Green should apologise for his comments

Posted by John Gow

According to Rangers chief executive Charles Green, the worst team in their history beat Queen's Park 4-1 at Hampden on Sunday to go 24 points clear in the Third Division.

Of-course the title was already won, but after his CEO's comments in the morning newspapers, there was pressure on Rangers manager Ally McCoist to see his team play better football. It must have been a relief that he did.

- Video: Queen's Park 1-4 Rangers (UK/Ireland only)

Kane Hemmings managed to score his first for the club; young Fraser Aird nicked one, while David Templeton showed that he can be a class act with two fantastic goals taken from outside the box.

Unfortunately for the Rangers staff, Green's comments before the match still took the shine off a good victory. Speaking to The Sun, he said:

“A few weeks ago I made a statement that a few people were aghast about when I said that it’s the worst Rangers team there’s ever been. I saw pundits on TV saying ‘The chief exec shouldn’t say that'. Why shouldn’t you say it? Is it true? If it’s true, say it.”

In his post-match interview live on ESPN, an obviously emotional McCoist countered this by saying, "I won’t lie to you, I’m disappointed . . . . With the greatest respect to Charles, I’m not sure just how many titles he has won at other clubs, [but the Third Division title] is the hardest that I’ve won."

He clarified this by pointing out that he had only "five or six days" to make a squad in the summer, and that's why it was so difficult.

As the interview progressed, it seemed clear he was publicly asking for Green to start showing verbal and financial support, and to stop denigrating his team.

Fans or sportswriters can say what they want -- that is part of the game -- but a chief executive should say nothing about team performances without the backing of the manager.

Sowing seeds of discord among your own staff helps no-one except the newspaper who are delighted to make a big story out of it. It's common sense.

But this isn't the worst of it. In the same interview, Green humiliated Rangers Football Club in a way no employee should. When discussing the Paolo Di Canio 'fascist' furore at Sunderland, the Rangers CEO started by saying:

"If I’m hiring [players or management], I don’t care what religion they are, I don’t care what colour they are, I don’t care what their political beliefs are, or their social etiquette."

Okay so far; in fact, that is terrific. These are the standards that Rangers FC should always aspire to, and do. But this is where it takes a turn for the worse. He added:

"I’ve found truly amazing and hugely surprising to find [a sectarian] divide in Scotland. It is a completely new concept to me. I was brought up in a mining community where whether someone was black, white, Catholic, Salvation Army, Protestant, made no difference.

"When I played at Worksop Town, the other striker was 'Darkie' Johnson. Now if I say that today I could go to jail. You know, Imran [Ahmad] will come into the office regularly and I'll say 'How’s my p--- friend?’."

This sort of language is totally unacceptable and far below the standards required for his position at Ibrox. Green might be saying how disgusted he is with racists and bigots, but his lack of self-awareness is beyond comprehension.

Rangers need someone who will back the manager privately and publicly, and also represent the brand in the strongest and most positive way. Snide digs at McCoist and racist language is the opposite of this. And that is without mentioning the recent Craig Whyte stories.

Maybe Green can recover, but he has to stop making headlines for the wrong reasons and focus on helping the club. The first step should be to apologise to McCoist for his statements about the team, and then, more important, for his wild language that has embarrassed the great club that employs him.

The supporters have suffered enough, and the last thing they need is seeing Rangers treated with such obvious disrespect.

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