Rangers legend John Brown: Celtic show sour grapes over handball and treble

Celtic FC

Ex-Rangers defender John Brown has said Sunday's penalty incident didn't look like a handball and Celtic should have won more trebles in Rangers' absence.

Ex-Rangers player John Brown has told the Daily Record that Josh Meekings’ handball in the Scottish Cup semi-final looked like a header and Celtic are only irritated because they haven't won a treble since Rangers have been out of the top-flight.

The incident – which was clearly a handball – effectively cost Celtic a place in the Scottish Cup final and put an end to any chances of winning the domestic treble in Ronny Deila’s first season in charge.

The former Dundee manager also thinks the only reason Celtic have contacted the SFA about the incident is because they have failed to dominate to the extent that many expected since Rangers’ relegation to the bottom tier.

He has claimed that had things been the other way around, Rangers would have won two or three trebles by now.

His comments will clearly annoy Celtic fans who saw the incident was a handball, but Brown is adamant Steve McLean is a good referee, and insists the referee would have given a penalty if he had seen it.

“There are so many TV angles it is impossible for officials now. They are going to get pulled up for anything when it was an honest mistake,” he began.

“It looks as if the Inverness player headed the ball. It is impossible for the officials to see it unless you stop the game and go through video and then matches will last three hours.

“It is a bit of sour grapes. Celtic should have defended better when they lost their keeper. The central defence and midfield allowed the player to run through and if they had done a better job it wouldn’t have left the keeper vulnerable.

“Celtic have been frustrated because they have not managed to win a Treble and Rangers have not been in the League for a number of years.

“I’m sure if Rangers were in that position they would have won a Treble in that time – and probably two or three.”

Celtic have been largely unchallenged for the Scottish Premiership title since Rangers departed the league, but the Gers could return through the play-off system and start building a team that can mount a serious challenge in the coming seasons.

However, at this stage it is no forgone conclusion that Rangers will make it back at the first time of asking, with as many as six potential play-off matches still to come before the end of the season.

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