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Spitting row won't hurt Ballymena's relationship with Rangers, says Jeffrey


Eros Grezda
Eros Grezda

By Steven Beacom

David Jeffrey has insisted that Ballymena United's relationship with Rangers remains strong despite an alleged spitting incident involving Ibrox winger Eros Grezda at the Showgrounds on Wednesday night.

In the second half of a 1-0 victory for Rangers Colts in the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup, Ballymena players claimed that Albanian international Grezda spat at defender Andrew Burns.

The incident led to angry exchanges between Ballymena players and Grezda, who was substituted by coach Graeme Murty.

After the match, the Rangers Colts captain for the night, Greg Docherty, entered the Ballymena dressing room to apologise for what happened. Jeffrey also revealed that Ibrox legend Mark Hateley, Murty and fellow coach Peter Lovenkrands also spoke to him following the final whistle.

It is understood Rangers have launched a probe into Grezda's behaviour.

Jeffrey, whose association with Rangers goes back to his days managing Linfield, stated: "I was most impressed by Greg Docherty. He is a young boy who has made the Rangers first team and he was captain for the night and took it upon himself to come into our dressing room to apologise for what happened, upholding the good name of Rangers Football Club in the process.

"I know the Rangers people were embarrassed by what happened and felt let down. Mark Hateley and Graeme Murty both came to see me about it and I appreciated what they had to say. Peter Lovenkrands was also excellent. Their behaviour was both gracious and exemplary.

"Certainly what happened on the night will not affect the good relationship between Ballymena United and Rangers or indeed my own relationship with Rangers.

"When Alex McLeish was manager of the club, I did my Pro Licence at Murray Park, and when I was in charge of Linfield we played Rangers several times and they were always great occasions.

"I know Rangers are a fantastic club. From our perspective the matter is now over and very much closed."

Belfast Telegraph


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