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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 August, 2003, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Dons chief blasts 'idiot' fan
The police prevent a fan from attacking Fernando Ricksen
Aberdeen chief executive Keith Wyness wants the courts to make an example of the pitch invader who tried to assault Rangers star Fernando Ricksen at Pittodrie.

The incident, which saw the man apprehended by police moments as he tried to reach the Dutchman during Rangers' 3-2 win, is the latest in a long line of unsavoury of events to mar the fixture.

Wyness said: "It is disappointing, without doubt. We thought we had taken every single precaution.

"There were over 100 policemen at the stadium, which I believe is more than the actual required level of stewarding.

I would urge the courts in particular to take a very hard line with this complete idiot
Keith Wyness
"The club is also reviewing the possibility of civil action against this person as well and I would urge the courts in particular to take a very hard line with this complete idiot who ran on the pitch.

"It does seem unfortunate that, if one particular idiot is bent on doing something as stupid as this, he can get through regardless of what you do.

"But we totally abhor it and want to take every possible action against him. We are going to carry on doing what we can until it is sorted out.

"Obviously this person will be banned from Pittodrie for life. But what more can we do to stop something like this? A club can only do so much."

The incident was the latest chapter in a long-running feud between supporters of the two clubs which dates back to the 1970s and was intensified in 1988 when Rangers midfielder Ian Durrant suffered a serious knee injury in a tackle by Neil Simpson.

Two seasons ago there was serious crowd unrest which saw Aberdeen striker Robbie Winters hit by a coin thrown from the away section.

And Ricksen had been at the centre of a storm the previous season when he was punished after a video review for an off-the-ball kick at Darren Young.

The Scottish Football Association are sure to investigate the incident, and there has already been trouble at Pittodrie this summer when a pre-season game with Liverpool was marred by a flare bouncing off the pitch and into a stand.

Rangers manager Alex McLeish, a former Aberdeen favourite, was pleased with Ricksen's reaction to the incident.

He said: "Fernando did the right thing, which is probably against the grain for him, by ignoring the guy and walking away from him. Normally that guy would have got lamped.

"But it is easy for me to joke about it because it is obviously not nice for Aberdeen.

"The police were sharp and Fernando had to do a bit of dodging and weaving until the police smothered him."






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