted me and my son if that was the case, as we were there. All he has done has given people an excuse to have a go at Rangers. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of clueless Scotland supporters, who will simply use this as an excuse to have a go at Rangers. We all know the ones, the ones who come on to phone ins and suggest it ok to boo Northern Irelands National anthem because they claim that there Queen is not our Queen. Well I didnt here them booing Holland's royal family last Saturday (surely the same crudentials apply). Barry Ferguson has brought Scotland, and more so Rangers into disrepute, and has no future in a blue jersey with either side, One other thing though, as much as I really don't give a monkeys about McGregor, he doesn't have the experience that Ferguson has, his conduct is more in line with James McFaddens, but as usual, there will be those who are so blinkered that they will not see comparisons with the 2. So I propose we actually go back, and reinvestigate Hong Kong Gate, and give out the appropriate punishment there. Oh no, we cant, its wee cheeky james mcfadden, the great white hope, the tartan armys darling.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 7:40pm on 03 Apr 2009, Hargo A Go Go wrote:

    Ok I'm from Jamaica but I really can't see the big issue here. I can understand the one match suspension for drinking out late, every sports team has curfews but a life ban for some Vs seem silly to me. Unless in Europe this has a derogatory meaning I am not aware of, in which case can someone please tell me what it means. i actually root for BOTH Scotland and England when I'm not busy cheering on teh Reggae Boys.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 7:45pm on 03 Apr 2009, A Douglas wrote:

    HeezaMrChief are you joking? you want to punish someone for something that happened seven years ago?!

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 7:48pm on 03 Apr 2009, GeorgetownBhoy wrote:

    Great news for Scottish football. Ferguson is a bad egg. He is a troublemaker who thinks he bosses everything. Try bossing a midfield for once, Baz. Couldn't care less about McGregor, when we have Craig Gordon and an able substitute keeper in Marshall. There is no doubt in my mind that the SFA have used this as an excuse to rid the national team setup of his bad influence without the Rangers fans' backlash at a 'traditional' dropping of their beloved captain. For once, they have used their iniative and seized an opportunity.
    A player who is as truly committed to the Scotland cause as Ferguson claims would have won far more than 45 caps in his career, so we don't need him. Scott Brown is a far more able player for the modern game and this news means that we are now more likely to qualify for the world cup because there will now be more harmony in the camp and balance in the side.
    Retro-junkies, why are you mentioning Celtic? WGS has proven time and again that he is a disciplinarian and I'm sure that he would have disciplined any one who stepped out of line. What a pathetic attempt to score points FOR Rangers on one of their most humiliating days.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 7:55pm on 03 Apr 2009, JulioTheBeast wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 17. At 7:55pm on 03 Apr 2009, chic wrote:

    they deserve all they get. bevvying is nothing new, but the gestures show a lack of any respect.

    Surprised the club took action too, but fair enough.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 8:01pm on 03 Apr 2009, GeorgetownBhoy wrote:

    Heeza! Hahahaha. McFadden was 19. An over-excited child on his first trip abroad with the big boys. He got lost from the main group. They were on an officially-sanctioned night out following an international tour. The football was over. We had failed to make the real tournament and were trying to build morale. He missed a bus and his apology was genuine. The two situations cannot be compared. Ferguson was the captain of his country on the eve of a vital world cup qualifier.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 8:07pm on 03 Apr 2009, Happy2Lead wrote:


    Two silly lil boys got a lesson taught hahahaha

    I would love to see scotland make to the world cup and make to the s

    Then how big would they feel making a V-sign at who ever it woz aimed at

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 8:09pm on 03 Apr 2009, Allyforcaley wrote:

    After the drinking incident, they should of held their hands up,apologised,and accepted being put on the bench.But to make things worse, they make the V and middle finger suggestion while the camera was on them. Absolutely disgusting and a disgrace to the Country. The SFA were 100% right on their decision to ban them from the scottish team. First from Rangers we had Boyd in a childish huff as he wasnt getting first team action(at the time which Burley was totally correct on doing so)so he doesnt want to be involved under Burley anymore. Now again from Rangers we have Ferguson and Macgregor acting like little tinks.
    Will we miss these latest two? none whatsoever, after Wednesday nights performance they werent needed.Especially in goal as Gordon proved again that he is Scotland's Number 1!

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 8:12pm on 03 Apr 2009, AntonioSaucedo wrote:

    So the great Gary McAllister had to deal with this sanctimonious nonsense too? That guy was pure quality, a South American in kilt. Actually, Nakamura reminds me a bit of good ol' Gary. Class, class, class, folks! And Ferguson is that type of player, the kind I'd pay to go see play. No other Scottish footballer comes close. And that's not meant as an insult to Scottish footballers, of course.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 8:14pm on 03 Apr 2009, choptastic wrote:

    The players should never have been brought into the squad again after they had been asked to leave on the Sunday/Monday let alone be put on the subs bench, where there was going to be lots of media attention. That would have been punishment enough and then we get on against Norway in August with both in the squad (though not necessarily in the starting XI).

    The SFA have screwed up in their handling of this, though the players are the main culprits. While I agree the end of their careers at international level is harsh, I also agree that an example was required to be made and, if it was to be made, why do it with such brutal publicity as the SFA have done?

    Anyway, nice to hear an "insight" from the story rather than some of the nonsense spewed out by certain tabloid rags, however I would question one thing - "the Tartan Army - many of them Rangers fans" is a nonsense comment, of the 30,000 Travel Club members, I would be surprised if any more than 5% were of the Glasgow blue variety - they prefer to be watching our nearest and dearest from south of the border.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 8:17pm on 03 Apr 2009, boomshakalak wrote:

    firstly I think walter smith and rangers, and Scotland have got this one right. The players were stupid for drinking late but that would have been excused by a slap on the wrists. But who do they think they are making v signs whilst sat there alledgedly representing their country. It shows both of them were clearly more interested in their own situation and petty squabble than with representing their country and more specifically the paying supporters. More embarrassingly they did it in a way that would be deemed cowardly and pathetic if done by a 12 year old schoolboy. Laugable and pathetic! I like most people was not offended just more disappointed and angered that 2 people clearly had such disregard and disrespect for others. Pathetic.

    The actions taken against them is even more fitting as u have 2 people who are clearly too big for their boots being cut down by the people that they should thank for their (limited) success this far.

    Spoilt, pathetic, immature, embarrasseing, cowardly, laughable.

    Also and here's the thing that should burn their overinflated egos the most - they are expendable as ultimately they aren't actually as good as they think they are in their own little tiny minds.

    Well done to the authorities, good bye to 2 silly little men

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 8:20pm on 03 Apr 2009, spectrum wrote:

    Very convenient for David Murray to get a few quid for wee Barry if that is what transpires. I bet they wish Boyd had been there too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 8:32pm on 03 Apr 2009, John_Henrys_Hammer wrote:

    What a sad little man HeezaMrChief is.

    He's so upset that his beloved 'Captain' has been banned from ever representing Scotland again that he's having a go at James McFadden.

    I too am a Scotland and Rangers supporter, and the loss of Ferguson and McGregor to either team is small beer.

    Dry your eyes, wee man.

    And if this puts you off supporting Scotland, we'll miss you as much as we'll miss Ferguson and his half-wit sidekick McGregor.

    Not much.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 8:37pm on 03 Apr 2009, Ron_Billy_Burgundy wrote:

    "Scott Brown is a far more able player for the modern game"

    Not that your biased or anything, eh?

    Scott Brown is as overrated as Barry Ferguson, he has flashes of brilliance but since he signed for celtic I have seen nothing to suggest he will develop into a great player.

    Hardly set the heather alight for Scotland either come to think of it...

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 8:42pm on 03 Apr 2009, Stuart MacPherson wrote:

    If I did something wrong at work and then reacted, rather than getting my head down and making amends, by making an abusive signal, I would most likely get the sack for gross misconduct. So would 99% of the people on here making comments no doubt. On this basis, how can anyone e.g #2 say there has been an over-reaction.

    In life, when you earn rights (such as the honour of playing international football for your country) with that comes obligations. In this case, the obligation to conduct yourself in a respectful fashion. These guys are supposed to be role models for our youngsters. The fact that they failed to realise the error of their ways and actually behave in such an immature fashion is an embarrassment. I'm not a Rangers fan, but I feel sorry for Walter Smith at the moment. Crikey, imagine having to deal with Ferguson, Boyd and McGregor every day; it must be just be like training a bunch of primary ones. Except my 5 year old daughter has already learned that when you get in trouble you don't go and exacerbate the situation!

    Look on the bright side from the football perspective; Fletcher looked more like the player he is for Manchester United without Ferguson getting in his way. And Craig Gordon was restored to his rightful place.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 8:43pm on 03 Apr 2009, i_amTheJudge wrote:

    Yes Barry and Alan got it wrong they will now have to live with that for the rest of their lives. But what about the Manager the Man with no bottle he got it 100% wrong yet appears to be getting of scott free because we got a result on Wednesday that was by no means a vintage performance.

    George Burley needs to share as much of the blame as the 2 who have been singled out after all he sanctioned the drinking session in the first place. Burley must also pay the price and be sacked.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 8:55pm on 03 Apr 2009, NoGBfootball wrote:

    I live in Los Angeles, USA and their images are on television here. They are a laughing stock.

    Sports commentators over here question the two players upbringing, morals and passion. The two lads have to understand that their cowardly "V" gestures can be misinterpreted by not just the media and the SFA, but by the fans.

    Surely, the average Tartan Army follower must be shocked and disgusted by these photographs being beamed throughout the world.

    So they will lose out on their 30,000 per week salary for two weeks...what type of a punishment is that? Why not make them clean up the stadium after the next game or volunteer at a sick-kids hospital.

    The V sign during an important world cup game is disgusting, especially when we all want to see our country play on an international stage such as the world cup.

    Whether its politics or sport, why are the Scottish always fighting themselves (ourselves)?

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 8:56pm on 03 Apr 2009, aconlon wrote:

    They are a disgrace to Scottish club football and to the country!

    How long does this sort of disrespect have to go on for in this game, world wide?


    Steady on now, they were immature and made a big mistake but who hasn't. Just imagine what they felt like getting booed from their own fans after giving to their country for years (in ferguson's case) and making one mistake.

    i agree they should be punished but never letting them play again is over the top

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 8:57pm on 03 Apr 2009, AlainDeMontfort wrote:

    Rangers have taken the correct and appropriate action, however the SFA have made it a complete mess - I would not be surprised if your manager or chief executive end up having to resign over this down the line...

    ...and by the way who is George Peat and what is his background?

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 8:57pm on 03 Apr 2009, contraflow wrote:

    When Allan McGregor was making rude gestures he reminded me of the neds you see outside courthouses. Charming.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 8:58pm on 03 Apr 2009, sirbrianlaudrup wrote:

    i completely agree that both players deserve to be punished for their immature behaviour at the weekend and also mid week, but it seems very strange that out of all the players present at this "drinking session" that it is only they who are being punished.
    also straight after the game george burley quite clearly stated that both would be selected for future scotland squads and more specifically ferguson would remain as strikes me that the decision to ban them is not a footballing decision rather a P.R stunt that looks to apease fans baying for can the SFA demand players to show their management and supporters a greater level of respect when they have clearly gone straight over Burley's head in taking this ridiculous decision.
    lets hope this decision doesn't come back to haunt the rest of the team because you can be sure that the "fans" who have called for this decsion to be made will soon turn and blame the men at the SFA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 9:05pm on 03 Apr 2009, TrueBlueAccie wrote:

    Let's all get a life. Pot - kettle - black. "Tartan Army up in arms over late night drinking scandal." Scotland is a pub team - so what's the hassle. And is ayone seriously going to convince me that Messrs Young and Traynor have never had their notebooks out whilst "under the influence?" I think the gestures were directed at the whole Scottish press pack - and rightly so!

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 9:07pm on 03 Apr 2009, dribbles_ wrote:

    They went out drinking after a drubbing with several days to go before next match - nothing near enough for a lifetime ban. They made the V-sign presumably at the press? I can't see any reason they would do this to their own fans especially as several people have mentioned that these are made up of a lot of Rangers fans anyway. Unless I'm missing something this seems like the biggest over reaction I have ever witnessed. And I thought the Republic of Ireland did self destruction better than anyone!

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 9:09pm on 03 Apr 2009, fatfox wrote:

    Redevilyardie: Not to be confused with the palm-outwards 'victory V', which you may associate with Winston Churchill, the palm-inwards two-fingered salute is an offensive gesture in the British Isles (also Australia and New Zealand). It is at least as insulting in intent as the US 'sit-on-it' one-fingered salute.

    Though it has no exactly defined meaning, it is generally regarded as the gestural equivalent of 'eff you' or 'eff off'. It does not, perhaps, justify an automatic lifetime ban, but by making this sign during their official punishment for unauthorised boozing, these two were showing that they were not in the slightest bit contrite and had no respect for authority or team discipline.

    Perhaps as an Englishman I should keep my nose out, but I think that Scotland has much better sportsmen and women to show to the world than oafs like this, and it's to the credit of the Scottish public that they seem to be unifying around that thought.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 9:10pm on 03 Apr 2009, ayrjambo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 38. At 9:29pm on 03 Apr 2009, Huntex wrote:

    Been a critic of your article in the past but this is a good article. Rightly so people have been criticising the players, Ferguson is a perennial underachiever for Scotland and McGregor is more interested in other things off the park. Funny how Ferguson thought he was the King of Scottish Football and Rangers Football Club but has been brought right down to earth. The V-signs was something kids do in primary 3 when they think they can get away with swearing, not grown men supposedly meant to be role models.

    However you rightly raise the point that the SFA have been a shambles over the incident. As an Aberdeen fan, i don't have much love for Rangers or Walter Smith but they have handled the situation admirably.

    Can anyone tell me who George Peat is? I know he is the Chairman of the SFA but how has he managed to reach this position? He seems highly inept to me and his comments about the SPL (although true) did nobody any favours. He should just stay out of things and let Gordon Smith get on with the job.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 9:35pm on 03 Apr 2009, Blue Heaven wrote:

    They certainly deserved to be punished. But life bans for overdoing it at a bevvy the manager allowed plus making rude signs towards media cameramen seems a bit much, to be honest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 9:37pm on 03 Apr 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Sad it came to this to get Barry Ferguson out of the starting line up, plenty of good football reasons to drop him never mind the idiocy shown by himself and McGregor. Nevermind, they are not important (just a couple of spoilt neds) ... lets see if the team can push on from here and put in a decent showing for the remaining qualifiers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 9:38pm on 03 Apr 2009, AlanSD wrote:

    Truly a pair of idiots. I cannot believe they would be drinking between two games in the space of 4 days. Couldn't they wait an extra few days to get drunk? I feel sorry for the manager having to deal with this sort of idiocy when he's try to qualify for the WC. And the V symbols? These two have the mentality of 10 year olds.

    Both are dud players anyway, Ferguson's best skill is probably his trademark late, two-footed tackle and McGregor is no big loss either, Gordon is a much better keeper. In many ways (apart from the way the SFA handled the matter) this is good news for Scotland because they can get rid of these two clowns who have no positive influence on the team at all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 9:45pm on 03 Apr 2009, ScotBamers wrote:

    Let's not beat around the bush here, what Ferguson and McGregor did was wrong and deserves to be punished but the backlash from this is absolutely ridiculous and could only happen in Scotland. By all means take them out the team for the Iceland game, give them a 2 week suspension - but let that be the end of it.

    Burley came out after the Iceland game saying the incident has been put behind them and they would be considered for future squads, the only thing thats changed since then is the v sign incident which isn't the smartest thing to do by a long way but they are getting punished by Rangers with a 2 week ban now. Now all of a sudden "after a meeting between the national manager and the chief executive" they are now not being considered for future squads. It should be Burley's decison and Burley's decision alone to come to this and he should have been the one to say this. And now Rangers are jumping on the bandwagon - you can't help but think in all the financial strife that they are in its just giving them a good excuse to sell both of them without getting the fans on their back. They have both done wrong but surely Fergusons imparticular more than a decade worth of service to club and country should count for something.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 9:48pm on 03 Apr 2009, setmyselfonfire wrote:

    J.J of kilmarnock questions if theyre embassingly silly or bad professionals? bad professionals is the right answer, a couple of billy big heads that think representing scotland is beneath them. A sheer lack of professionalism. Barry Ferguson Scotland / Rangers Captain has been in football long enough to know better. England played two games last week and I very much doubt J.Terry or any other had any alcohol in between the two games. In order for Scottish football to go forward and be taken seriously disipline will be the key.

    a disgruntled scotland / jambo fan

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 9:50pm on 03 Apr 2009, NoGBfootball wrote:

    I just watched the two interviewed for the Rangers website. It feels rehearsed and devoid of emotion or genuine understanding.

    To think one is the captain of Scotland..his vocabulary is limited and his reaction seems so arrogant.

    Surely, these two players cannot be happy with their responses in this interview mock-up?

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 10:07pm on 03 Apr 2009, howsyercurio wrote:

    Interesting to read both players' statements. Club appears to come before country. Playing for your club is your job, playing for your country is an honour and a privilege most of us only ever dream about! They're unlikely to be bothered by this punishment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 10:08pm on 03 Apr 2009, chrislovesbuffy wrote:

    Well, it's all a bit sad really. Personally I think the punishment is way, way over the top, but the damage is done now from all sides. Yes, the actions of the players was unprofessional, but doesn't warrant a life ban ... quite ridiculous by the SFA. George Peat seems to have got his scatter gun out after realising the players employers were taking some action and has totally over-reacted. Relatively fair action from Rangers I guess, classing the action as a breach of club rules (I guess it can be compared to McGeady's fall out with Strachan earlier in the season). Anyway, in the scheme of things that go on in the world it's all pretty small beer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 10:11pm on 03 Apr 2009, Houstonslydog wrote:

    Barry Ferguson has had this coming for a while. I'm an avid Rangers fan, but the man has wielded too much influence at club and international level for too long.

    I'm not sure the life-long ban will stick, a serious return to form from either of them coupled with a grovelling public apology would probably get them back in, I reckon.

    It's all about stamping Burley's authority in the short term, while reducing Ferguson's.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 10:29pm on 03 Apr 2009, U13901101 wrote:

    Well at least the self appointed ambassadors of Scotland 'Tartan Army' have nearly got what they wanted, rid of all Rangers players. They can cling to the mistaken belief that D fletcher is a footballing god and 5yd Broon will take on the world in Sth Africa. But those of us that can see past our kilts know what Scotland has just lost.

    Total over-reaction by Peat & co. He is absolutely useless and his actions show he will do anything to look good for th Tartan Army. To react in this way beacuse you received lots of emails and phone calls is ridiculous. now the baying mob makes the decisions for th SFA. Don't say you weren't warned.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 10:29pm on 03 Apr 2009, Fungus the Bogeyman wrote:

    I love the number of comments that are here trying to excuse the "immature" behaviour of two supposed professional footballers, one of whom is captain of his homeland. They are 31 years old and 28 years old. When I was at those ages, to be called immature I would have taken it as a massive insult.

    Ferguson and McGregor are symptomatic of two modern day cultural cancers

    (i) Footballers think they can get away with anything and believe they merit the exorbitant wages they are paid for playing a game and
    (ii) Scotland is drowning itself in drink and the publicity these two specimens have been given does nothing more than enhance the belief south of the border that the tarnished image of a Scot is justified

    At least Scotland fans can be sure of one thing, these two will never ever disgrace the dark blue jersey again - and thank god for that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 10:34pm on 03 Apr 2009, footy_analysis - play beautifully - wrote:

    Silly, silly boys. Pointless, rude and very pathetic behaviour from two players in a very privileged position.

    However, I thought a hefty fine and a few games on the sidelines would have sufficed and think a life ban is harsh.

    Maybe the Scottish FA will have a rethink once they've calmed down.

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 10:36pm on 03 Apr 2009, shiveringbluenose81 wrote:

    As a Rangers fan the thing that disappoints me most about this situation is the shear contempt that Barry Ferguson and Alan McGregor have shown for the club, and most of all, their manager Walter Smith. He advised them to keep their heads down and respect both the Scotland team and management after the antics in the bar and they chose to ignore him. Lets hope Walter finally gets rid of these two neds. The club has treated Barry like a king for years and I think he has definitely let it get to his head. The sad fact for Barry is that I can't imagine many clubs wanting him - who in Scotland would be able to pay his salary, and what foreign club would want to take a chance on someone who got homesick after a few months in Blackburn! Maybe it is a blessing for him that he won't have to travel all the way to South Africa if Scotland do qualify...

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 10:44pm on 03 Apr 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    I find it difficult to accept that any kind of ulterior motive lies behind the actions of Walter Smith - as some of these comments imply.

    By his response, Mr Smith demonstrates that he is a Scotsman of quality, integrity and substance - as ever.

    Compare his actions with those of Ferguson and McGregor. In the context of this pair of doughballs, one can best recollect the assessment of Martin Buchan in the 1970s, when we were all similarly embarrassed by the pathetic antics of some of our international squad, during the World Cup finals:

    "The problem with these people is that they haven't enough brains to feel shame."

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 10:47pm on 03 Apr 2009, zopha1 wrote:

    Ferguson and McGregor have rightly lost the honour of playing for their country. Although the "drinking on duty" issue is something not uncommon in football and usually punished with the usual suspension/fine, the disrespect shown to Scotland as a whole is unacceptable.
    For the last couple of years Ferguson hasn't shown the hunger and leadership that once made him one of Scotland's better players but McGregor seemed to be emerging as an able deputy to Gordon. He has thrown away his chance of a Scotland career that several years ago looked unlikely under the McLeish & Le Guen regimes. can you possibly complain about the SFA and their treatment of the incident? Personally i'd rather have a mix-up in communication within the SFA than the matter to be dealt with poorly. A rather petty and pedantic complaint on the real issue of player discipline. The point is that the line HAS now been drawn and both players dealt with their well-earned comeuppance...

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 10:48pm on 03 Apr 2009, Edd M wrote:

    Judging by the attitude of half the posters on here, I think the pair must have gone round kicking everybody who posts on here's puppy!

    Yeah, what they did was beyond stupid. But a life time ban? Seriously? For a two finger gesture? Take a look back over the last 12 months football and work out how many players have been sent off for swearing at the Ref. Precisely how many of them got a lifetime ban? Is it so much worse because they were caught on camera? Or because they can't use the excuse of "heat of the moment"? Laughable decision by the SFA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 10:55pm on 03 Apr 2009, Marchitect wrote:

    I imagine Chico as he writes this in his Rangers PJ's, tears streaming down his face, surrounded by torn Rangers posters, 'WHY' scrawled across the 7,000 Panini stickers of Barry, pausing only to cry some more.

    Chin up Chico.

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 11:21pm on 03 Apr 2009, Ravey Dave wrote:

    A number of points worth raising here.

    1) Ferguson and Macgregor should have been sent home from the squad in disgrace, not allowed to remain on the bench for the Iceland match. Fair play to Burley for his actions in dropping the pair from the starting line-up, but they could have and should have been stronger.
    2) Ferguson and Macgregor have nailed their own international coffins by their disgusting actions to the press, fans, and cameras on Wednesday night. From this there is no comeback, nor can there be any defence.
    3) Walter Smith has made the correct decision in suspending them. This kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated by any player, whether on club duty or not.
    4) The pity for Scotland is that these are two international-class players. We do not have the strength in depth to be able to afford to lose them without detriment to our international performances.
    5) That Scotland should lose their captain in such circumstances is highly embarrassing, and does nothing to dispel the national stereotype.

    It is arguable that had they been sent home in disgrace from the Scotland camp on Sunday there would have been a chance for the two players to reflect on their actions, issue an apology, and perhaps over time be rehabilitated into the national squad. That they were not sent home is a management oversight. But thanks to their own actions from the bench at Hampden, they have been ostracised permanently from the national set-up. The SFA had no other option. A harsh, but fair punishment in the circumstances.

    We can only hope that this may serve as a warning to all future players who ever have the honour to pull on the blue jersey. Let this be a lesson to you. Treat the badge with the respect, honour, and dignity that it deserves. That can be the only good thing to come from such a dim episode in the pages of the history of Scottish Football.

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 11:29pm on 03 Apr 2009, rapidstretfordender wrote:

    I dont rate the pair of them and they acted immature so its quite right they get punished, aren't these guys role models?
    they could have took the original dropping to the bench on the chin and kept their heads down but for some reason they acted like kids!
    I hope Scotland qualify for SA and the pair of them have to watch it at home!...

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 11:29pm on 03 Apr 2009, coolscozzy wrote:

    Paul Le Guen tried to sort these guys and Kris Boyd out at Rangers but Murray didn't have the guts to stand up to the neds and sacked Le Guen instead.
    Now Scotland is paying the price.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 11:40pm on 03 Apr 2009, bald-in-guelph wrote:

    The lack of any sort of unanimity on this issue shows just how confused the messages and the morals of this sorry tale of woe have become confused. It doesn't really matter what happened to the two players. The manner of their response shows that the press were quite justified in pillorying them for their weakness of character. If there was any doubt initially it has been removed from anyone's mind by now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 11:45pm on 03 Apr 2009, SCL wrote:

    Not a fan of either player, certainly not a fan of Rangers, but to me this whole thing just seems completely over the top??

    Sure, discipline them for their cheek but seems a bit of a knee jerk reaction here - I don't know if I'm missing something but I dont think the V-sign thing should have been taken as anything other than aimed at the media, who were probably blowing the whole "boozing" thing out of proportion in the first place.

    To be fair, either way I couldnt care less and doubt most Scotland fans will either - think the squad can cope without either of them overall, particularly McGregor.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 11:47pm on 03 Apr 2009, rapidstretfordender wrote:



    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 11:49pm on 03 Apr 2009, Valderramas_boots wrote:

    Scotland to qualify.

    Ferguson and McGregor to watch the world cup at home.

    For a true footballer, there will not be a bigger punishment than that!!

    After that they should be allowed to be called up again.


    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 11:59pm on 03 Apr 2009, lester-freamon wrote:

    On this very website Chick Young and Jim Traynor debate scots indiscipline. Chick didn't resign from the defence counsel of Ferguson and McGregor until this blog. A day later. Go on, have a listen

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 00:26am on 04 Apr 2009, coolscozzy wrote:

    re neds ??

    apart from that word I take it you agree with the rest of the comment

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 00:34am on 04 Apr 2009, B1gA11y wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 66. At 00:36am on 04 Apr 2009, Spaced Invader wrote:

    So Scotland lose an average goalkeeper and the most over-rated Scottish player of his generation. Big deal, good riddance. We're doing a dis-service to the rest of the side by giving these immature fools so much time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 00:40am on 04 Apr 2009, MapleRidgeBear wrote:

    I suspect that Ferguson especially has just approved his summer exit from Rangers and Scottish football forever

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 00:51am on 04 Apr 2009, B1gA11y wrote:

    i'll try again - bads boys!
    other bad boys from other countries have behaved worst and been punished less

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 00:57am on 04 Apr 2009, Mr_Monz wrote:

    the drinking session has been blown way outta proportion, however the media as usual have made it a witchhunt out of it, but what of the other 5 players (if we are to believe the papers) where are their punishments?
    After being at the game on wednesday, i woke up to look at the paper on thursday to find Ferguson and McGregor giving the V-sign, to start with i thought that it was misleading and just simply a case of them scratching their faces, but then to see it on tv made me embarrassed to be a rangers fan and scotland fan, if anyone else has seen the vt on it notice how Christophe Berra looks at McGregor doing it and finds it hillarious, why has this gone unnoticed?
    However, at the end of the day the sooner Rangers sell them the better!!!! Fergie hasn't produced anything since his return and McGregor has had only one noteworthy game in the Uefa cup last year.
    Suddenly Le Guen doesn't seem to have gotten it wrong with the two afterall...

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 00:59am on 04 Apr 2009, Pompey Lackey wrote:

    Mountain. Molehill.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 01:05am on 04 Apr 2009, greatbarryboy wrote:

    As an avid scotland fan and even a celtic fan, i did feel this saga is such an over reaction! however following the petulance shown by both and the distinct lack of apology....until they were very publically embarrassed by both club and country, i feel that the right decsion has been made.

    Ferguson is over-rated as a midfielder and macgregor is never a better goalkeeper than Gordon. Infact both players are not even the best in those positions for there clubs. Thomson and Davis are more complete midfielders than ferguson and alexander has shown his capabilities with his exploits last season when deputising for macgregor.

    I do feel the "lifetime ban" imposed on both players is more of a short term reaction than a long term descion, once heads have cooled and maybe the players hit a bit of form they will likely be recalled.

    Just out of curiosity? who were the supposed other players involved in the booze-up? i've heard a few names but nothing solid.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 01:06am on 04 Apr 2009, JamD111 wrote:

    This is a joke. Scottish fans stick with their teams through good and bad, mostly bad, yet in recent seasons priorities seem to have slipped with the SFA and Scottish clubs. Scotland have not qualified for a tournament in over a decade and the SFA's main concern should be to ammend that.

    At the moment we have an average team which is hit with injuries and can barely overcome vastly inferior sides, there is no way that we can afford to throw away influential players with the qualities of Ferguson and MacGregor.

    Gordon is a fantastic keeper, but if he's injured it is nice to know we have someone almost as good waiting for his chance. As for Ferguson, much as many will hate to admit it: if you watch Scotland and Rangers as I do, every game, the difference in the way they play with Ferguson and without is staggering- he brings composure to the midfield that is lacking otherwise. He also drove a much below-par rangers team to a UEFA cup final, and led Scotland in our massive campaign last season, where we defeated France twice and almost qualified from the hardest group in Europe. How do we repay the guy who has done more for Scottish football than anyone else in recent years- kick him out the national side for childish behaviour- the guy is a footballer in case you forgot.

    Premiership players are continually in stories of assaults, rapes, and drink-driving and no-one blinks an eye. These two drank in a bar, and then gave the viccies to some cameramen - I think the SFA's reaction has been more childish than actions of Ferguson and MacGregor themselves, and is at the cost of Scottish football which they claim to represent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 01:07am on 04 Apr 2009, mojo-k wrote:

    Credit to Rangers management for being decisive and recognising the damage to the club's reputation. And the SFA? Gordon Smith faffed about before the game on Weds and refused to support Burley. Then he makes up his mind and supports him despite having the same facts before the game. Then his Faither comes along and puts him right. In the end, the SFA did the right thing the wrong way.

    And Ferguson's badge-thumping talk of 'honour' & 'privilege' to play for Rangers & Scotland is at odds with his self-indulgent, egocentric actions during the game on Weds. Where was his support for the players on the park?

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 01:22am on 04 Apr 2009, razzersjj wrote:

    Well done to the SFA and Rangers. At least Burley does not have to deal with the inevitable over the top outrage he would have come accross by dropping wee Barry who must surely take the prize for being Scotlands most over rated players. Without being forced to play him hopefully Scotland can be more dynamic and attacking instead of slow, predictable and boring!! Surely the footballing Gods will now guide us to the World Cup!!!!!!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 01:25am on 04 Apr 2009, Owl131 wrote:

    I am an England fan, so admittedly i don't have the same passion for Scottish football, but then that may make what i say purely objective.

    The lads were caught having a slight bit to much Booze after a heavy loss to the Dutch. they apologise and a punishment is set of starting on the bench. Fair enough. Suitable punishment.

    During the game while on the bench they make cheeky V signs, supposedly at the press who have lambasted them for such a menial offence. Ferguson gets stripped of his captaincy at both club AND country. Again fair enough, he's representing Scotland at that point..

    Then the SFA decide to declare it over and to move on. Then the decision comes a day after that announcement to ban them for life, and then say they have brought Scottish football into disrepute? Seems slighty contradictory. And to those that say the crime was unforgivable does anyone remember Robbie Fowlers "Cocaine snorting" celebration. In it's self a much more offensive gesture wouldn't you agree? And he was fined £60,000. Not banned from playing for Liverpool and England ever again.

    It just seems to me like a giant Faff by Scotlands governing body. The two managers have sorted it out properly. But most of all it seems alot like much ado about nothing.

    But, these are all just the personal views of a young Yorkshire man.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 01:35am on 04 Apr 2009, SergeantPluck wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 77. At 02:29am on 04 Apr 2009, CelticCruijff wrote:

    I don't think anyone who has a love for football has enjoyed this debacle. Ferguson has a attitude which is similar to McGeady's; they have been told how great they are from a small age, get some recognition and think they are above reproach. I hope Barry gets some help to get over this. McGregor is just a daft boy and like Boruc is a wee bit mad. I hope McGeady views this a a wake up call, he could be going down the same route. Maybe he should leave Scotland and test his skills away from the parochial people here cos this had an influence in Ferguson's mentality. The worst thing he did was return to Scotland.

    I feel that the media have to take some responsibility for this. People, when cornered react, and it sells papers and advertising but, ultimately they are cooking the golden goose. And there is a personal life to the four musketeers, which should be considered; wifes, girlfriends, children all suffer.

    The whole thing might help if there was somebody with some management skills among the SFA. Walter and WGS always seem to get it right.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 03:37am on 04 Apr 2009, Tieshredder wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 79. At 04:09am on 04 Apr 2009, noelsnovelty wrote:

    Chick, your defense of these players is just another symptom of our problem. So many other countries in Europe can boast complete national teams of highly disciplined committed professions, whereas in Scotland we've got so many spoiled overpraised brats.

    Boydie, brat that he is, quit the team forever because the manager didn't pick him, and you and the rest of the media, instead of condemning it, treated it as normal acceptable behaviour. Ferguson and McGregor likewise show complete contempt for their national team's interest, and you concentrate your criticism on some SFA officials. Meh.

    Likewise, our last two managers abandoned their countries and legal contracts at the first advantageous opportunityies and all they got for it was praise.

    All this is reasonably acceptable, apparently to Scots anyway.

    Well, it's not in successful countries like Croatia where such behaviour would be regarded as a national outrage. So don't go whinging that we're not appearing in championships when you guys in the media are almost as to blame as the players.

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 06:57am on 04 Apr 2009, dafc_man wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 81. At 07:04am on 04 Apr 2009, Einveldi wrote:

    So, in other words Chick, it's everybody's fault?

    Forgive me if I think that's a slight generalisation!

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 08:01am on 04 Apr 2009, lucid_tentacles wrote:

    This episode begs the question as to how Ferguson ever got to be made Captain in the first place.I'm sure Burley is secretly overjoyed at the outcome.I'm sure i read earlier that Ferguson and McGregor pleaded to be allowed to stay with team after Burley had initially sent them packing and then they inflame things even more with their V-signs.Those two make Gazza look like Brain of Britain. What a pair of Numpties!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 08:22am on 04 Apr 2009, U11655018 wrote:

    Splendid move by Smith, takes a combined £50,000 plus a week off the wage bill, moves on a declining midfielder who hasn't done anything of note for years, and a goalie more inspired by Goram's off field activities than talents on it. Add in a couple of million in fees and it's a win win situation whilst the fans are caught befuddled not sure how to respond to the selling of a 'legend'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 08:45am on 04 Apr 2009, Frisky2good wrote:

    As far as I'm concerned, the punishment being dished out to these players is by far more than their offenses. Although I'm not from Scotland so I can't claim to know how decisions are taken but I would have preferred if the coach was left alone to decide if he still needs these players. I will want the Scottish FA to really reconsider this case in the interest of Scottish football. Though there are other players that can replace them in the Scottish national team, that cannot change the fact that they are two of the best players Scotland can boast of presently. They have apologized so review their case, reduce their punishment and get this over as soon as possible.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 08:45am on 04 Apr 2009, thenewlandsbombers wrote:

    I am not a Rangers fan and have great difficulty thinking of anything positive to say about the club or its supporters, so what I about to say doesn't come easy, but well done Rangers the club, and Walter. They have acted properly, swiftly and decisivly. I also think they are sending out a very big message that goes beyond football. I think the message is about respect and crossing lines. There is stuff about drinking in society and that helps too, but they have done more for the insitution of Rangers in the last 48 hours than the team has tried to do for a generation. I think every professional football player in Scotland is viewing the world a little bit differently today. Strachan faced down Aiden but this is very small potatoes compared to what Walter and Martin Bain did. Perhaps Rangers can be the proud institution it once was. Perhaps players will feel that it actually means something to play for the Old Firm in Scotland. Big Van, said recently whilst on international duty, that playing for Celtic carried a social responsibility, that other clubs just don't have. The same goes for Rangers. Rangers have demostrated that with actions, not just words, and I never ever, thought I would think this, let alone say it, but I am proud of them today. Really proud

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 09:08am on 04 Apr 2009, ottaboutitall wrote:

    Firstly like my username this is all OTT, I think a stern warning of future conduct would be sufficient especially as players such as Boruc has "V" signed opposition fans on numerous occasions without these actions being taken towards him. I bet the polish support wish he'd been dropped before the Northern Ireland game. Adding to me thoughts I'm not their biggest fans but it looks like Martin Bain & co see this as a golden oppertunity to rid the club of 2 high earners.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 09:25am on 04 Apr 2009, unionjock wrote:

    As an Rangers FANATIC I have to say I am very proud of the club today. They did the right thing to show these two idiots that their way is not our way. When I seen the pictures that are at the top of this page I was sick and couldn't believe it...this is our club captain! The other one really is to insignificant as a Rangers player to really waste time on especially when I look at his sneering face in the above picture, he showed be sacked not suspended. Give him away he is a total embarrassment.

    As for Ferguson he will feel the embarrassment that he has caused all Rangers fans this week when he has to explain his stupidity to his kids and his grand kid. You are real quality Barry, stripped of the club captaincy, suspended and banned for the rest of your life from playing for Scotland all for a few pints and insults. This has defined you entire career now.

    Do the decent thing and don't return to Ibrox, you are not a REAL Rangers person.

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 09:59am on 04 Apr 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    ref 71 greatbarryboy

    The other heroes, named by Roddy Forsyth in the daily Telegraph, were Scott Brown, Alan Hutton, Gary Teale, and Stephen Whittaker. The cost of the drinking bout for all six was "a four-figure tab".

    The other "four figures" decided on a tactical retreat when they heard that "management" was on the case. Ferguson and McGregor, deciding to be big shots, stayed put and continued drinking.

    Inspiring stuff, eh?

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 10:02am on 04 Apr 2009, Clint wrote:

    #2 I agree with you and several others here.

    It's impossible to defend the childishness of the pair but both guys want to play for their country. When you look at the whole Kris Boyd thing he has walked away from his country but Ferguson in particular has had a lifetime of nearly stories when it comes to Scotland qualifying. The guy isn't the smartest lad but give him his due, he's suffered the most in that dark blue jersey. It would absolutely ruin him if we end up qualifying and he doesn't get to lead his country to the World Cup after so many disappointments.

    Now I know people will say he should have thought of that before he acted but come on, if Wayne Rooney had done that (it's the sort of thing I could imagine him doing) England would fine him at worst.

    Also, if anything happens to Gordon, a top-class keeper like McGregor really will be missed. I think a lifetime ban is too severe and really wish the SFA would have thought of a punishment that doesn't harm our future hopes of actually getting to a major tournament

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 10:15am on 04 Apr 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    I might add, to counter the "few drinks after the game" justification, that the session lasted for eight hours, until well into the next morning. This was a couple of days before the must-win Iceland match, in front of a Hampden crowd.

    As a gesture of solidarity towards Walter Smith, Gordon Strachan might like to look at the Scott Brown situation. A club fine and a two-week suspension would be an appropriate, and merited, gesture of public support to the commendable response of the Rangers manager. It would also establish a parity, of sorts, to the clubs' league situation.

    Furthermore, it would send a suitable, and timely, message to Scott Brown, an outstanding young talent who needs to do a bit of growing up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 10:22am on 04 Apr 2009, U11655018 wrote:

    As a matter of interest can anyone remember a Scotland game where Ferguson lived up to his supposed world class credentials and 'turned' a game against decent opposition?

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 10:23am on 04 Apr 2009, Hobbespawn wrote:

    Does no one else think there may be another agenda at foot here? Since Burley took over Boyd, MCulloch, McGregor & Ferguson have all played their last games for Scotland. The minutiae about who was drinking until when seems a bit of a smokescreen as is the public outcry about a couple of petulant gestures.
    Ferguson's never wanted to play for Scotland and has cried off many times before due to injury only to spring back to action for Rangers within days. McGregor has boosted his value by displacing a £9m keeper in Gordon, albeit very briefly. Now, at Ferguson's age an international retirement only keeps him a more sellable commodity.
    Although this has been embarrassing for Rangers in the short term it really was a storm in a teacup and once that's realised it will dawn on people that WS has got another couple of his players out of the pool for selection. We all know how SAF likes players over 30 to retire from international fixtures to preserve their club careers and WS didn't learn nothing during his time at OF. McGregor may not fit this theory but he couldn't do one without the other. Also, from other boards it seems like Alexander's preferred by lots of Gers fans so maybe it's just a big scam to offload a couple of high-earners.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 10:48am on 04 Apr 2009, davidgilmourthe3rd wrote:

    I was most surprised to read this story. Being as i am not a scot i was thinking how this demonstrates how they wish to apparently clean the game up. I am not sure however, that a couple of V signs warrent such a harsh punishment.

    i say this when you consider the E FA handling of barton's case at newcastle, this guy, a convicted thug is still playing footy? neither the club nor FA acted to send out a clear message such people would not be welcome being pro fottballers. I think barton's actions were far worse than these two scottish players and i think its very harsh.

    But then we in england are not in a position to judge the SFA when you see how badly our own FA act on matters far more serious than this episode.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 10:58am on 04 Apr 2009, clovisguy wrote:

    If Burley had not renaged on sending the pair home, this affair would not have turned into the farce it has. He could have stamped his authority on the Scotland squad, but instead he made the wrong choice. All he had to do was say the two players would not be picked fot Scotland while he is manager. Both players got what they deserved though.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 11:09am on 04 Apr 2009, worststripineurope wrote:

    I'm not Burley's biggest fan, but he was completely undercut by Gordon Smith on this.

    Burley wanted them out of the squad & sent home after the all night drinking session (others were there initially, but left after a couple, Ferguson & McGregor were spotted still going at it by breakfast guests who broke the story).
    Gordon Smith refused to have them booted out, especially after Ferguson went bleating to him and his pals at redtops. So Burley is forced to put them back on the bench, Walter Smith tells them they are a pair of muppets, but no real harm done, take your medicine and play nice 'til you are back at Ibrox.
    Ferguson, however, can't believe that he is booed (after refusing to sing the national anthem or warm up with the rest of the squad, this is Scotland's captain lets not forget) and cooks up this pathetic wee protest.
    Following this, Gordon Smith is forced admit they are a pair of morons, but rushes out a statement before Geroge Peat has cleared it and Peat is forced to go over the top to make his feelings clear in what is now a game of 'who is most outraged by two morons flicking V-signs'. As a result Scotland are now down their 2nd best keeper and one of our best midfielders (maybe not a starter these days, but certainly worth a squad place).
    If Burley had been left alone to manage his squad they would have been back at Murray Park with the occasional story about Super Mo & Jinky going out on the lash in days gone by.

    Ferguson & McGregor = Muppets
    SFA = Muppets
    George Burley = Victim of the above

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 11:17am on 04 Apr 2009, worststripineurope wrote:

    88 - I won't argue with Roddy Forsyth, but all I'll say is that Scot Brown's contribution to that 4 figure bar bill can't have been much above £20 since he rather famously doesn't drink & goes to the extent of asking for Coca-Cola to be removed from his minibar as if drinks it he becomes hyperactive. As for the rest, good on them, they evidentially knew they were in the wrong and left. They shouldn't have been there in the first place, but the desire of Ferguson et al to share the blame around just highlight how desperately poor his attitude is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 11:17am on 04 Apr 2009, neonlickspittle wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 98. At 11:25am on 04 Apr 2009, TaconazoRedondo wrote:

    To be honest, few winners emerge from this really...

    I'm more than a bit disappointed because I suppose I held Fergie in a higher regard - I genuinely thought he was a more mature player and man than that. George Burley, from what I gather, had called it right initially in suspending the 2 players. But I guess there had to be more action from all parties in light of the 'vicky' being shown... and in such a cowardly manner as well. If they had just stood up, walked over to the press photographers or whomever, got their Wham Bars out and said 'sooooook it!' we might have had a bit more respect for them. But they didn't, and we do not.

    McGregor is a clown - bottom line. - The Scottish Boruc; A complete numpty, and I cannot wait 'til Wattie shows him the exit from Rangers.

    Quote: "Me and(insert name of obligatory blonde Tango-promoter) don't think of ourselves as Scotland's Posh & Becks. Were just Allan & (insert name of obligatory blonde Tango-promoter)."

    - Well that's good son. Coz no-one else had even considered it...

    Fergie only has a few more years left, so maybes he should spend them abroad.

    But the national team do NOT benefit despite the hopeful protestations of some. How can a team like Scotland possibly benefit from losing 2 players who, and it pains me to say it with regards McGregor, are actually a bit good? Scott Brown??? He's no better than Ferguson - hasn't got the same class with the ball. I rate Broony, but only in the context of the Scottish game. Basically, Scotland has a team of players who cannot control a football. Kenny Miller?? What should have been a 1-on-1 with the Dutch kepper ended up with Kenny on his backend because the ball was rattling off his shins and his eyebrows afore he finally 'controlled' it, allowing the Dutch defender to close him down. Contrast that with Arjen Robben, who with 1 touch brought it down and simultaneously took it round Caldwell (I think it was) who did what any Scottish player is compelled to do in such situations... he fell over and started eating the grass. As did the next player...

    Bottom line, the world's media are only paying interest in this because of 2 dafties who are too fond of the cheeky water. It's certainly not for the football. Our best player plays in the English 1st Division... Dear me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 11:45am on 04 Apr 2009, dudesteven_g wrote:

    It's obviously the attitude and professionalism of the players that's the problem here. Perhaps if they'd accepted they were in the wrong for staying up drinking, apologised and knuckled down in training it would all have been forgotten (perhaps that's what others like Brown & Fletcher did?). It's the way they've reacted to being in the wrong that is the problem.

    Ok George Burley might not be the best Scotland manager and Ferguson might have managed to get rid of someone he didn't agree with in the past (Le Guen), but this is your national team, and we're right in the middle of crucial world cup qualifying. I can't understand why there isn't 100% condemnation for anyone who doesn't just do their best for their country and puts any problems/differences to one side.

    Well done to Rangers for their response to it, but noelsnovelty in post 79 is spot on with his comments about previous managers and Kris Boyd walking out on their country, and the media treating it like it's ok. To try and turn it round and have a go at the SFA for what has been a very awkward situation is no more than I expect from someone like Chic Young, but it pains me to think there is more than one person in this country who thinks in a similar way.

    Chick, your defense of these players is just another symptom of our problem. So many other countries in Europe can boast complete national teams of highly disciplined committed professions, whereas in Scotland we've got so many spoiled overpraised brats.

    Boydie, brat that he is, quit the team forever because the manager didn't pick him, and you and the rest of the media, instead of condemning it, treated it as normal acceptable behaviour. Ferguson and McGregor likewise show complete contempt for their national team's interest, and you concentrate your criticism on some SFA officials. Meh.

    Likewise, our last two managers abandoned their countries and legal contracts at the first advantageous opportunityies and all they got for it was praise.

    All this is reasonably acceptable, apparently to Scots anyway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 12:04pm on 04 Apr 2009, ronrafferty wrote:

    Ferguson is just a ned, what do you expect.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 12:28pm on 04 Apr 2009, danduran wrote:

    Well done walter,you managed to get rid of two of your best players, how convenient,especially as the club are in a financial turmoil,this must be right up the celtic supporters street,what a kneejerk reaction to an overblown situation.

    This has been selling newspapers all week the only one that will benefit from this mess is the papers and rangers financially.

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 12:32pm on 04 Apr 2009, BillyBoy723 wrote:

    I totally agree that Ferguson and McGregor should have been punished for their behaviour. However i think that Rangers are taking the easy way out as they have previously said that the need to release some big names in the summer. Look at the saga we had with Kris Boyd in January and now we banish our Skipper and Inspirational keeper which is drastic measures at this time of the season.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 12:42pm on 04 Apr 2009, BuffaloCaptain wrote:

    How utterly ridiculous! How can Chick Young possibly try and defend the players and blame the SFA? The SFA acted correctly in banning these two idiots. How they can justify in any way going on a drinking binge at 4am when we have a crucial qualification game days later is beyond me. As captain of the team Ferguson should set an example to every other player in the country. He can't keep off the booze for a week? Pathetic. They should both be thoroughly ashamed and if they never play for their country again it is nothing more than they deserve.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 1:04pm on 04 Apr 2009, technicallybollox wrote:

    Take a step back. They gave the vs ffs. The people who are offended by this need to take a long look in the mirror. I thought with the craig brown /duncan ferguson thing that a good man manager would have smoothed the rift and got one of our best strikers at the time to stay on board.
    This situation is similar including the kris boyd fiasco. At the end of the day we need to get to SA and these 3 guys are good.

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 1:04pm on 04 Apr 2009, unionjock wrote:

    We DANDURAN you are the only Rangers supporter i have heard that is more worried about what these two idiots can do for the club in the short term than what the managers actions have done for the long term. Lets face it Mr PFG must be laughing his head off! He obviuosly got that idiot Ferguson right in the first place.

    The management took the right action for the benefit of Glasgow Rangers and I for one thank them for it. Its reported this morning neither of these two wasters will be playing for the Rangers again which is even better news. Just look at the pictures of these idiots in the papers, they got what they deserved thats the bottom line.

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 1:08pm on 04 Apr 2009, technicallybollox wrote:

    ewanfromdumfries---- likewiswe kenny dalgleish. name someone to fill his boots. I'll admit Kenny is far superior.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 1:12pm on 04 Apr 2009, minuend wrote:

    You don't have to be sports scientist to realise that professional sport and alcohol don't mix.

    Not only did Ferguson and McGregor gave a V sign collectively to the media, football fans and the sporting authorities, but also to medical sense.

    You cannot be at the top of your game at any sport if you think it is perfectly okay to go a drinking session a few days before a big game.

    This indulgent culture prevalent in Scottish football of drinking and playing is short changing the game we all love to watch. While other football countries take sports medicine seriously, professional football players in Scotland just snigger whilst downing the pints.

    Football coaches around the country should hammer home the message of the dangers of alcohol in sport by highlighting the humiliation of Ferguson and McGregor.

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 1:25pm on 04 Apr 2009, muz27 wrote:

    As A big Gers fan and A season ticket holder for 7 years I hope both Barry and Alan leave in the summer preferably for good money as they are both over-rated, especially Barry who has been held in high esteem for so long but I still cant figure out why. Pedro Mendes and Kevin Thompson when fit will be much better than him.

    I dont understand why they do something this stupid especially when Scotland has a high drink problem and these men who are supposed to be role models go and have a drink just before a massive game that Scotland must win. It really does not help the problem and then the childish V sign thing. Reminds me of a coupler of 12 year olds thinking they are cool enough to swear at the teacher. Good reaction from both rangers and scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 1:28pm on 04 Apr 2009, ATHELETES wrote:

    as these footballers earn more money in a week that the punters who pay for them earn in a year, maybe their contracts should have a total alcohol ban added to it. Then we can maybe see who of them all are true professionals.
    no I'm not anti alcohol,

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 1:30pm on 04 Apr 2009, chrislovesbuffy wrote:

    Anyone know the email address that George Peat received has avalanche of complaints aboyt Ferguson and McGregor @? I'd quite like to write to him and state that in my humble opinion the SFA have totally over-reacted to this. If these 2 hadn't been Rangers players I very much doubt there would have been such a media/fan (allegedly) storm around this, what is basically a nothing story in the scheme of things.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 1:36pm on 04 Apr 2009, Blue Heaven wrote:

    So Scott Brown "rather famously" doesn't drink (96)? I'd like to see some objective confirmation of this as I had certainly never heard of it until Celtic fans started trying to defend him over this incident. Acoording to newspaper reports, Brown left the company of Ferguson and McGregor shortly before those two were caught.

    Will George Peat get the full report on this business that he apparently asked for and will anyone besides McGregor and Ferguson (who have been handed the ultimate sanction in international terms for foolish and childish misbehaviour) be punished?

    As for the claim that Gordon Smith refused to have McGregor and Ferguson booted out (95), all reliable reports indicate that it is false. The two players were reinstated after they apologised and other players (some of whom had also been drinking) approached George Burley. It was not Smith's doing. Smith's concerns were therefore surely that the two players had been treated too leniently. It was sensible that he didn't blindly support the manager. Once Smith had met with Burley it seemed to be decided to smooth things over and declare the matter closed. This surely was for the sake of Burley who had already made statements indicating that both players would stay in the squad and Ferguson would still be captain. Then other events intervened....

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 1:47pm on 04 Apr 2009, spartans11 wrote:

    George Burley and Gordon Smith handled the situation very well and that should have been the end of it. However, two petulant bairns couldn't get out of the primary school mentality and embarassed themselves. They have needed taking down a peg or two for a while now and I'm sure Walter Smith was very aware of this. Is the punishment too severe, well yes it probably is compared to some other antics which are swept under the carpet. But modern footballers seem to need harsher and more draconian punishments to get the message across.

    Chic is spot on about the SFA, however, knee jerk reactions are the sign of a rudderless, malfunctioning organisation. Why appoint executives and managers and not let them do their jobs. Peat is very outspoken, far too outspoken and far too keen to get involved in minor issues. He is the President of a disorganised SFA, and should be addressing those problems. So far as I can remember he thinks Flower of Scotland is a dirge, the SPL are selling fans short with a rubbish product and we can't cope with hosting the Euros. Instead of getting involved with schoolyard behaviour which can be handled by managers and executives, maybe Rent-A-Quote would like to start thinking about strategic solutions to those problems he's identified. Although I think he might struggle to convince fans about the song, it would be a pleasnt surprise to see our game being improved at grass roots levels and have a plan to upgrade our infrastructure to allow hosting of large events.

    Don't be fooled by the small country argument, that's just a smokescreen for a small mind in charge.

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 2:06pm on 04 Apr 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Some people are saying things went over the top. Erm, excuse me but these are supossed to be professional sportsmen.

    Barry Ferguson has absolutely no excuse whatsoever. As captain of both the national side and Rangers, his behaviour was childish and not what is expected of a player of his supposed standing.

    Rangers would do well to get rid of him and get someone who WANTS to act like a professional.

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 2:50pm on 04 Apr 2009, debatanu1984 wrote:

    I don't understand why this whole thing has generated so much attention. Obviously drinking after the match may be a 'distraction' for the team, but I dont understand why there is so much fussing going on around Scotland for making V-signs. And that too imposing a life-ban on them. Thats ridiculous. Why is this thing related to Rangers, I dont understand though. I have seen some players, like Rooney, raising their middle finger on referees on some occasions in the past but they were excused with a minimum amount of fine. I'm obviously not a fan of Ferguson or McGregor, but what I do believe is that SFA is crazy banning them for life. Or maybe I'm still unclear about the whole stuff. Oh, give me a break........

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 3:40pm on 04 Apr 2009, db wrote:

    As a matter of interest can anyone remember a Scotland game where Ferguson lived up to his supposed world class credentials and 'turned' a game against decent opposition?

    France at Hampden/Parc de Princes. Italy at Hampden. In fact the whole last campaign Ferguson was one of the top performers and has been for a while now. As usual fans watch him through tinted glasses.

    Ferguson has been made a Rangers scapegoat this season for no apparent reason, he has been criticised every week since his return to the rangers side and it seems he can do nothing right no matter how well he plays. As someone who actually watches the game objectively I can say Ferguson has been on good form lately for Rangers, he started poorly on his return but remember he'd had no pre-season and was brought back weeks to soon because Thomson got injured. All considered I wouldn't be surprised if Barry was at breaking point with the Rangers fans.

    Not that I don't think these two shouldn't be punished for their childish behaviour but a lifetime ban is not justified and more importantly Scotland simply can't afford to throw players of their quality away. Dropping Barry as captain would have sufficed as punishment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 3:57pm on 04 Apr 2009, bluepontif wrote:

    the actions of messr's ferguson & mcgregor were an embarrassment to rangers fc & the scots fans. well done wattie for his decisive action. i don't think anyone wanted this siutation to occur but you can always count on players with the IQ of a squashed apricot to provide a good story. i wonder if artur boruc is taking notes???

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 4:05pm on 04 Apr 2009, JamD111 wrote:

    I can't believe the number of comments from 'fans' who seem to think Scotland losing Barry Ferguson is a good thing.

    In the last year or so Ferguson has starred in wins over Stuttgart (then champions of Germany), Lyon, Fiorentina, Werder Bremen, France (twice), Ukraine and drawn with Barcelona. Scotland under Burley have played eight games without Ferguson and not won six of them. Wihout him, Rangers couldn't get past FBK Kaunas.

    If anyone can't see the influence Ferguson has for Scotland, then you can't be a true fan of Scottish football, or have any understanding of the game. It's not just what he does with his feet, but what he does to all the players around him.

    Scotland is not Brazil, although many here seem to think so - we do not have an unending supply of quality players. It is absurd that Scotland are currently replacing the few players with Champions League & UEFA cup experience that we have, for a bunch of Coca-Cola Chapionship kids.

    I would much rather see us line up with players who know what it takes to get results at the highest level in Europe, than people whos biggest worry is getting a draw against Wolverhampton Wonderers.

    I also think it is interesting that all the non-Socttish people who have written on this board think the whole thing is farcical. It is only a group of narrow minded Scots, with blatant chips on the shoulder who seem to be rejoicing at the fact that two more Rangers players are out of the Scotland set up. This is indicative of everything that is wrong with Scottish football today - too many people who really don't see the bigger picture - and then wonder why their teams can't get past the group stage of any tournament they might sporadically qualify for.

    Get behind your country, not this petty one-upmanship.

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 4:07pm on 04 Apr 2009, U11846789 wrote:

    Cant believe that, in this day and age, players go on the pop.

    If you're a pro. you leave it out. Your career is short enogh to give it a miss. Then, when it's over, you can get as big a red nose as you want!

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 5:06pm on 04 Apr 2009, AntonioSaucedo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 120. At 5:18pm on 04 Apr 2009, bubblesedge wrote:

    Like most things to do with the Old Firm clubs in Scotland, people's prejudices are getting in the way of the facts. As a result, a lot of the comments in this blog and across the media seem to be using this incident as a means of getting over a more deeply rooted and unrelated dislike of the Old Firm and its stranglehold on Scottish football. To make matters worse, some of the media reporting has been as equally unacceptable as the incident itself, both in terms of its provocative statements, which has been misleading in many respects, and its personal attacks on the individuals involved (which includes the two players, the manager and Gordon Smith)

    So let's ignore historical bias and focus on the facts. Firstly, the Scotland squad was given permission to have a drink on arrival at their hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning. Some seven or eight players made a night of it and drank until late morning. Two of the last players left at the bar were "caught" by the team management, and a heated discussion apparently ensued. The manager dropped the two players from the squad and ordered them home. Later in the day he was advised by other players that a group had been involved and not just Ferguson and MacGregor, following which he reversed the decision to send those two home and dropped them to the bench for the Iceland game. Both players also apologised to the management. The incident was widely reported in the media, but did not at first refer to the other players involved, and instead focussed attention on Ferguson and MacGregor, both of whom came in for some severe personal criticism in the press.

    At the match, Ferguson and MacGregor gave poorly disguised "V" signs to the press, who were lined up taking photos of them on the bench as follow up to their earlier critical articles. At that point, there was still little or no mention of the other players involved in the drinking binge in the media, and certainly none from the Scotland management.

    After the match and over the next day, the manager and Chief Exec pronounced the matter closed. Both players remained in the international frame. The manager also initimated that Ferguson was not excluded form the captaincy in the future. The SFA president then intervened and ordered a wider enquiry, culminating in both players being banned for life. Rangers also took action, fining the players and suspending them. Walter Smith was explicit in stating that this action related solely to the "V" sign incidents on the bench.

    That's the facts of this incident, as we know them from accepted reports. Any other historical stuff is irrelevant. So let's analyse them.

    The desison to allow the players to drink was risky given past misdemeanours of Scotland players (Jinky, Bremner et al), including quite recent incidents in both Old Firm camps, also some Hibs players who have made the press here too. But the decision was the managers, and it was reasonable for him to expect some degree of sense on the part of the players on how much to drink and how long to stay up. His captain especially should have shown more leadership. But the fact is that a group of players messed up, and action should have been applied to all of them, not just the Rangers duo. Ferguson's role as captain was also now questionable.

    The press now had a field day criticising the Rangers duo. This was unfair, as most knew of the wider number of players involved, if not at first, certainly later, but made no real mention of it as a mitigating factor. Some of the media coverage was extremely provocative and insulting. But no less than we could expect given some of the editorial teams and journalists involved. I make no excuses for the players actions, which was unacceptable, but so too was the biased and inflamatory style adopted by the press.

    Putting the duo on the bench was another mistake, as it exposed them to the public criticism of the fans, which had been well fuelled by the media. Their "V" sign response was also unacceptable behaviour for two supposedly mature professionals, and it is right that some action should be taken against them. But in terms of fairness, this is the only offence that they alone should face punishment for. It was directed at the media, not the fans and whether it justifies a permanet ban is a matter for individuals to consider. In my view it does not: a ban for a number of games and Ferguson being stripped of the captaincy would have been sufficient. Any action by Rangers is extra, and at their discretion.

    It was correct for the SFA to look again at the incident following the "V" sign actions of the duo. But as stated above, a few matches ban and losing the captaincy would have sufficed. The life ban is a gross over-reaction. And perhaps more to the point, it sets a precedent that may be difficult to live up to in the future.

    I also find it unsettling that the media is now questioning the duo's future at Rangers, with many papers stating that they will never play for Rangers again. Smith never made any such comment in his well publicised interview on the incident, so it is either another piece of malicious gossip or a well informed leak from Ibrox. Time will tell. But in either event, it is hardly a responsible piece of journalism to report now without any substance.

    A further point is that we are talking about a game of football here. None of the 7 or 8 players involved, killed, injured or raped anyone, or caused any damage to property. This incident has had more media exposure that murder cases, and almost as much as the tsunami disaster of three years ago. Let's get it into perspective and act rationally.

    By the way, heard Jim Traynor on the radio at lunchtime, arguing with Chic. Can't say I laways agree with Chic's views. But I invariably always disagree with Jim. I used to think he was being deliberately provocative to boost his show's ratings and interest. But now I see he is a complete tube!

    Remeber, these people have family toohave played their last game for Rangers.Why the SFA re-opened the case is a mystery. It seems they are only responding to media and other pressures, and not to the facts of the case itself or relative significancello f which I feel is based on other prejudices

    pilloringHaving failed tov act equitably, the Scotland management team compounded the error by placing both plaalthough I think it would have been appropriate to take the captaincy from Ferguson if the manager felt so inclined. Thethe history of Scottish (and British) teams and their liking for alcohol. But the decision was not necessarily a mistake by the manager: theilarge group of the Scotland pla

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 5:32pm on 04 Apr 2009, Crawford29 wrote:

    I do not condone what the 2 did but it's not the first time a footballer has had a drink or two. Surely George Burley made a stupid mistake when he said they would not play against Iceland but the had them on the bench. If he had injuries to players he would have had to play them especially MacGregor as goalie. He was naive and should have sent them back to their club and had a useable bunch of players on the bench. It does not take a genius to work that out.

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 5:41pm on 04 Apr 2009, captangus wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 123. At 5:52pm on 04 Apr 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Players' union chief Fraser Wishart says Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor found out their Scotland careers were over as they listened to the radio.
    "Nobody contacted the players and I think they were due that courtesy," Wishart told BBC Scotland."

    You show no respect or courtesy to anyone but you still expect it to be shown to you? Can someone explain to me how that works?

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 6:17pm on 04 Apr 2009, FootballAcademyLife wrote:

    Hi there all.

    I think these players are just petulant and deserve to be dropped by the national team. What they did must have embarrased the SFA and should also get dropped by Rangers if they are that immature!

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 6:46pm on 04 Apr 2009, scotsmamma wrote:

    I am a committed Rangers fan. I am also a mother of two sons whom I am trying to bring up in the right way. I wholeheartedly support Walter Smith in taking this stance. The utter contempt shown for Scotland by drinking before a crucial game was bad enough. The hand signals that were worthy of a badly bahaved ten year old boy, coupled with the juvenile petulance and arrogant assurance that nothing could happen to them shown by Ferguson and McGregor almost defies belief. Its about time someone showed these overpaid and pampered idiots that there are consequences to such bad behaviour. If, as promised, they never play for the club again - I will allow my sons to renew their season tickets. If these disgraces (I won't call them men) play again then my families financial support for the club is over.

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 6:52pm on 04 Apr 2009, jamie346 wrote:

    As far as I am concerned I have never felt that Ferguson inspired Scotland ( and Rangers to some extent)and will not be missed. I suppose I have to bow to all the pro footballers who seem to think he is a world class player as my experience is only the fact that I have watched and followed Scottish football for over 60 years.

    As for MacGregor he will only be a really good goalkeeper when he starts to defend the cross ball into the box. He cost us the second goal against Holland and should have been able to swipe Kuyt away in front of him. Gordon is far superior. His smirk on TV showed it all

    Burley also does not inspire me but he lives again but will have to beat Norway next to eliminate that poor result against Macedonia.He at last went with a formation more suited to our limited resources instead of relying in using Miller as a target man ????

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 7:05pm on 04 Apr 2009, CramondFC17 wrote:

    Following on from Bubblesedge.

    There is, quite rightly, a huge effort to eradicate Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace. By naming Ferguson and McGregor as substitutes on Wednesday evening, the SFA were derelict in their duty of care to 'employees'. By exposing the duo to a 'media fuelled' mob, at their place of work, was B&H at its' worst.

    Regardless of the actions of the pair whilst on the bench, which by the way I do not condone, the right to fair treatment was denied.

    I'm sure a half decent employment lawyer could make a name for themselves should this come to court.

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 7:21pm on 04 Apr 2009, honestBlueBilly wrote:

    I know Barry and Allan bang out of order for drinking all days till 4am but One thing I don't understand,,Why the bar open all night and surely one of the staff tell them to stop giving them drinking or closed the bar but i blamed SFA because SFA already know bar open all night because one of staff say one of SFA staff guys is already drinking there!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 7:37pm on 04 Apr 2009, spartans11 wrote:

    The more we hear of this sorry saga, the more it looks like chic has got it totally right.

    More players involved, unwarranted media attacks with selective facts, knee jerk reactions from the blazers. The players were undoubtedly childish in their reaction, but that has been handled by the club. Now we learn that the SFA did not even have the simple coutesy to inform the players of their punishments before they heard it on the radio. Respect breeds respect, however, treat players like bairns and that's what you breed. If they carry on in this vein we'll have international players from the Highland and East of Scotland Leagues soon

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 7:38pm on 04 Apr 2009, Craig Comerfrod wrote:

    When I first heard about it I thought it was an April fool joke. Now we have two April fool Jocks. Let's get on to the next chapter of football history without them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 7:41pm on 04 Apr 2009, boomshakalak wrote:

    I think alot of people are missing the main point. Ferguson is as good as my mum and my 3 year old daughter is as good a keeper as mcgregor. They are very ordinary players whom can be easily sacrificed by club or country. They are rubbish. Ferguson was about the worst player I have ever seen play in the English premier league- we all laughed at how bad he was. The fact that they for 1 second thought they were ever good enough to let their professionalism drop and get away with it shows how disillusioned they both were.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 7:45pm on 04 Apr 2009, honestBlueBilly wrote:

    yes I agree with you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 8:43pm on 04 Apr 2009, arundini wrote:

    Man CIty fan here !
    I know there is probably some debate as to how many players were involved and for how long etc, but these 2 were grossly irresponsible with the drinking. They were also childish beyond belief and disrespectful (no matter who they were aimed at) with the V signs.
    So WELL DONE SFA for taking a firm stand and Rangers too - especially as Ferguson is your captain - too many players think they are bigger than their clubs and even their national teams.
    I only hope my club and country would tkake similar action in those circumastances - though the FA's record does not filll me with confidence !!

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 8:54pm on 04 Apr 2009, TorontoChelseaFan wrote:

    what does that v-sign mean? i never heard of it before and see no harm in it? why is it so offensive.

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 8:57pm on 04 Apr 2009, laughingdevil wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 136. At 9:14pm on 04 Apr 2009, Craig Comerfrod wrote:

    I'm thinking, better watch out - could be dangerous (certainly not Rangerous). Is not this calamitous behaviour symptomatic of a culture that's lost pride in anything above youtube smarties, and throwing up on weekends? Is there not something more to being Scottish than being able to hold your pint? Where is the pride in having got a lot of things right, when 2 serious sportsmen flush it all down the toilet for a cheap laugh?
    What HAVE WE DONE with our self respect, when 2 idiots can somehow sum up the underlying values of Scottish culture?

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 10:38pm on 04 Apr 2009, gj1962 wrote:

    It's been touched on briefly by other respondents but having opened this can of worms, what will the SFA do in the event of a scottish footballer doing the equivalent of:
    Mike Tindall - drink driving twice.
    Lee Bowyer attacking own team-mate
    Amoruso spitting at James Grady
    Any number of players hurling ugly abuse at the ref or linesman

    Or what happens to the career of the scottish footballer who is currently on trial for allegedly driving at 120mph?

    All of the above bring football into disrepute and I find them all more offensive than a childish "v" sign.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 02:24am on 05 Apr 2009, dan339 wrote:

    Both players were punished as a reprecaution of the actions they undertook volunteerily.
    As a result, I believe that we, as the Tartan Army, would have accepted both players apoligies. We all appreciate a beer...
    However, the cresendo performance provided by Ferguson and McGregor was a insult to EVERY fan of Scottish football.
    Accept your punishment, ladies.
    If, as I quote, you,

    "...deeply regret what happened last weekend and the events during the last week and apologise wholeheartedly for the embarrassment caused to Scotland, Rangers, both sets of supporters and my friends and family,"

    Then why do you think your behaviour is acceptable? Did you think the Tartan Army would revel in two vital players being unavailable- through misbehaviour?- for perhaps THE most important game of the present manager's reign.

    You thourghly do not understand Scottish football and its fans,and as a result deserve absolutely....

    Well Im going to leave this open......

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 10:30am on 05 Apr 2009, Neal C wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 140. At 12:47pm on 05 Apr 2009, Gooner wrote:

    I’m an Englishman with a Celtic-supporting wife so Ferguson and McGregor are looked at with disdain in our house anyway. However, I really think the SFA has scored an own goal here. Yep, discipline and fine the pair for the drinking session and the gesture but let’s keep a sense of perspective; no-one died here. The sanctimonious stance taken by so many fans, many of whom regularly use the same gesture at players in Scottish domestic games, is hypocrisy at its worst. The only winners in this affair are the other teams in Scotland’s group, who will be rubbing their hands in glee at facing a weakened Scotland side in their upcoming matches.

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 1:56pm on 05 Apr 2009, taxijim wrote:

    bye bye to them scotland for the world cup ha ha

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 2:07pm on 05 Apr 2009, Iain wrote:

    This really is embarrassing. I understand the immaturity of the actions of both players, but surely the response from their peers is a bit drastic? It seems herr Fritzl is given more compassion from the courts than what these players have been receiving.

    My opinion won't really matter, but i'll give it anyway.

    First of all, I agree with Chic that the SFA are no more than a joke. They have kept this nations footballing pedigree sub standard for decades now. I suspect there is a jealousy of our English counterparts, which has poisoned the minds of those who are meant to be developing our nation. Why players are forced to continue playing junior football and Highland league when their clubs are good enough to be competing at our 3rd tier is inexcusable. Annan are a prime example. These players and clubs could flourish given the chance and knowledge that if they work hard enough as a team, and as individuals, then they have a chance to make it right to the very top of our game and prove things to the people around them. This desire is almost non existent in the lower reaches of our game, with most young aspiring players throwing their careers away because they are released from their clubs at an early age choosing lives of drink and drugs culture rather than working hard to rebuild the career they so desperately wanted. The sooner they change this silly system the sooner we see the rise in quality footballers turned out by this nation.

    Secondly, I think the actions of the SFA are inexcusable. All players involved in the initial drinking incident should have been named and shamed. Am i wrong in saying that issues between Rangers players and Scotland managers is no new kettle of fish. Anyone remember Richard Gough, Duncan Ferguson and Andy Goram having similar issues?

    Regardless, all this should be water under the bridge. I suspect Ferguson and Mcgregor were frustrated at the treatment they were given for obviously being Rangers players, and made a minor error in judgement. All these people who condemn both players need to take a serious hard look at themselves, this is meant to be a nation renowned for its banter and ability to take a joke, instead we try to punish a couple of hard working individuals for trying to get back at the people who diminish there efforts week in week out. We need to get this nation away from trash papers, away from making a living by hanging and condemning people to public slaughter. Then maybe we can expect better behaviour from individuals.

    To most of you, Rangers were the success of the 90's, which most non fans of the club hate. A bit like the Man U of the north. It's immature, it's petty, but most of all i guess, it's true. And your not afraid of making it known.

    Fair play i guess. Just means your opinions are slightly tainted, as are mine being a Rangers fan. End of the day though, these are people were dealing with, and it is just a game.

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 6:25pm on 05 Apr 2009, saintgunni wrote:

    I think the fact that George Burley suggested the so called "bonding session" has been overlooked, would Capello, Lippi or even Walter Smith have suggested to their players to have a drink at that time in the morning? While I condem the players who kept drinking until lunchtime I also call Mr Burley's professionalisim into question.
    I also agree that some form of punishment was required after the v signs but I think the SFA and Rangers have gone over the top.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 6:34pm on 05 Apr 2009, Toon_Elliott_Army wrote:

    a sheer disgrace to their country. They deserve everything that gets thrown at them. as an england supporter I couldnt imagine if wayne rooney or steven gerrard did that. DISGRACEFUL.

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 7:50pm on 05 Apr 2009, rossco190 wrote:

    This evidently shows that there's a problem between Rangers players and playing for Scotland. Good on Burley for eliminating the over-rated use of Old Firm players, and dropping the bomb-shell that led to the end of their careers, well Ferguson in particular.

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 7:52pm on 05 Apr 2009, saintgunni wrote:

    Toon_Elliot_Army, do you think The F.A or their Clubs would sanction a ban on Rooney or Gerard? I don't, and lets face it both have done far worse than Ferguson or McGreggor did here, wasn't Rooney picked up swearing 46 times at a ref and isn't Gerrard facing an allegation of affray? No massive overreaction in the English press, their journos actually want to see their country perform well, some of the hacks up here are only happy when Scotland lose, one tabloid journalist had the temerity to slaughter Ferguson saying he was insulting the Tartan army by giving photographers from HIS paper the v-sign, when HE once said the tartan army were moronic beer swilling acceptants of mediocrity in his Monday morning column, if that's not insulting I don't know what is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 8:16pm on 05 Apr 2009, The Dirty Tackle wrote:

    Hi Chick,

    I believe the media have blown this whole affair out of proportion.
    Can you answer what has happened to the other players who allegedly left 20 minutes before Ferguson & McGregor.
    I am led to believe these three players specifically requested the manager to punish them also. Nada.
    And to make an example of these two players as if they had killed someone is shambolic. All the media have done is engineer cheaper transfers for the players.
    Any team chasing Ferguson will get him for £1m. And if the rumours are correct McGregor's transfer fee of £9m will dwindle to roughly the same.
    Any savvie manager would go for these bargain priced players and coach them through this crisis.

    On closing, Duncan Ferguson and Joey Barton were jailed for much what was deemed as worse; they both had/have good careers.

    They got drunk, acted like kids - most office workers do this every Friday. Get over it.


    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 10:49pm on 05 Apr 2009, TrueBlueAccie wrote:

    Before starting there are a couple of things I need to get off my chest. Firstly, I am not a fan of the Scottish football team. Although I am a Scottish Football supporter. I am not a fan of Barry Ferguson, although I consider myself a Blue-nose. The more I read about this sorry incident, the more I believe there are real lessons to be learned. Over the last four days my position has completely changed. Initially I felt that the blame should be directed at the press - I now believe the press to be blameless.

    As someone who has run football teams (albeit juvenile) and taken teams on tour, I think we should ask ourselves "in football terms, what {from the start} was the disciplinary issue here?" Quite simply, the players failed to turn up at the 2:00pm training session on Sunday. At this point, Burley shold have asked where are they? And Pressley should have responded "not sure boss, but I did have to help MacGregor to his room an hour and a half ago as he was pretty drunk." They should have had the training session after which Burley should have sent for the players. Once confirming the facts by interviewing Pressley and the players, Ferguson and MacGregor should have been sent home immediately and called in front of an SFA disciplinary committe 4 weeks hence. Walter Smith should have been informed that the players would no longer be with the Scotland squad for the rest of the week.

    From reading various press reports I believe this is where things started to go wrong. Burley would appear to have been not strong enough to take such decisive action, instead he got someone to phone Smith "to sound him out." Smith is quoted as not wanting to make martyrs of the players "like Boyd" so it was decided to leave the players with the squad. What purpose did this serve? It was a nonsense from the start. Re-run the video and you will notice that MacGregor didn't even have his socks on for the match, neither warmed up at half-time. They were in no way substitutes in the real sense and only there as Smith didn't want them back at Murray Park!!

    We then have the press photographs of the petulant signs of derision and the subsequent 48 hours of trial by press, SFA and Rangers in the most bizarre kangeroo court I have ever witnessed. With interventions by Gordon Smith, George Peat and Martin Bain.

    The outcome to me has been less than satisfactory. Fundamentally (although I believe guilty) I do not believe the players have been treated fairly. It is clear that the SFA does not have the procedures and processes in place to run tours - and I find this to be incredible. As a Rangers fan I am dismayed that Walter Smith and Martin Bain have significantly devalued two major club assets.

    One final question is why was Cameron House selected. I have never heard of its footballing facilities before. Has Largs been mothballed?

    Has the entire nation lost the plot?

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 08:36am on 06 Apr 2009, The Rashomon Principle wrote:


    The players are victims of their own arrogance - they totally misread the situation and over-estimated their own importance to both their Club and Country.

    The original excessive drinking/curfew breach is seen as a relatively trivial matter (in British footballing terms!!) - George Burley said before the Iceland game that, as far as he was concerned, the matter was closed.

    The stupid childish gestures made at unspecified targets (the media? the Tartan Army?) when they were sitting metaphorically on the naughty step showed total disrespect that subsequent grovelling apologies could not make right.

    Scotland don't need Ferguson - we have several better midfield players.
    Rangers don't want Ferguson - he's overpaid and a shadow of his former self.

    Scotland don't need McGregor - Craig Gordon is vastly superior to him.
    Rangers don't want McGregor - he is overpaid and is readily sellable.

    The media have speculated that a lesser punishment would have been given to eg. Scott Brown - they are probably correct.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 10:19am on 06 Apr 2009, minuend wrote:

    The Fallout Continues - Rangers fans abusing the Tartan Army at the Falkirk game highlights that Rangers FC are a club in crisis. Rangers players and fans continue to bring the game into disrepute.

    It is time that the SFA stood up to Rangers and stopped this nonsense, otherwise everytime a Rangers player plays for Scotland in the future he will be simply booed off the park.

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 11:02am on 06 Apr 2009, sonny wrote:

    Cant believe how ex-players and the media employed by the BBC are unanimous in that the players were too severely dealt with. Most of the fans on the websites don not agree and think the punishment is justified. Lets look at things from a non-egosisticalChick Young perspective. Professional athletes representing their country and led by their captain go on an 8 hour bender 48 hours before the most important game in years as defeat would end the campaign. Can these guys, who earn more in a week than most fans do in a year, not refrain from alcohol? Surely at £30,000 a week thats not too much to ask? Most fans would gladly pay that price to play for Scotland.

    After having been caught they allegedly get into a great argument with the management instead of taking it on the chin.

    After having been caught they do not publicly apologise for the misdemeanour and compromising our chances of success in a critical game.

    They then compound the act by making obscene gestures to the world in general showing absolutely no sign of remorse and still no apology.

    One of these guys is the captain of the Scottish National Team. A position most young boys in Scotland would dream of and have no chance of attaining but they can dream. What kind of example or role model is being set here? Its ok to be a professional athlete and drink excessively? Its ok to get bevvied out of your head 48 hours before a crucial appointment? (Dont think my employer would keep me on if I did that on business trips). Its ok to act like a ned when caught? Its ok to not apologise for their gross errors of judgement? (The apology was only given to Rangers TV - not the national media, AFTER they were stripped of captaincy and thrown out).

    These guys are a disgraceful example to children. They chose the responsibilities that go with the job and they are not young inexperienced men to not understand that they are examples for all inspiring young footballers.

    They are an embarrassment and no longer needed. I do feel sorry for them on a personal basis. I am sure they will regret it for the rest of their life but if we want a decent society to live in we must stamp out the drink and ned culture which ultimately these two openely displayed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 1:08pm on 06 Apr 2009, Jim Vasey wrote:

    The sheer number of people inputting to this blog shows the strength of feeling about this whole affair. At the risk of being repetitious, here’s my tuppence worth.

    1. I have no problem at all with players enjoying a bevvy after the Iceland game, but there should have been a complete alcohol ban between the two games. Experience has shown that many players don’t have the sense to have a couple of drinks and leave it there. And if they cannot go for 3 days without a drink, I would suggest the problem runs even deeper.
    2. From a management perspective, the right thing to do was what Burley did at the outset – remove them from the squad for the Iceland game and tell them the matter would be dealt with by the SFA at a later date. If that action had been adhered-to, the V sign incident (and all the hoo ha which followed) would never have taken place. The fact that they were allowed back into the squad (never mind given a place on the bench when there was no likelihood that they would get on the field) suggests that Burley was not strong enough to stick by his original (and wholly correct) decision. If it’s true that Smith overruled him, then he has to take responsibility for subsequent events.
    3. Rangers have acted honourably in this affair. I’m no fan of Walter Smith’s team selections or tactics, but he did what any good manager would have done to players who ignored his instructions. Remember, they didn’t just let themselves and Scotland down, they besmirched the reputation of their club. It was totally unprofessional, and as captain, Ferguson shoulders the bulk of the responsibility.
    4. I agree that the SFA’s reaction in banning them from representing their country again is OTT. I feel that banning them from the rest of this qualifying campaign would have been a better option. It still shows resolve, and still sends out a warning to other players, without seeming petulant.
    5. How did their absence affect Scotland on the night? Were either of them missed? I don’t think so! Barry Ferguson has been selected on his past reputation for quite some time now. If selections were based on recent form, he wouldn’t even be in the squad IMO. I also find it unbelievable that some people think that since we don’t have a lot of quality players available, we should stick with Ferguson and McGregor. This would just fuel the bad attitude both players showed – “We can behave as we like, and we’ll still get picked”.
    6. Did anyone hear the ‘debate’ on Radio Scotland in which Chico ‘attacked’ Jim Traynor? Typical Chico – all bluster and little substance. To quote from Macbeth, “Full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing”. Your pals behaved like are a couple of neds, Chico – live with it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 1:35pm on 06 Apr 2009, davens32nd establishment wrote:

    Ah yes the easily offended Tartan Army. Yes it's OK for the tartan army to go to Amsterday and binge drink themselves into mumbling wrecks by the end of the night, it's OK for the tartan army to expose themselves to passers by by lifting their skirts, it's OK for them to jump naked into canals, it's OK for the tartan army to sing offensive songs about England and vile songs about a certain high profile England players wife.

    But hey a couple of players, who just happen to play for Rangers stay up too late to have a drink with 5 other players - a session authorised by management - and then give the V signs to the media who targeted only these two as the drinkers. Well that is out of order, not on in the eyes of the good time tartan army.

    When did we become so easily offended? When did Scotland become so full of talent that we can rule of selecting players with the quality and experience of Ferguson and McGregor.

    Rangers have acted correctly - a two game ban and two weeks wages...end of. Scotland and the SFA have made a complete fool of themselves.

    These two have been hung out to dry by their country.

    Who are the Tartan Army - I am a Scotland fan but I do not regard myself a member of the tartan army. At a time when we are looking to fight binge drinking, should we be regarding the tartan army as a group of supporters to be proud of?

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 2:09pm on 06 Apr 2009, sonny wrote:

    I think your attitude to drink Chick, needs reviewing. Most times you are on the radio there are children listening. A lot of these children are aspiring football stars. Yet you constantly refer to 'a wee refreshment' or 'a wee glass of lemonade' or talk about all your 'wee nightcaps' with a wee laugh. You openly talk about how you like to drink and refer to alcohol more than any other presenter who is on Sportsound. You try and write off this latest embarrassing incident as no worse than previous misdemeanours related to alcohol.

    The biggest single problem that Scotland has is due to alcohol. It is the most common drug. The cause of most crime. The cause of most violence. Yet do I hear you condemn alcohol? No. Can you not do a sports program without all your references to alcohol? No wonder we have a problem when those in public life openly talk about it in glowing terms (pardon the expression). Its about time you condemned it and not supported it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 2:29pm on 06 Apr 2009, spartans11 wrote:

    No. 153 Totally agree, we've all seen the good natured behaviour of The Tartan Army, which can also be cringeworthy and just as immature as the 2 players mentioned. Unfortunately their capacity for booze is only exceeded by their sanctimony.

    This whole affair from the players, manager and SFA have brought the Scottish game into disrepute. They should all hang their heads in shame, for making us a laughing stock.

    Personally I'd be happy to see both players disappear never to be heard of again. By the way, does anyone actually believe Walter Smith was worried about creating "Boyd" martyrs? Strange he acted so quickly and effectively when the players returned if that was the case. There were other players and officials involved in the initial incident so why did the media embark on this witchunt just before an important game? I suspect some journos couldn't care less about Scottish football as long as they can settle a few scores and sell some papers along the way.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 3:01pm on 06 Apr 2009, C-SHORE wrote:

    in all fairness, Gordon is a more confident keeper, the fans have more confidence in him, and he oplays in the best league in the world!! although he has lost his place this season, still has the ability to perform at the highest level against the best players in the world on a weekly basis!

    and as for barry-let-me-pass-back-or-run-with-it-myself-beckham-ferguson he shud have been shown the door along time ago! he picks and chooses the games he wants to play in, and is automatic first pick but why?? we have brown and fletcher whom are both more assertive that him, as well as bein younger. the future is best without ferguson, a midfield of brown, fletcher, commons, mccormack will have enough pace and fight to battle to give a lift and get the confidence back into the team that will have been lost through this whole fiasco.

    the under21s have been class, and with fleck, arfield in perticular on the way through i reamain optimistic for 2014 world cup, which could just be our time... defence wise barr are berra will be at the helm, both young players, who have captained there clubs, and have the fearlessness needed to hold a defence together at international level

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 3:34pm on 06 Apr 2009, jack halford wrote:

    There is no person more conservative than me, but think the punishment does not fit the crime.
    Idiots they may well be, but they have not murdered raped or pillaged anyone !
    Most footballers have a behind the scene drink and the world is full of them.
    Education is not high on the agenda of most professional players and that is why they do stupid things.
    A hefty fine and a long spell in the reserves having no contact with the first team could either make or break them. Away from the glare of stardom would hopefully make them realize, that being a professional footballer is a true privilege !

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 4:03pm on 06 Apr 2009, rodders77 wrote:

    Two things. Firstly, whilst these two guys might not have done anything THAT bad, they are representing their countries, their clubs, and themselves, in front of thousands of paying spectators and many more TV viewers. If I was representing the company I worked for and behaved in such a manner, the sack wouldn't be out of the question. Ferguson in particular should know better, and as captain of one of the biggest institutions in Scotland should be setting an example to those who look up to him.

    Secondly, this column is getting so Rangers biased that I'm tempted to write a letter of complaint to the BBC. I'm actually a bit suprised that Chick Young has even mentioned this, as it's not great PR for the club he loves. Come on BBC, can we have a slightly more impartial view on the affairs of football north of the border?

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 4:31pm on 06 Apr 2009, AntonioSaucedo wrote:

    As a neutral fan, I want to see BF play. He's a fuoriclasse, as the Italians would say.

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 5:05pm on 06 Apr 2009, Rabruce wrote:

    Don't see how it's a witch-hunt to castigate the only two players involved in this ididocy on Wednesday - images of which embarrassed Scotland all around the World?

    Isn't a witch-hunt where there is a paranoia that causes many INNOCENT people to be accused for somehting they DIDN'T do?

    But these two lunatics only have themselves to blame, surely?

    RFC in particular have a lot to be proud of here as to how these two have been handled - as for SFA "turmoil", well, the right outcome has prevailed eventually IMO, so hardly "turmoil", is it?

    I mean how could eaither of them represent us agian after THAT? Seriously?

    Sho where's the turmoil if the outcome is right?

    If these two had behaved properly on Wednesday night (after, I understand having been told explicitly to do so by Walter Smith), then this would have been done and dusted. End of story.

    These two lunatics though, appear to have had the foresight to co-ordinate their "protest" on Wednesday night, but somehow not the foresight to understand that thier actions, just might, have consequences? Give me strength!

    I'll repeat it for those hard on the uptake: these lunatics only have TMEMSELVES to blame

    Those apologists out there - including you, Chick - who would try to have us consider otherwise by spreading the blame, are the ones truly engaged in any so-called "witch hunt"!

    Those responsible have been punished.

    Fittingly in my view, the SFA's, and in RFC's.

    So let's move on?

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 6:51pm on 06 Apr 2009, Bazza9323 wrote:

    First of all, everyone is so wrapped up in pointing the finger and dishing out blame, lets look at the bigger picture..... Craig Gordon is not playing first team football and therefore will find no where near the kind of form Allan McGregor has shown in the past 18 months, and Barry Ferguson, though not great has the ability to make things happen... which I believe a team like scotland needs.
    Secondly, Burley is not the man for the job... he is so busy trying to build his squad around celtic players that im not surprised the Rangers duo got hung out to dry!!

    Does any honest Scotland fan think that Caldwell and Mcmanus are the best Centre pair we have??

    or can anyone explain to me what Paul Hartley has done since leaving hearts, never mind in a Scotland jersey??

    In banning these two players, we have made qualification for the world cup almost impossible, and I would like to see a manager who would rather lose 4-0 but try to play attacking football and win the game, than Mr 4-3-3 swiftly becomes 4-5-1 Burley!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 7:32pm on 06 Apr 2009, SergeantPluck wrote:

    Chick writes above;

    "But then came the V-sign madness....from that second, the booze brothers were adrift without a that point I resigned from their defence council."

    Listen to this clip of Chick defending the players' behaviour the day after the offending gestures were made;

    Revisionism & hypocrisy of the highest order...

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 9:08pm on 06 Apr 2009, juniorsparkie wrote:

    Yes Chick ,Double Standards all round here;
    Rangers, these players and Gazza (who If I had been in charge I would have sacked for breaking his wife's arm, no ifs, buts or maybe's)

    Can George Burley not give a straight answer?

    Gordon Smith??????? I really don't know what to think about him.

    George Peat why do our officials not have to be associated with a club any more?

    The players have plumbed the depths not only of their own stupidity but just good old fashioned crassness (if its a word)humiliated themselves beyond belief.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 9:44pm on 06 Apr 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Burley has a lot of questions to answer over this. This is the latest in a series of mistakes that have been the hallmark of his reign. He is inept.

    Why were only two of the players disciplined? Surely all involved should have been disciplined? Why were they allowed to carry on in that way? He obviously sanctioned some drinks, in between two important games? Why put them on the bench?

    Peat has reacted to the press who have been in charge of this incident since the event. Smith looks like a bungling idiot. No wonder Scottish football is such a mess.

    Ferguson and McGregor got the right punishment from Rangers, after a personal hearing. The SFA acted without speaking to either.

    Surely time to rid ourselves of Burley before he makes more mistakes?

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 01:17am on 07 Apr 2009, aussiesassis wrote:

    First of all I will admit that I am a Celtic fan but I must say that I feel that the punishment handed out to Ferguson and McGregor is a bit harsh. Sure it was stupid what they did in drinking too long and too much (haven't some of us been guilty of the same) and it was childish stupidity in making the V sign but that is exactly what it was - STUPID. Now I don't condone them for what they did but I don't see how their careers for team and country should be terminated because of a bit of stupidity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 08:44am on 07 Apr 2009, andy wrote:

    The reaction to this is ridiculous. They haven't beaten anyone up. They haven't done anything seriously wrong. They were just immature. Get off your high horse and get over your dour selves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 09:50am on 07 Apr 2009, say 'ello' to my leetle friend..... wrote:

    To the Rangers fans that feel the tartan army is made up of Rangers fans why did you beloved support sing "If you hate the 'Tartan Army' clap your hands" at the game against Falkirk?

    George Burley should have stuck by his first decision to ban them from the next match and sent them home then they would not have been on the bench to flip the bird at anyone but to tell you the truth its no loss we have some fantastic young talent in the team now and they will not be missed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 11:37am on 07 Apr 2009, carjamtic wrote:

    As the credit crunch bites,big companies trim their advertising budgets,sponsorship deals etc.
    Scottish football has an uphill task to compete with the bigger European leagues in England,Spain etc. etc.,the exploits of the Rangers fans in Manchester makes life more than difficult,to bring money into the Scottish not just for the club involved,but for all Scottish teams who are branded by association.
    This latest incident drives in yet another nail to our coffin,well documented positives about supporters of other clubs including the Tartan Army have helped allay sponsors fears in the past,what now ?
    They are running for the exit doors,not only have these players done their own club a disservice but the whole of Scottish football,this may well prove to be a more serious situation than reported,hope I am wrong but my long term view is this fiasco will lead to the collapse of Scottish football as we know it,keep sticking your fingers up lads,your supporters,club and all of Scottish football applaud you...thanks for everything(nothing).

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 1:09pm on 07 Apr 2009, howlinbell wrote:

    georengle #166

    Spot on! Don't know why people don't just see this as a stoopid piece of idiocy...get them fined, banned for a few games and let's get on with it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 1:36pm on 07 Apr 2009, sonny wrote:

    Self-inflicted. Throw them out. No great loss. Move on. No big deal.

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 11:34pm on 07 Apr 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    todays gem from the SFA is that the rest of the players and burley are all okay with nothing to answer for.

    We reaally have a completely useless governing body. there is much unfinished business here that will come back and bite the SFA later.

    A complete mess.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 01:04am on 08 Apr 2009, Messi was right Walters killing football wrote:

    Chick I am sure it broke your wee red, white and blue heart to moan about the gers players and even though you didn't mean it i appreciate the effort. I just wonder how you would have reacted if it was a glorious Celtic player im sure you would have been absolutley outraged. Oh i forgot you support St Mirren lol lol lol. God bless Chico, Mon the Hoops.

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 2:07pm on 08 Apr 2009, minuend wrote:

    I understand that Steven Pressley was given dog's abuse by both Ferguson and McGregor when he told them to stop drinking.

    If you are part of the Scotland squad, be it player, manager or coach then booze is off limits.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

More from this blog...

Topical posts on this blog


These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

Latest contributors


Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.