Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor have nobody to blame but themselves for their lifetime ban from Scotland and their two-week suspension from Rangers, according to David Edgar, spokesman for the Rangers Supporters Trust.
The Rangers duo were dropped to the bench for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Iceland at Hampden after a drinking session at the Scots’ Cameron House Hotel base following their 3-0 defeat by Holland.
The pair then added to the furore by apparently making V-signs while sitting on the bench during the 2-1 win over Iceland.
Ferguson, the Scotland skipper, was sensationally stripped of his Ibrox captaincy and both were sent home from training by Rangers manager Walter Smith this morning before learning they were to be suspended without pay for a fortnight.
Then the Scottish Football Association announced neither would be considered for selection again.
Edgar believes the lifetime ban from Scotland may have been harsh but has little sympathy for either player.
“Rangers deserve to be commended for the stance they took over this,” Edgar told PA Sport.
“It was very brave and they met the situation head on.
“They have set standards and shown that if anyone falls below these standards then there will be consequences.
“The SFA also had to take action although I do think that it is a little harsh.
“I believe that there should be the possibility of a return if there is an element of rehabilitation.
“But I am not condemning the SFA. The players’ behaviour has been appalling,
“The players brought it on themselves and no-one is responsible apart from themselves.
“There is a concern about a drinking culture at the club and this is not helpful.
“Is it really that difficult for professional footballers who earn an unbelievable amount of money – more in a week than some people earn in a year - to stay alcohol-free for nine months of the year?”
Edgar believes Ferguson, whose influence in the Ibrox dressing room led to former manager Paul Le Guen leaving the club in January 2007, may also have played his last game in Light Blue.
He said: “I believe it will be very difficult for him to come back.
“The Rangers fans gave him the benefit of the doubt before with Le Guen but I don’t believe they are prepared to do that again.
“It’s an old cliche but no man is bigger than the club and Barry Ferguson is not bigger than Rangers.
“Somewhere down the line he seems to have forgotten that.
“With the privilege of being Rangers captain comes responsibility and he needs to show class and dignity.
“Both players owe the Scotland players, the Scotland fans and the Rangers fans an apology.
“They not only represent Scotland on international duty, they represent Rangers
“I’ve no doubt that both players are full of regrets now but they have had a week to apologise and we have heard nothing.”