St. Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick has written to Motherwell as he launches an attack on former Rangers star Maurice Ross for comments made by the now Well coach.
Fitzpatrick was left fuming after Ross claimed teams could potentially be “opportunistic” regarding Covid-19 testing ahead of big matches without the deterrent of matches being forfeited.
St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick has written to his Motherwell counterpart Alan Burrows to complain about unacceptable statements by Fir Park coach Maurice Ross.
— St Mirren FC (@saintmirrenfc) October 20, 2020
Speaking on BBC Sportsound, Ross originally said:
“There needs to be a rule change in the league so if you can’t fulfil a fixture then it’s, ‘Tough, three points’
“I’m not saying that St Mirren were doing this but people can be opportunistic with how this goes.
“Hypothetically at Motherwell if we got two injuries before we play Celtic we can say that the kitman’s wife has Covid and we need to self-isolate till all our good players are back.
“I think the rules can allow for it.”
This did not go down well with Fitzpatrick who has released a scathing response aimed at the former Rangers man despite the fact Ross ruled St. Mirren out of his comments.
“I am writing to express my disappointment at the comments of Maurice Ross on the above Podcast following the postponement of the fixture between our respective clubs on Saturday 17 October,” said Fitzpatrick [St. Mirren].
“In particular I deprecate any suggestion that we or any other football club would take advantage of this pandemic for personal gain.
“Any notion that we have been “opportunistic” in seeking to discharge our public health responsibilities is a fallacy.
“I cannot fathom why Mr Ross would seek to publicly call into question the integrity of a fellow SPFL member club for adhering to the agreed protocols which are in place to protect players, officials and clubs.
“As we, and all football clubs in Scotland, try to navigate our way through these difficult times the comments of Mr Ross are both unfortunate and unhelpful.
“With respect I would suggest Mr Ross might want to reflect on the comments which he broadcast to the nation and I am sure he will support your fellow clubs in being hyper vigilant as we work together to tackle this virus.
“I would be grateful if he could avoid such derisory language in future.”
Maurice Ross came through the youth ranks at Rangers and spent five years in the first-team between 2000 and 2005.
The former right-back, now 39, would play for 11 clubs in total, including Motherwell, where he is now the reserve team manager.