Celtic dismiss Rangers 'bigotry' claims as 'not worthy of response'

Newco owner Charles Green previously hit out at SPL member clubs following the Ibrox outfit's exclusion from the top flight, drawing a response from the club's Old Firm rivals

Celtic have dismissed Rangers chief executive Charles Green's claims that the Ibrox club had been refused re-entry to Scotland's top-flight due to "bigotry" and "jealousy".

Gers faced liquidation earlier in the summer, with a long list of financial mishaps leaving the club on the brink of extinction.

And, though Green's Sevco consortium purchased the club's liquidised assets, his efforts to take Rangers back into the SPL were unsuccessful.

The Yorkshireman hit out at the Scottish Premier League member clubs who voted for Rangers' exclusion but Old Firm rivals Celtic refused to be drawn on the accusation.

"These comments are not worthy of any response from Celtic Football Club," a spokesman said.

"We presume the matter would now be one for the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football League to deal with."

The SFA's compliance officer will now look into the matter, to see if any specific rules have been broken as a result of Green's comments.

Green had earlier said: "Some of it [the decision to place Rangers in Division Three] has been driven by bigotry, some of it's been driven by jealousy and some of it's been driven by all the wrong motives.

Asked to explain what he meant by 'bigotry', Green added: "We've got a position whereby Rangers were thrown out of the league and these clubs are still appealing with fans to buy season tickets.

"What's happened with Rangers, as an outsider looking in, although I am now an insider, is absolutely incredible where it seems to me the whole of Scotland have wanted to kick this giant club while it was down.

"I think justice has been done. The club were fined 10 points, it received a £190,000 fine, it was then put out the SPL, it was then put down to the Third Division, it has had to pay all the Scottish club debts, which wouldn't normally happen for a newco to be obliged to pay oldco's debts.

"We're also now paying European debts and there is still a potential cloud hanging over the club from the SPL over EBT issues.

"I had meetings last week with some UEFA officials who say this is unprecedented in Europe."

Rangers played their first competitive match of the new regime on Sunday, beating Brechin 2-1 in the Ramsdens Cup after extra-time.

Permission to play the fixture at Glebe Park was only granted on Friday night, when the club were handed conditional SFA membership.

"My frustration's been, after 30 years of business, I have never experienced anything like the last three months," Green continued

"Some of the business decisions that have been made really have been nonsensical from a business point of view.

"One of the meetings I went to, one of the reasons why SPL chairmen were under pressure to do something with Rangers was they [fans] wouldn't buy season tickets until Rangers were thrown out of the league."