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Craig Brown fears for football-government relationship

Archie Knox and Craig Brown
Brown (right) once had an onfield altercation with Knox

Aberdeen boss Craig Brown is concerned misbehaviour at football could stop the game receiving Government support.

First Minister Alex Salmond has called a summit following Wednesday's controversial Old Firm match.

"He's been talking about what the government's going to do for football, the plans are terrific," said Brown.

"I just hope that incidents such as we've seen don't jeopardise the generosity that the government's disposed to give to football."

Three Rangers players were red-carded, two of whom face further disciplinary action for their behaviour, and Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist are likely to face touchline bans following an altercation between the pair at full-time.

"I think, if the First Minister takes action, that means there's a serious intent to improve matters and we're talking about a First Minister who is a football guy," said Brown.

"He was in here at the game we played against Hearts and visited us. I knew before, but I knew from the conversation with him after the Hearts game that he was a Jambo, but I also knew that he knows the game and he's right into football.

Brown speaks about Salmond summit

"He was saying, 'look for, as a result of the Henry McLeish, an announcement of generosity to the game from the government'.

"Alex Salmond is right behind the game of football, of that there is no doubt.

"So, if he calls a meeting we're not getting someone just as a politician, we're getting someone as a football supporter calling a meeting, so he'll be sensitive to the requirements of the game."

Brown stopped short of criticising Lennon and McCoist and admitted all managers get caught up in flashpoints.

"We were playing on Wednesday, so I didn't see it," said Brown. "I didn't look at the whole game on television, I just looked at the incidents that were shown. So I'm not qualified to talk about it really.

"I've been sent off in Scotland, I've been sent off in England and I've been sent off in Croatia. I'm not proud of that, but you do get a bit involved and, obviously at the time, you're not thinking of further repercussions.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond
Salmond has called a summit to discuss the Old Firm fall-out

"I was on the park at Forfar when I was the Clyde manager to confront my current colleague Mr (Archie) Knox, who was their player/manager.

"The game was going on, I was out in my blazer and I found myself in the centre circle. That was horrendous and a couple of policeman escorted me off.

"Billy McNeil was the Aberdeen manager at the time. Billy came down to watch his old club, Clyde, play Forfar. It was a promotion game at Station Park. Billy said, 'in all my years in football, it's the funniest thing I've seen'.

"But I didn't think it was funny, being escorted off and being told, if I move again, I'm out the ground. Mr (Ernie) Walker (former SFA chief executive) dealt with me more than severely, I can assure you, it cost me a fortune to be ordered off.

"So I've been involved and I shouldn't be resurrecting it, but I've been there and those of you who watch the Scotland games would see an incident in Croatia and in England I was ordered off in the worst stadium possible for that to happen.

"Brighton were in the Championship at the time and to be ordered off at Brighton is a mistake because you've to walk from your position right round at least half of the pitch or more to get to your dressing-room."



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see also
Bougherra and Diouf facing probe
05 Mar 11 |  Rangers
Celtic boss faces eight-game ban
04 Mar 11 |  Celtic
Gers reaction disappoints Smith
04 Mar 11 |  Rangers
Abuse led to tension - Gers chief
03 Mar 11 |  Rangers
Lennon defuses spat with McCoist
03 Mar 11 |  Celtic
SFA chief slams Old Firm clashes
03 Mar 11 |  Scottish Cups
Rangers fume after fiery Cup tie
02 Mar 11 |  Rangers


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