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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
James Cairney

Michael Beale brands Craig McPherson's Rangers vs Celtic incident 'out of character'

Rangers manager Michael Beale has insisted that women’s coach Craig McPherson's alleged headbutt on Celtic boss Fran Alonso was out of character. 

A clip was circulated on social media and went viral after it appeared to show McPherson headbutting Alonso from behind in the aftermath of a 1-1 draw played out between the two SWPL title rivals on Monday night. 

McPherson has been subsequently charged by the Scottish FA and will face a disciplinary hearing on 13 April, while Police Scotland have opened an investigation into the incident. 

When asked about the episode at a pre-match press conference ahead of the men’s team’s match against Dundee United, Beale said that Ferguson’s alleged actions were “completely out of character”. 

He said: “I didn't see it live, and I know that the SFA and Rangers, there's an ongoing discussion around it. All I would say on Craig is that it is out of character for him.  

“I think everyone that knows him in Scotland and knows his career and him as a man, it's out of character. The SFA, the club and Craig they are away having discussions about it. 

“I've not seen it since I've obviously been told about it. I didn't see it. I personally haven't spoke to him on it. 

“So listen, I think that's away with the SFA and they've cited him and them discussions are going on so it would be unfair for me to comment more on that because I haven't spoken to him in person about it.” 

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match at Broadwood, Alonso admitted he was unsure what provoked McPherson: “I don't know, you can see there somebody pushed me from behind. 

“I do not know, I never talked to him the whole game. 

“Obviously it is disappointing to concede a goal in the last minute, I totally get it but I don't know.  

“I was called little rat.” 

A Celtic spokesperson later added: “Clearly this is a hugely concerning incident, falling well below any acceptable standard. 

“We understand the matter is now being investigated and it will be up to all relevant authorities to take any appropriate action.” 

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We have received a report regarding an incident at Broadwood Stadium on the evening of Monday, 27 March. Enquiries to establish any criminality are at an early stage.” 

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