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The Old Firm furore made good viewing - Jim Jefferies


Old Firm tie was good TV - Jefferies

The angry scenes during and after Celtic's Scottish Cup win over Rangers on Wednesday could be a good advert for Scottish football, says Jim Jefferies.

The match was marred by three Rangers red cards, a raft of bookings and ill-tempered exchanges in the dugout.

But, contrary to the condemnation from police, the Scottish Government and the Scottish FA, the Hearts boss is upbeat.

"It was good television viewing at times, maybe not the football but the passion," said Jefferies.

And the Tynecastle manager argues that the drama at Celtic Park could benefit the Scottish Premier League chief executive.

"Probably, at the end of the day, Neil Doncaster will be the one who is happy. That's what they say TV wants," he said.

"It shows you how much it means, when Rangers and Celtic come round, to win that type of match. It is always liable to happen.

I think they are making it more out of order than it actually was

Hearts manager Jim Jefferies

"It will show them round the world just how much it means. That derby's known the world over as one of the most competitive there is. All yesterday will do is highlight it."

In addition to red cards for Rangers' Steven Whittaker, Madjid Bougherra and El Hadji Diouf, there was a swathe of bookings by referee Calum Murray.

Diouf and Neil Lennon had a hostile exchange on the touchline and there were angry scenes at half-time in the tunnel and after the final whistle when the Celtic manager and Rangers assistant Ally McCoist's post-match handshake flared into an argument.

"It just sparked off," said Jefferies. "It was a very tense situation. There is no doubt that some things got out of hand.

"Calum Murray was very composed. Whether he got things right or wrong, that's a referee's lot; it's a difficult job. There were things happening all over.

"You feared every time the ball was there to be won something was going to spark off.

"It was tasty in terms of application. It spilled over from the previous game. I read reports that Walter had a serious word with them to compete better than they did in the last game.

"But I think they are making it more out of order than it actually was."

Asked by BBC Scotland for his opinion on the bust-up between the Celtic manager and McCoist, Rangers' manager-in-waiting, Jefferies added: "That's run-of-the-mill stuff.

"We've all been there and done it. The two up-and-coming young managers, it's a little taster for the future."

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see also
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
Celtic 1-0 Rangers
02 Mar 11 |  Scottish Cups

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