McAvennie pleads with ruling body to be lenient on Rangers players after big development
Frank McAvennie has blasted the Scottish FA for handing Nathan Patterson and four other Rangers players a ban for breaking COVID rules earlier this year.
The former Celtic forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed that a fine would’ve been more appropriate as a ban will harm Patterson’s career.
Patterson, 19, has been handed a six-game ban with two games suspended until the end of the season along with four other Gers players.
Steven Gerrard also criticised the move and is quoted by the Daily Record as saying, “This kid’s going to play for Scotland and all of a sudden the SFA want to ban him for that long, I don’t get.”
McAvennie insists the SFA took the wrong course of action with Patterson’s punishment and he has been shocked by some of the things he has heard about the rule-breakers.
“He’s only a boy, people keep forgetting that he’s just a young kid,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“I know he’s done wrong but oh my god, I just can’t find in my heart the ability to have a go at these players.
“They’re just boys and they’ve done wrong. I know we have the rules but my god, some of the things that are getting batted around about these players, you’d think they’d committed murder.
“Fine them and give them a slap on the wrist but don’t harm their careers, they’re young athletes who have to get things out of their system.
“I’m not praising them or anything but he’s a young boy, give him a fine, take it and move on. You can’t have a go at them.”
Patterson has enjoyed something of a breakthrough season at Ibrox as he became Rangers’ defacto right back following James Tavernier’s injury blow.
Rangers have appealed the SFA’s decision which means Patterson will be able to play in the Gers’ upcoming Scottish Cup match against Celtic.