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Wednesday, June 9, 1999 Published at 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK


Findlay songs inquiry launched

Rangers won the Scottish Cup and completed the treble

The Faculty of Advocates is to investigate complaints against the leading Scottish lawyer Donald Findlay QC after he was captured on camera singing sectarian songs.

Mr Findlay resigned as vice-chairman of Rangers Football Club following his celebrations of his side's Scottish Cup victory.

The Dean of the Faculty, Nigel Emslie, has filed a complaint against Mr Findlay, alleging "serious and reprehensible misconduct, bringing the Faculty into disrepute".


[ image: Donald Findlay: Caught on camera]
Donald Findlay: Caught on camera
The Dean has also started investigations into a number of complaints against Mr Findlay raised by third parties.

A spokesman for the faculty said the matter would now be referred to a disciplinary tribunal.

Mr Findlay, 48, sang The Sash and Follow, Follow, at a party celebrating Rangers' treble win.

In his resignation letter, Mr Findlay described the incident as "a serious misjudgment".

He said his conduct "was not acceptable" and he regretted any harm done to the club's reputation.

The Faculty of Advocates has powers ranging from admonition to the recommendation that a member should be dismissed.

Mr Findlay was reprimanded by the Dean of the Faculty, Nigel Emslie QC, last month, for criticising a murder trial jury after it took "only" 30 minutes to find his client guilty.

Boardroom change

Another director, Howard Stanton has resigned, because of personal commitments, according to the official club magazine Rangers News.


[ image: David Murray: Reported disagreement with Stanton]
David Murray: Reported disagreement with Stanton
Mr Stanton, who was brought onto the board to represent one of the club's shareholders, is thought to have had a difference of opinion with Ibrox Chairman David Murray over the club's spending plans.

Efforts have recently been made by both Old Firm clubs to defuse religious tension between supporters, particularly in the light of a violent game on 2 May, where the referee needed stitches after being struck by a coin.

A massive police operation was under way when the game itself passed off peacefully.

Later that night a 20-year-old Celtic fan was hit in the chest by a crossbow bolt outside a Glasgow pub while another was later attacked in a take-away.

High-profile lawyer

Mr Findlay is well-known as Conservative party supporter, and the QC has also acted in some of Scotland's most high-profile criminal cases.

In 1996 he represented Jason Campbell, who was jailed for life for slashing the throat of a young Celtic fan.

And last year he represented Thomas Longstaff, 26, who was jailed for 10 years for attacking another Celtic supporter.

Of Saturday's events, the resignation letter explained: "It was a private function to celebrate a successful season.

"It is disappointing that someone attending should have felt it necessary to go to the press.

"However, even at such a function my conduct was not acceptable and I ought to have realised this.

"I regret any harm done to the club I care about deeply. I apologise unreservedly for the offence caused to anyone. I will continue to be the Rangers supporter I am."

His decision was welcomed by fans of both clubs.

No option

The Rangers Supporters' Association said Findlay had done the "honourable" thing.

Secretary John MacMillan added that the Ibrox second-in-command really had no other option.

"The club are making a real genuine effort to rid themselves of the sectarianism and have been quite successful," he said.

Gerry Madden, Secretary of the Glasgow Celtic Supporters' Club, said Findlay had let down his club.

"In the light of what has happened I don't think he had any choice but to resign," he said.



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