Controversial Scottish Sun columnist Bill Leckie has taken aim at Rangers manager Steven Gerrard for recent comments made about Nathan Patterson’s SFA punishment for breaching Covid regulations.
Patterson was one of five players recently hit with six-match bans, four games of which were intended to be immediate and two suspended, after an incident that took place in mid-February.
Rangers punished the players internally but have appealed the suspensions.
Gerrard said he is “not too happy” about the bans and that the SFA failed to take “everything into consideration” [BBC Sport].
He went on to suggest that the substantial nature of the ban could have a damaging impact on Patterson’s career, in particular, with the European Championships on the horizon.
Leckie was ‘disappointed’ by the Gers boss’ take on the situation, though.
He believes Gerrard is ‘chancing it’ and ‘putting a guilt trip on the SFA’ and suggests that his approach is more likely to be detrimental to Patterson than the ban itself.
‘A ban gives him time to reflect on his mistake, whereas Gerrard using his clout to sway the Blazers only teaches the boy how much his worth to the team can get him away with,’ he wrote [Scottish Sun].
“It doesn’t matter whether it was a wild party that got busted or a bunch of pals playing the Xbox and ordering takeaways. It wasn’t allowed. And if Rangers hadn’t drummed that into their staff after what happened with Jordan Jones and George Edmundson, hell mend them.”
Leckie is clearly a fan of Patterson and goes on to suggest that he deserves a call up for the recently announced pre-European Championships friendlies against the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
However, he doesn’t think there’s a case to overturn the bans.
“If he misses the boat because his suspension stands, it won’t be the SFA’s fault. They didn’t make him break the rules. They won’t be the ones holding his development back.
“He’ll have been the architect of his own downfall, all thanks to a few hours when he couldn’t be trusted to do the right thing. And as much as that would be a crying shame, how do we genuinely fulfil our potential other than from paying for the things we get wrong in life?”
Leckie’s views have drawn major criticism from Rangers supporters in the past, but this latest column doesn’t appear to have been as poorly received.
That’s likely because although Bears want Patterson to have as many opportunities as possible to be successful for both club and country, there’s long been an acceptance that an SFA punishment of some kind would follow the breach of Covid regulations.
Meanwhile, a Premier League club are reportedly tracking an exciting Rangers talent currently impressing out on loan.