Hamilton boss Brian Rice has insisted that he will not let his off-field issues distract from his work at the club but said he was “humbled” by recent support.
Rice is facing disciplinary charges from the Scottish FA after admitting to gambling on football over the past five years. He revealed that his gambling addiction had taken hold, saying “the disease has returned”.
The admission prompted wide-ranging debate about the links between gambling and football, while Hamilton director Colin McGowan said he would be calling on the SFA to put a gambling amnesty in place.
The news overshadowed the build-up to Hamilton’s 2-1 defeat to Hibs on Wednesday night but Rice said it was not distracting him from his work.
“For me, it’s the easiest thing in the world to concentrate on football,” he said.
“Football’s my life and it always has been. I give it 100% every day and my focus is totally on football.
“There’s other side issues we all know about but i don’t think anybody can ever accuse me of not being focused on football.
“I’ve always concentrated on football, it’s what I’ve done for 40 years. My work ethic has never changed, my character hasn’t changed. Football means everything to me.”
Figures from across the football world and beyond applauded Rice for his honesty and showed sympathy for his situation and the manager said that he had been very aware of the support he had shown.
“The support has been fantastic,” he said. “I’ve been very appreciative of it and I’m very humbled by it all.”