Steven Gerrard was rightly cleared of any wrong doing – or found “not proven” anyway – after his comments on the tackle that saw Alfredo Morelos stretchered off against Dundee United, and one former Ger has shown his surprise at the charge being raised in the first place.
Alan Hutton, speaking to Football Insider has reflected on the issue, he was on Rangers TV duty for the game and was alongside the gaffer when he made his comments, so he is well placed to judge the chain of events.
So what has Hutton said?
When asked for his opinion on the verdict that has seen the Gers gaffer not face any punishment, he said:
“I was there, emotions run high, it was a bad tackle but nowadays you can’t say anything so you get pressed into giving your comment, which you give, and he didn’t really say anything bad.
“He just said look, if it was the other way about, Morelos would probably be getting a red card or whatever, it wasn’t that bad a comment.
“I think it’s a slap on the wrists, be careful what you’re saying, the ref makes the decisions and you can’t really go against it so I’m glad he was cleared of it because can you imagine having to sit in the stands (v Celtic)? You want to be on the touchline with the boys and helping them through.
“I’m glad they’ve seen sense and moved on from it. I understand you can’t go against certain things but every game managers are getting pressed into, whether it’s a penalty or handball decision, to give their opinion.
“That’s all it is, his opinion and I don’t think he’s speaking out of turn. I think it would have been really harsh for him to get into bother for what he said.”
So is Hutton correct?
Absolutely, it’s a joke that the charge was raised in the first place, the Compliance Officer‘s allegiances are well known amongst the Rangers support and it looked like a futile attempt to see Gerrard sit in the stands for the first Old Firm match of the season.
That the tackle that caused the injury went unpunished further underlined the incompetence of role and served only to highlight how inept the disciplinary process is in Scottish football.
Steven Gerrard is a highly polished media operator having captained Liverpool from a young age and England as well as working for various outlets, he knows what to say, and yet the SFA still tried to nail a bogus charge on him for comments that weren’t even remotely controversial – Hutton was right, what the gaffer said barely raised an eyebrow, except for those looking to be offended or with an ulterior motive.