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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Troubled Ricksen consults clinic
Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen
Fernando Ricksen has sought advice in London
Troubled Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen is to check into a London clinic that helps tackle alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling and depression.

The Dutchman was sent home by new manager Paul Le Guen for "inappropriate behaviour" on a flight to South Africa.

And Ricksen told Rangers' website: "I have met people who I feel can support me through this difficult stage and feel I can benefit from their counsel."

The Sporting Chance Clinic was set up by former England star Tony Adams.

Ricksen's former Rangers team-mate, Alex Rae, now manager at Dundee, is a patron of the charity.

Newspapers had quoted Ricksen as suggesting that Le Guen had over-reacted after he admitted drinking and arguing with a stewardess as Rangers headed for pre-season training in Johannesburg.

The 29-year-old also feared that he was likely to be forced to leave the Glasgow club.
I apologise to the club, the club officials and the supporters

Fernando Ricksen

But an official announcement stated: "With the support and guidance of the medical team and management at Rangers Football Club, Fernando Ricksen has today sought counsel from the Sporting Chance Clinic in London, which is also supported by the Scottish Premier League."

And Ricksen has stressed his determination to make the best of what could be his final chance with the club.

"I am convinced that, as a professional footballer, I can bounce back quickly with advice and guidance," he said.

"I have made mistakes, the recent incident travelling to South Africa being well-documented, and I would like to acknowledge that my behaviour was totaly inappropriate.

"I apologise to the club, the club officials and the supporters and intend to get back playing football in the committed manner that I am used to as soon as possible."

Ricksen has been a controversial figure on and off the pitch since joining Rangers for 3.6m from AZ Alkmaar in 2000.

He has twice been punished by video evidence after altercations missed by match officials.

And he was also fined 7,000 after being convicted of assault and breach of the peace in October 2003 following a fireworks party at his Glasgow home.

His international career came to a premature end when he kicked a hotel door during an away trip to Belarus.

But Ricksen was particularly inspirational for Rangers after becoming club skipper during Barry Ferguson's sabbatical with Blackburn Rovers.

A self-imposed abstinence from alcohol led to him being named joint player of the year in Scotland with Celtic's John Hartson 14 months ago.

However, he lost the captaincy and was troubled by injuries and a dip in form during last season.

It has now come to light that he began treatment with Sporting Chance six months ago and will spend a week in London for "anger and behavioural management".

But Rangers Supporters Trust spokesman Stephen Smith has suggested that he and fellow fans would not be sorry to see Ricksen leave as a result of the latest incident.

Smith believes that he has not proven to be value for money and welcomed the hard line taken by new boss Le Guen, who has quickly lived up to his reputation as a disciplinarian.



SEE ALSO
Ricksen fears for Rangers future
10 Jul 06 |  Rangers


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