The Scottish Football Association have been urged to be lenient with Gordon Strachan after he was ordered from the dugout during his team’s win at Aberdeen.
Celtic manager Strachan could face an SFA disrepute charge after being banished to the stands by referee Charlie Richmond following an argument with an Aberdeen official in yesterday’s game.
The incident followed Kenny Miller’s 85th-minute goal which put the Hoops 2-1 ahead in their 3-1 victory.
Coach Tommy Burns revealed Strachan had been defending his assistant Garry Pendrey following accusations he had made a rude gesture to the Aberdeen fans behind the dugout.
Strachan was apparently pointing out that Pendrey’s two-fingered gesture was to mark the second goal.
And Peter Rafferty, president of the Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters Clubs, claims Strachan is paying an unfair price for his passion.
Rafferty said: “I’m not saying he’s an easy target but he’s certainly emotive and expressive.”
Strachan, a former Aberdeen player who was a key man in the great Dons team of the early 1980s, also complained of being abused by Falkirk fans last week and has voiced his fears about the coarse language used by some supporters.
Rafferty insists Strachan is acting according to his principles, rather than trying to antagonise supporters.
“I don’t think he’s doing anything to exaggerate the problem,” Rafferty said.
“They were trying to wind him up even further on his return to Aberdeen.
“We want the manager on the bench for future games and I think yesterday’s events should be looked at again in the cold light of day.”
Strachan, who is already appealing against a four-game touchline ban, could face a further two-match suspension after the events at Pittodrie.
He must wait for Richmond’s report to reach the SFA, who are likely to receive the referee’s file tomorrow.
Burns gave his version of events after the game, insisting Pendrey had not acted in a provocative manner.
He also defended Strachan, adding: “It will be interesting to see the referee’s report regarding what he was actually sent to the stand for.
“Unfortunately though, that is the world we live in, where people think they can turn up and scream the most horrible abuse at others who are a few feet away from them.
“You are not talking about neds here, but about middle-aged men screaming abuse in front of women and children.
“Then when people on the sidelines turn round and give them a wink or a wave, they want to go and report it to the police.”