Ex-Celtic and Scotland star John Collins has condemned the way Celtic captain Scott Brown deliberately kicked Glasgow Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos off the ball, and behind the back of the unfortunate referee.
Television replays proved conclusively that Brown started the altercation in the recent Old Firm derby by clipping the Rangers striker’s legs off the ball, which was intended to get Morelos sent off for retaliation – and it worked.
He was already a villainous figure among Rangers fans, and Brown has obviously watched other players doing this same cowardly deed, and set out to be successful with the crime.
This led to Morelos receiving a first-half red card after only 30 minutes, for catching Brown in the face with his elbow.
Did you notice there were no marks of any kind on Brown’s face, because he faked the fall and strike as he saw it coming. A double cheat!
Brown was seen laughing loudly at Morelos as the Rangers centre forward left the field in disgrace, but former Celtic star Collins wasn’t impressed with what he had witnessed.
He told beIN Sport, when asked if he condemns Brown: “Yes I do. I don’t think that’s part of football but he’s done it for a reason.
“I don’t like it and I wouldn’t encourage my players to do it.”
The odious Brown is everything that is poisonous about Scottish football.
He acts like a hard man and goes down like a woman, and is always trying to get opponents sent off or booked.
A shameless Brown kicked Morelos from behind to deliberately provoke the notoriously volatile Colombian forward by having a sly kick at him and the striker simply could not contain himself.
It was Morelos’ fifth red card of the season and Collins’s fellow pundit Andy Gray has told Gerrard to axe the 29 goalscoring marksman.
“I’d sell him if I was Gerrard. I know it’s an easy thing for me to say, but I’d seriously have to consider selling him,” the Daily Record report him as saying.
He has cost Rangers eight points and that’s nearly the difference between Rangers and Celtic this season.
Scott Brown causes a fracas at the end of the Old Firm game.
The captain of Celtic inexplicably started to celebrate the late win at the Rangers end of the stadium, by goading the away fans within seconds of the final whistle.
Andy Halliday took exception to Brown’s petty, childish, rub-it-in-your-face victory parade, then the pushing match started between the two.
Many players from both sides became embroiled in the decidedly stupid, unnecessary melee, that followed with Brown being pulled away by his Celtic team to try and keep him out of trouble.
As it happened, Halliday was shown a second yellow card and Brown, who was a disgrace throughout the match, should be reprimanded for his schoolboy behaviour.
He shouldn’t be milking the win in front of the 800 away fans at full-time.
In this explosive and often ill-tempered Old Firm encounter Brown was at the heart of every debatable flashpoint and fallout of the game.
The 33-year-old veteran of these vitriolic fixtures, Brown knew he would incite violence from an incensed away support, and it cannot remain unpunished.
His first thought was to antagonise the Rangers fans, especially when there were 61,000 Celtic fans to enjoy the victory with.
The pushing and shoving that marred the end of the game only happened because Brown wanted to taunt and cause trouble, rather than celebrate.
Brown should be punished by the SFA and the police for inciting crowd trouble, and that is a situation that should not be tolerated.
I am suggesting that as from next season, this new rule should be applied by the SFA.
ANY PLAYER kicking an opponent off the ball, or barging into another player for the sole purpose of getting someone sent off – will also be subject to a red card and sent off. Reason: For being the perpetrator.
The instigator and the retaliator will both receive a red card, and this will stop this deplorable new habit completely.
I agree that Morelos certainly let himself, his team mates, Rangers and the supporters down badly. No excuses as he had been well warned by his manager Gerrard.
Brown acted like a thug in a Celtic jersey, who set out to deliberately make Morelos retaliate, and then laugh in his face when he succeeded.
It was not an accident, it was despicable for a Celtic captain to behave like that – absolutely classless.
How does Scottish football move forward and improve the standard of play, whilst behaviour like Brown’s is deemed acceptable?
As long as cheats like Brown of Celtic, Kirk Broadfoot from Kilmarnock and Scott McKenna of Aberdeen can get away with targeting a footballer the way they have, people will laugh at our league and our poor national team.
Players must try to play football and know it’s no longer acceptable to assault a player off the ball with impunity.
Centre half McKenna, in the first game of the season up at Pittodrie, barged Morelos twice miles off the ball and the hot-headed striker took the bait and kicked out his foot – result – red card.
The card was eventually rescinded, but all the other thugs in a jersey learned from that experience, because the defender had no charge to answer for.
McKenna got off with no card, nothing to answer for, even though the cameras clearly proved he was guilty of extreme provocation to instigate the situation that ensued.
All the bad actors in Scottish football have copied McKenna’s deceitful tactics, and have learned that it’s acceptable to unfairly rile Rangers Morelos and the other guilty men go unpunished.
It has to stop now for the sake of fairness in our game in Scotland.
Everybody at Ninety Minutes Online sends our prayers to 47-year old Celtic supporter Francis McCann, who was stabbed in the neck and is in hospital fighting for his life.
McCann is still in a critical condition, following a massive Glasgow fight between both sets of fans on Sunday after the Old Firm game.
Rangers and Celtic fans absolutely adore these all-action vitriolic fixtures, but the downside is the consequences of bad-tempered behaviour from the players on the park.
The religious divide can easily spill over to life threatening actions taken by a minority of supporters from both sides.
That’s why the police should get involved, but only if they really have to.