Postecoglou and Beale condemn abuse of referees after Clancy threats

Kevin Clancy was targeted with abusive messages and threats after last week's Old Firm game.

Ange Postecoglou and Michael Beale have both condemned abuse suffered by Kevin Clancy in the aftermath of last week’s Old Firm game.

Clancy was the referee for the game that finished 3-2 to Celtic to put them 12 points ahead of Rangers at the top of the Premiership.

His performance was criticised by Beale after the game, in particular over a decision to disallow an Alfredo Morelos strike with the score at 0-0.

The SFA, who insist the decision made on the day was the correct one, then revealed that the official had been targeted by abusive and threatening messages after his personal details were posted online.

Officers from Police Scotland are now investigating the messages after they were reported to the force on Tuesday.

Both managers were asked about the situation ahead of their games this weekend and they both condemned it strongly.

Ahead of his game against Kilmarnock on Sunday, Ange Postecoglou said: “It’s concerning for any person, we shouldn’t even be talking about it, that somebody needs to go to those lengths to invade an individual’s personal life. We all work in a public space and with that comes scrutiny, but that should begin and end within the profession we work in without going into our personal lives.

“And particularly with officials, because for the most part we have clubs and a supporter base that you like to think would go into bat for us at situations like this.

“With officials they are kind of left on their own and I just think it’s a timely reminder to all of us that the language we use and the reasoning we use behind things.

“I mean last week, if you look at it, yeah it was a real derby match and had a bit of everything, but it wasn’t a great game, it was a game that was riddled with mistakes from both sides. Players and managers make a lot more mistakes than the officials did on the day, so while we need to separate that if anyone thinks that one moment decided that then they are not looking at the big picture.

“From our perspective there’s a decision there and everyone has got an opinion on it, it’s not fact based, it’s not like it’s an offside that you can clearly see it’s an opinion based thing.

“But ultimately one person has to make the decision. That’s why we have got to have respect for the officials and allow them to do their job.

“In the context of that, whatever opinion anyone has, I thought we should have had a penalty at Ibrox. But it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, you give your opinion and move on.”

Rangers manager Beale, who is preparing for St Mirren at Ibrox on Saturday, insisted we have to be “careful” about the aftermath of Old Firm matches “dragging on for days”.

He said: “I disagreed on one decision, I got it wrong on another. Because from the angle I had seen I thought it hit the boy’s arm, but it hadn’t. I still think the first decision is the wrong one, but it’s not up for debate, the game’s gone. We are not going to be able to change the result or anything.

“If Kevin has been getting abuse then that’s not something we can accept in football.

“As a club it is something we condemn and we are not happy with. Whoever the referee is in any game around the world then it’s going to be a difficult job as it is.

“On the day the referee goes to make the decision as he sees it, I happen to think it was the wrong decision in that moment, but across the game you can’t find to many decisions that were up for debate.

“It was just that one moment, and it had an impact, but after every big derby game, especially this derby, it drags on for days and days and we need to be careful with that.

“I thought it was a good game with two good teams, unfortunately we came off second best and I am disappointed with that more than anything else.”

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