Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish Rangers

Berra blasts Lafferty over Tynecastle celebration

 

By Andy Newport

Hearts skipper Christophe Berra has accused Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty of lacking "class" after claiming his former team-mate went overboard with his celebrations at the end of Rangers' 2-1 victory at Tynecastle.

Goals from Connor Goldson and Alfredo Morelos saw Rangers overtake Celtic to go top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

But Berra, who was making his first appearance after four months out with a hamstring injury, felt substitute Lafferty should have toned down his reaction to the win with respect to the support boss Craig Levein and chairwoman Ann Budge had given to him during his battle with gambling addiction.

He had to be dragged away from a potential confrontation with the Fermanagh man by Rangers keeper Allan McGregor.

Berra said: "Kyle is a great lad and I've got no problem with him - but he's just got to remember what this club did for him.

"Don't get me wrong, Rangers pay his wages. It was just heat of the moment, he was away celebrating. I just thought he could have shown a bit of class. Just remember that it was these fans who got him that move.

"I was just angry at losing. He's a good lad and I don't have a bad word to say of him."

Levein is certain to face disciplinary action from Scottish Football Association compliance officer Clare Whyte after his rant against referee Bobby Madden's "abysmal" performance.

The Hearts boss was astonished to see Morelos escape punishment following a number of run-ins with Berra and the defender agreed, saying: "I'm sure he must have eyes in the back of his head because every goal-kick, he wasn't looking at the ball, he was looking at me.

"I know it's a tough job. And I like the physical battle. It doesn't bother me. But when you do it five, six, seven times..."

While Hearts were left raging with Madden's display, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was overjoyed with the victory that puts his team top of the pile.

He said: "Being in first place means nothing to me and I'm not lying. It is fantastic for the fans as it has been too long.

"We have worked hard to get there, but it is a challenge for us to see how long we can stay there. People have games in hand and will breathe down our neck, but it is a different responsibility.

"The players know that and we have to handle that. There is no point getting carried away, because we are in early December and you get nothing for it now."

Meanwhile, Rangers have published the legal agreement made by chairman Dave King which commits him to a timetable of undertakings before making a court-ordered shares bid by a deadline of January 25 next year.

The 63-year-old businessman, who had been defending claims of contempt of court over his failure so far to make the bid, has agreed to meet a series of deadlines before finally fulfilling his pledge to make a bid to existing shareholders at 20p a share.

It comes after the contempt case in front of Lady Wolfe was paused after the Rangers chief said he was now "100%" committed to making the multi-million pound offer which is required under takeover rules.

The proceedings arose out of Mr King's failure to comply with a court order in December to make a bid for most of the club's shares after a ruling he acted with other shareholders to take control in 2015, ousting a board of directors said to be allied to Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph