Celtic icon Charlie Nicholas believes it is time for clubs to come together to confront ‘bullies’ Rangers over their ongoing issues with Scottish football authorities.
The Ibrox club have been in the firing line for refusing former Celtic duo Neil Lennon and Chris Sutton entry to Ibrox on Thursday night.
The pair had been lined up as pundits for BT sport to cover the Europa League double-header involving the Hoops game against Real Betis and the Light Blues clash with Lyon but were denied access amidst fears they were a ‘security risk’.
Rangers insisted that they acted in line with UEFA’s broadcasting obligations, but Nicholas has accused them of acting like “spoiled little brats” and branded the incident ‘an absolute embarrassment.’
Writing in his column for the Daily Express, the former striker, who scored 125 goals in 249 appearances for Celtic between 1979 and 1983, stated: “Steven Gerrard said when Rangers won the Premiership title last season his club would stay humble.
“Well they’ve failed. There’s not one single ounce of humility in that Ibrox boardroom right now.
“Everything coming out of the club just now seems to involve getting into arguments with other factions of the Scottish game.
“Rangers are coming across like spoiled little brats and their behaviour has been an absolute embarrassment.
“Last week ex-Celtic men Neil Lennon and Chris Sutton were denied the chance to broadcast from inside Ibrox because the BT Sports pundits were deemed a ‘security risk’.”
Rangers are also currently involved in a dispute with league sponsors cinch and Nicholas reckons that the rest of Scottish football should join forces to exert some pressure on the club by threatening to withhold sponsorship money.
He continued: “If Rangers want to fight everybody, then every other club should band together and confront them.
“If Rangers are still holding grudges over the way they were ditched into the lower leagues – which WAS unfair – then their mindset is just the same as the embittered club who had to climb back from the bottom division nine years ago.
“If Rangers can’t move on, then Scottish football can’t progress. It’s as if they don’t want to make our game better but are more than happy to insist the authorities have sold it short.
“In an ideal world, all clubs should be getting together so we can move our product forward and make it a bit more interesting for everyone.
“But the reality is, if Rangers want to be Scottish football renegades, then every other club should face up to the bullies.
“The others have a right to protect themselves and to show that Rangers have got things badly wrong.
“If it means stopping financial payments from the SPFL or withholding money from UEFA then that is what has to be done.”