Rangers’ latest COVID-rulebreaking scandal is worse than Boli Bolingoli’s at Celtic and the Jordan Jones and George Edmundson incident, according to ex-BBC Sportsound pundit Tam McManus.
Bongani Zungu, Calvin Bassey, Nathan Patterson, Brian Kinnear and Dapo Mepube were named and shamed as the five Rangers players who broke COVID-19 protocol at the weekend and have since been sent to self-isolate.
It’s the second time something like this has happened at Ibrox with Jones and Edmundson being caught attending a house party earlier in the season. They have since been loaned out to Sunderland and Derby respectively.
Celtic’s Bolingoli was one of the first Premiership players to be caught failing to adhere to rules when he jetted out to Spain on holiday despite being told to stay in Glasgow.
Speaking on PLZ Soccer’s Football Show on Wednesday, host Peter Martin discussed the implications of the latest incident at Rangers and discussed how Edmundson, Jones and Bolingoli have all had their careers affected by not following the rules.
Martin said: “A lot of people will be expecting similar punishments as have what have gone before, which we wait to find out. But as far as careers are concerned, George Edmundson and Jordan Jones were quickly shipped out on loan, so that was the message you got from Rangers the last time there was any breach in the rules.
“All you have to do is look back at [Boli] Bolingoli, he’s got no chance of resurrecting his Celtic career, I don’t think.”
McManus then replied to Martin’s final point about Bolingoli, saying: “I think it might be worse, to be honest.
“When the original breach happened with Edmundson and Jones, Steven Gerrard would have got the full squad together and had a meeting and lay down the law and said, ‘listen, if this happens again, then some of you are out the door’.
“There could be a termination for some of them. I don’t think there’s any excuse.
“We spoke about it last time and we were a wee bit lenient because we thought, ‘it’s been lockdown, young guys want to go out and meet people and have a drink’. We gave them a wee bit of slack but I don’t think there’s any slack you can give these five.
“It’s happened before and I think Gerrard will be raging. And I think now, he’s looking at maybe getting rid of some of them.
“I know what Charlie’s saying about Patterson, he’s only just signed a new deal, but those five players, their Rangers careers under Steven Gerrard, in terms of getting shipped out on loan, contracts terminated, they’re out the door.
“Gerrard will be absolutely furious that this is the second time it’s happened under his watch.”
No better and no worse
They’re all idiots. Let’s put it that way.
Bolingoli, Jones, Edmundson, Bassey, Zungu, Patterson, Mebude and Kinnear. None of them have acted how they should have. None of them showed any kind of regard for their team-mates or their managers or the fans of their clubs. All of them should be ashamed of themselves.
As McManus says, Gerrard will have been furious with Jones and Edmundson earlier in the season when they broke COVID rules. Not only could they have put themselves at risk but they could also have done for others.
Breaking rules like this is so much bigger than football. It’s so much bigger than whether the season should be curtailed, declared null and void, suspended or fines, point deductions and bans dished out to players and clubs.
There are peoples’ lives that are generally at stake when people do this. And that is the biggest issue of all here.
In our opinion, there’s not a lot that these players can do to make up for what they’ve done.
They could be playing a role in derailing our bid to win title number 55. Worst, they could have put someone’s life at risk.
People who act like that, with total disregard to others, have no place at Rangers Football Club.
In other Rangers news, Kris Boyd has torn into Zungu after he was named as one of the five.