SFA withdraw legal action threat

20 April 2011 07:00

The Scottish Football Association have withdrawn the threat of legal action against Paul McBride QC after the lawyer expressed regret over the offence caused by his criticism of the organisation.

McBride last week launched a scathing attack on the SFA after Rangers trio Ally McCoist, Madjid Bougherra and El-Hadji Diouf escaped without bans following misconduct charges emanating from the infamous Scottish Cup replay against Celtic.

McBride had previously represented Celtic manager Neil Lennon before the same disciplinary committee this season and accused the SFA of bias. The QC's comments drew a stinging response from SFA chief executive Stewart Regan, but the pair have since held conciliatory talks.

McBride, who was the target of a parcel bomb found in a Kilwinning post box on Friday, released a statement through Press Association Sport.

It read: "In the course of an interview given to BBC Scotland on April 12, 2011, I made a number of remarks which followed the decision made at the disciplinary hearing involving Rangers FC players and their assistant manager.

"Following discussions with the SFA, I recognise that offence has been taken to my remarks by the SFA as an organisation, its council and its staff, and for that I express regret. I have a lot of respect for many individuals within the SFA, not least Stewart Regan.

"Under his leadership, I anticipate many reforms which will be welcomed across Scotland."

Regan, who will put his major overhaul of the SFA's disciplinary procedures to clubs at the organisation's AGM next month, welcomed the statement.

He said: "Following constructive discussions with Paul McBride, I can confirm that the Scottish FA will not proceed with either a defamation case against him or a complaint to the Faculty of Advocates.

"Whilst anyone is entitled to criticise the Scottish FA, we cannot allow our integrity to be challenged. Now that this issue is behind us, we can concentrate on the internal and constitutional reforms which will benefit Scottish football going forward."

Source: PA