herald

Sunday 22 April 2018

Strachan: Firm title decider a mistake

Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan has warned against pairing the Old Firm together in a potential title clincher - claiming the possibility for trouble could place Scotland's global reputation at risk.

The wait for the release of the post-split fixtures is set to rumble on into today as Scottish Professional Football League chiefs continue to hold talks with police bosses and their broadcasting partners.

But it is highly unlikely Celtic - who need just one more win to clinch their seventh straight title - will take on Rangers first up, with Hampden chiefs desperate to avoid a repeat of the kind of violent scenes which marred the Light Blues' 1999 title party at Parkhead.

However, that stance has frustrated Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, who feels such a box-office duel could provide the league with a much-needed boost by drawing attention from around the world. Former Celtic manager Strachan is not so sure.

He fears the image of Scottish football - and the country as a whole - could suffer if there was a similar outbreak as took place before last week's Champions League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City, in which the Blues' team bus was attacked with missiles as it approached Anfield.

"I can see where everybody is coming from but we have to send the best image of Scotland out to the world," said the ex-Scotland boss, back at Hampden to preview this Sunday's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final showdown between the Glasgow giants.

"If the government and police think there could be problems, then you have to take your advice from them.

"They might think it is damaging to Scotland as a whole to show something like that. You hope we're a lot better now but you never know. Just look last week at Manchester City going to Liverpool. It wasn't good seeing those scenes before the match. It wasn't good for Liverpool, it wasn't good for the English game.

"You're hoping you wouldn't see those kind of scenes (in Glasgow).

"If everything was great you'd love to see this fixture. We had the Man City-Man United game the other day and that was a great spectacle."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News