'Bitter', 'Harsh' - Alex Neil blasts Rangers over treatment of former colleague
Preston manager Alex Neil has revealed the way Graeme Murty was treated at the end of his stint as Rangers boss left a “bitter taste” – and thinks the decision to block him from speaking to the media after the 5-0 thrashing by Celtic which led to him being sacked was “really harsh.”
Neil was manager at Norwich City when Murty joined the Academy coaching staff at Carrow Road in 2015 before moving to Ibrox to take up the reins as Under-20s head coach a year later.
Neil also thinks the statement released by chairman Dave King in the build-up to the Scottish Cup semi-final meeting between the Old Firm undermined Murty’s position.
“I think how he got dealt with towards the end for me was probably what left a bitter taste in most people’s mouths,” Neil said, as quoted by The Herald.
“I thought the statement that came out totally undermined him before a big match. I thought that was really poor. After that, the club suspending two players – as a manager, if players are getting suspended, it should be by you.
“When a club makes the decision that weakens your position again. Also, to add insult to injury, to stop you talking to the press, that again made him look really weak. For Graeme, that was really harsh.”
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Football Insider verdict
There seems to be a real split over the treatment over Murty with many thinking he was treated fairly while others insist he was harshly done by. With the Gers allowing Murty the chance to resume his previous role as Under-20s head coach, it is hard to argue that the club were deliberately trying to undermine him and it seems more likely he was an “innocent victim” in chairman Dave King’s bluster. While it is unclear whether Murty will return to his old job or not, it will be interesting to hear what he has to say when he finally breaks his silence on what happened in his final few weeks in charge. The former Scotland international might still think it better that there is a clean break and he moves on to something new although after watching him at close quarters with the Under-20s last term there can be little doubting he is a quality coach who will continue to improve the youngsters coming through at Ibrox.