Rangers claim Jon Flanagan charge for Scott Brown elbow is unfair
"It seems as if Rangers' players are being held to a different code of conduct," club say
Last Updated: 14/05/19 7:32pm
Rangers claim to have been "singled out" after Jon Flanagan was hit with a potential two-match ban for elbowing Celtic's Scott Brown during Sunday’s Old Firm game.
Flanagan was yellow carded by referee Kevin Clancy for the incident, which was later referred to the Scottish FA's compliance officer.
Following consultation of video evidence, the unanimous opinion of a three-person panel was that the caution should be upgraded to a red card
Flanagan will be banned for two matches unless he contests the charge - if he does, the fast-track hearing will be on Thursday.
Rangers: Are decisions being made even-handedly?
"Once again, there seems intent to change the decision of a Referee in a match involving Rangers," the club said in a statement on Tuesday.
"There seems to be a steady erosion of respect for Scotland's Referees and the authority they are meant to enjoy under Rule 5 of the Laws of the Game.
"The decisions of referees regarding facts connected with play are meant to be final but referees are now routinely invited to change their decisions after a game has finished.
"It is particularly shocking that another Rangers' player has been singled out for retrospective action and issued with a notice of complaint while Jozo Simunovic, the Celtic player who used an elbow to fell Jermain Defoe, has escaped any kind of censure.
"Why did one incident escape punishment while the other is now deemed worthy of a red card?
"We cannot understand how these two incidents could be studied yet only one be considered worthy of punishment. It seems as if Rangers' players are being held to a different code of conduct from players at other clubs.
"We shall vigorously defend Mr Flanagan and have also asked for full transparency on what matters are brought forward for retrospective action. Are those decisions being made even-handedly?"
Celtic manager Neil Lennon was adamant Flanagan should have been sent off at the time.
Speaking after the game, Lennon said: "It's a red card. Again. How the referee has not given that as a red card I don't know. It's an elbow into his face."
Flanagan would miss Sunday's final Ladbrokes Premiership match of the season at Kilmarnock, as well as the first league game of next term.
The former Liverpool player would be the fourth Rangers player to be hit with a suspension for incidents involving Brown in two games.
Alfredo Morelos was sent off for elbowing the Celtic skipper and Ryan Kent got a retrospective ban for striking the midfielder in the previous encounter.
Andy Halliday received a second yellow card after that game for confronting Brown over his post-match celebrations, incurring a ban that allowed Flanagan to regain his place in the starting line-up.