SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell has absolved Rangers of any blame for the trouble that flared in Glasgow city centre after the Ibrox club were presented with the Premiership trophy earlier this month and dismissed politicians’ demands for “strict liability”.

MSPs James Dornan, Patrick Harvie and Humza Yousaf all called for strict liability – which punishes clubs for supporters’ actions with fines, point deductions and stadum closures regardless of the preventative measures they have put in place – to be introduced following the unrest.

Thousands of the Govan giants’ followers ignored Covid-19 social distancing guidelines and descended on George Square to celebrate their first Scottish title win since 2011 on Saturday, May 15.

The square was strewn with hundreds of broken bottles, plastic bags and spent flares and inebriated fans were witnessed attacking each other as well as launching missiles at riot police. 

Maxwell branded the scenes “a disgrace” and “moronic”, but he believes that punishing Rangers, who publicly urged their supporters to remain in their own communities in the build-up to their league game against Aberdeen, would be unfair.

Asked about the calls for strict liability at the launch of the SFA’s The Power of Football strategic plan, he said: "The incident in George Square didn't happen in a football setting. I'm not sure I see the relevance of strict liability in terms of that specific example and that's what everybody has been talking about.
"The scenes were a disgrace. They were absolutely shocking and I can't comprehend why people would want to go and engage in that type of behaviour in any set of circumstances.
“They are not football fans and I don't think any club would want to be associated in any shape or form with individuals who behaved in that manner.

"It happened outwith a stadium environment and if moronic behaviour like that happens outside the realms of the stadium it's difficult to see how a football club can be responsible for that type of behaviour?" 

Maxwell continued: "Clubs are working hard. You saw players take the knee or make a stand against racism this season. Clubs do a lot of work to try to educate with messaging. 

"It's been really difficult for people through the pandemic. They've missed football and they want to get back into stadiums.
"I'd hate to think that when they get back in the stadiums there would be that kind of negative behaviour and we want to focus on people enjoying the game."