George Peat’s revelation about Rangers whilst he was the SFA President is sure to anger the supporters.
During Walter Smith’s memorable run to the UEFA Cup final of 2008, Peat was urged not to provide any help to the Ibrox side. This was with regards to their league duties, as “a prominent” football club chairman told him not to.
Rangers ultimately lost the title to Celtic back in 2008 after they lost 2-0 at Pittodrie on the final day of the season. It’s widely acknowledged that Rangers’ UEFA Cup run ultimately played a factor in losing the title.
Peat spent a four-year term as SFA President between 2007 and 2011. He was the head during the infamous refereeing strike of 2010.
The former supremo was involved in many controversial moments during his time at the SFA, but his comments today are on another level. Speaking to the BBC, Peat said the following:
“I remember when Rangers got to the final in Manchester. I got a phone call from a prominent chairman of a club requesting me not to help Rangers in any way.
“And it so happened that I had already had a meeting with Lex Gold at the SPL. What we were willing to do was to extend the season because of the fixture pile-up that Rangers had. I was most disappointed when I got back to receive this call to ask me not to help them.
“That really stuck in my throat.”
The season was extended by four days, but it didn’t particularly help Rangers as they lost out. The nature of the comments, however, are troublesome for the honesty of the game.
Speculation will now start to brew about who it was that called Peat. Rangers were only in direct competition with Celtic at the time, but no link can be traced to their chairman.
Whether this was down to their direct rivals or another side in the division, supporters won’t be happy about this.
Smith’s Manchester heroes ultimately won the league back the season afterwards. A final-day success of their own seen Rangers win 3-0 at Tannadice as Celtic drew 0-0 with Hearts.