Michael Beale condemned the abuse referee Kevin Clancy received after last week’s Old Firm win for Celtic as he admitted incorrectly protesting about one of the Hoops goals.
The Rangers boss felt the Light Blues were on the wrong end of two key decisions in the 3-2 defeat at Parkhead which all but settled the destination of the cinch Premiership.
Striker Alfredo Morelos had a ‘goal’ chalked off after Clancy adjudged that Hoops defender Alastair Johnston had been fouled in a tussle between the two players. Then, at 1-1, Kyogo Furuhashi drove in his second for the home side, with Beale claiming the ball came off the arm of Jota beforehand.
Rangers subsequently wrote to the Scottish Football Association seeking an explanation for Morelos’ disallowed strike before it was revealed that police had been called in to deal with a “significant volume of threatening and abusive emails” to Clancy.
Ahead of the home game against St Mirren on Saturday, Beale said: “I haven’t (spoken to Crawford Allan, head of referee operations at the Scottish Football Association). I have in the past but not this week and I wasn’t involved in the asking of questions.
“To me the game was done. I disagree with one decision, I got it wrong on another because on the angle I saw I thought it hit the boy’s arm.
“It hadn’t so fair play, but I still think the first decision was the wrong one. It is up for debate but the game has gone. We are not going to be able to change the result of the game.
“I don’t know the facts, but if Kevin has been getting abuse, it is not something that we accept in football and it is something as a club that we condemn and we are not happy with.
“Whoever the referee is in whatever game around the world, it is a difficult job as it is. On the day the referee makes the decisions that he sees.
“I happen to think in that moment it was a wrong decision, but across the whole game you can’t count too many decisions that were up for debate. Just that one moment and it had an impact.
“In every big derby, and certainly this one, it drags on for days and days and we have to be careful with that.
“It was a good game. Unfortunately we came off second best. I am disappointed with that more than anything else.”
Rangers are 12 points behind champions-elect Celtic with seven fixtures remaining, and Beale will be without another five players who have been added to the injury list.
Defender Connor Goldson remains out with a hip flexor problem and the Gers boss revealed winger Ryan Kent, midfielder Ryan Jack, attacker Scott Wright, striker Antonio Colak and left-back Ridvan Yilmaz are also unavailable.
Leon King (knock), Kemar Roofe (hip), Tom Lawrence (heel), Steven Davis (knee) and Filip Helander (foot) have been out long term.
Beale said: “There is quite a few who are unavailable this weekend. I think one or two are niggles that we don’t want to risk right now.
“Connor has a possibility of playing next weekend but we have an eye on the Scottish Cup semi-final (against Celtic) for him.
“Ryan Kent had an awkward landing right at the end of the Celtic game and has quite a lot of bruising around it and has not been able to come to training this week, so we just need to assess where that is the early part of next week.
“Ridvan will be back, Antonio has a slight problem with his calf, Jacko opened his knee out yesterday but we don’t think it is anything major there.”
Before the end of the season, Beale will give an opportunity to third choice keeper Robby McCrorie, who has missed most of Beale’s time as boss through injury.
The former QPR manager said: “He is getting closer and closer to full fitness.
“Since I came here he has barely been able to train or play. Now he has had two B team games and in the last few games, it is fair to say, you will see Robby McCrorie being given an opportunity.”