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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 20, 2007

Celtic '100%' behind ban-facing Strachan

Celtic insist they fully support manager Gordon Strachan even though he could face touchline bans totalling 10 games after his confrontation with an Aberdeen steward.

Strachan was ordered to the stands by referee Stuart Dougal in two of Celtic's matches against Hearts last season, in August 2006 and then in the April 29 game at Parkhead.

He was banned for two matches for the first offence and is appealing against an additional four-game ban for the second.

According to Scottish Football Association rules, a third proven case of misconduct inside three seasons should result in a six-match suspension.

That is the potential fate awaiting the Celtic boss following yesterday's incident at Pittodrie where Strachan was sent to the stands by referee Charlie Richmond following an argument with the Aberdeen official.

Strachan was due to face an SFA disciplinary panel tomorrow for the review of the April incident, however he must now wait as Dougal, who needs to be present, is unavailable.

Yesterday's incident followed Kenny Miller's 85th-minute goal which put Celtic 2-1 ahead in their 3-1 victory.

The SFA are expected to receive Richmond's match report tomorrow.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell would not go into detail on the issue, but said of Strachan: 'We back him 100%.'

Coach Tommy Burns revealed Strachan had been defending his assistant Garry Pendrey following accusations he had made a rude gesture to the Aberdeen fans behind the dugout.

Strachan was apparently pointing out to the Aberdeen official that Pendrey's two-fingered gesture was to mark the second goal.

Peter Rafferty, president of the Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters Clubs, claims Strachan is paying an unfair price for his passion.

Rafferty said: 'I'm not saying he's an easy target but he's certainly emotive and expressive.'

Strachan, a former Aberdeen player who was a key man in the great Dons team of the early 1980s, also complained of being abused by Falkirk fans last week and has voiced his fears about the coarse language used by some supporters.

Rafferty insists Strachan is acting according to his principles, rather than trying to antagonise supporters.

'I don't think he's doing anything to exaggerate the problem,' Rafferty said.

'They were trying to wind him up even further on his return to Aberdeen.

'We want the manager on the bench for future games and I think yesterday's events should be looked at again in the cold light of day.'