Gabriel Agbonlahor has called on Rangers to “up the fine” of their Covid rulebreakers and get them back in the squad if they are needed.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aston Villa and England striker suggested banning the quintet would be counterproductive and instead they should be forced to do some “old school” fitness work.
This site broke the news that Rangers players had been caught up in a police probe after attending an illegal house party.
The Ibrox club then revealed those players to be Calvin Bassey, Bongani Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Dapo Mebude and Brian Kinnear.
Right-back Patterson has played back up to captain James Tavernier all season but with the Gers’ captain picking up an injury in last week’s Europa League epic with Royal Antwerp, Agbonlahor has called on Steven Gerrard to re-think.
He told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “He’s broken protocols and he’s broken the rules but if Rangers need players, they need to play him.
“If they’re suspending him, maybe they should just up the fine and suspend him when the league is won!
“When you need the players, yes they’ve done wrong, but if I was Steven Gerrard I’d up the fine and get them back into the squad.
“Everybody makes mistakes and yes, they should be punished but up the fine and get them in the team if they’re needed.
“I’m sure Gerrard will be thinking ‘They’ve done wrong but if we need a right-back and he’s one of the ones that broke the rules, just play him.’
“They can double the fine, if it’s a two-week wage, three-week wage and a written warning and then they can get them back in the side.
“If you suspend them for the rest of the season they might just go straight back to the party they’ve come from! If I was told I was suspended for the rest of the season you might as well go on holiday.
“I think Steven Gerrard won’t suspend them. He’ll have that old school mentality and say ‘you know what, you’re going to work double sessions, you’re going to be punished with a hard fitness regime.’”