WHENEVER anyone is accused of something they did not do, from the most heinous crime to some petty misunderstanding, it is advisable and also easy to stand up for yourself.

The burden of proof lies with the accuser and so if the accused is innocent then it’s simple enough to prove that.

But when a finger is pointed at a person and that individual remains schtum; let’s be honest, we all think there is smoke coming from a fire.

Which brings me to the Scottish Professional Football League chairman Murdoch MacLennan.

Read more: Steven Gerrard: Rangers strikeforce must show their quality or I will bolster the Ibrox attack​

The 69-year-old Glaswegian is best known as a newspaper executive across several titles and for being regularly lampooned in the pages of Private Eye in which he has been accused of all sorts.

I won’t repeat them here because while I’m a fan and subscriber to the Eye, they don’t always get everything right and I’m skint so can’t afford Ian Hyslop’s overworked lawyer.

It was in Private Eye where MacLennan’s link with Dermot Desmond, Celtic’s biggest shareholder, was revealed (sic) and also his apparent hatred of Rangers with one story claiming that when he was at the Daily Record, he was well known on the editorial floor to be no fan of anyone at Ibrox.

Rangers demanded an investigation into this and wanted him removed from his role. Neither happened and it doesn’t really look like it will.

MacLennan is chairman of the Dublin-based Independent News and Media, a firm which lists Desmond and another Celtic shareholder, Denis O’Brien, as major shareholders. Rangers say there is a conflict of interest and they actually have a point.

Although from the outside looking in, it seems a pretty tenuous link. Do you honestly think the bold Dermot sent his man into Hampden in a Trojan horse to inflict more damage on his club’s rivals.

The theory is good fun if seriously flimsy.

The SPFL say they knew of MacLennan’s business relationship with the two Celtic man, which was hardly a secret and said this.

Read more: Steven Gerrard: Rangers strikeforce must show their quality or I will bolster the Ibrox attack​

“To be definitive, a non-executive position on a plc does not constitute a business relationship between that individual and a minority shareholder in the company and therefore no investigation is warranted.”

Chances are Rangers won’t let this go. Many of their supporters will back them as it will be seen as having a go at the evil Scottish football bosses who tried to destroy their club.

While everyone else wonders if this is an attempt to divert attention away from the many troubles which can still be found down Edmonston Drive.

I know three people who worked under MacLennan and irregularly dealt with him. Two swear they can’t remember the man ever speaking about football, never mind that he supported a team in the city.

The other, a good friend, backs up Private Eye’s suggestion MacLennan had his sights set on a seat on the Celtic board, which doesn’t necessarily mean that as a boy he was a regular on the Bobby Murdoch Emerald supporters’ bus.

MacLennan has never given an interview since getting his job at Hampden. This is odd given his grandiose title, even if I have no idea what he actually does or whether he has any real power.

Should he dare hold a press conference, the first question would be: “Forgive my manners but what do you actually do?” Quickly followed up by: “So who much do you hate the Rangers?”

Read more: Steven Gerrard: Rangers strikeforce must show their quality or I will bolster the Ibrox attack​

These are serious allegation even if you think it’s all a nonsense and, as stated above if, it is all wrong then then it would be easy enough for him to nip it in the bud.

Are the SPFL afraid a man of nearly 70, and one who has enjoyed great success in his life, can’t handle a couple of rather simple questions from someone like myself? He’s not going to get pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen.

The longer he says nothing then those who believe him to be a wrong ‘un will feel their fears have been confirmed, even if they are way off the mark.

Private Eye’s nickname for the chairman of our league is ‘Shifty.’ Murdoch MacLennan couldn’t sue them over that.