A furious Steve Clarke accused the Rangers support of living in the dark ages after being targeted with sectarian abuse during his Kilmarnock side’s Scottish Cup pummelling by Rangers.
Chants of “sad Fenian bastard” echoed round Ibrox as the home side booked a quarter-final against Aberdeen with a 5-0 win. Alfredo Morelos struck four times on his return from suspension but Killie’s hopes were over as soon as the goalkeeper, Daniel Bachmann, was dismissed for an off-the-ball clash with Glen Kamara.
Clarke could barely contain his disgust with the referee, Alan Muir, over the decision, branding the sending-off a joke. But he saved his fiercest condemnation for the home supporters.
“It’s lovely being back in the west of Scotland, really nice,” said the former Chelsea defender. “When I was approached by Rangers about taking over the job here I was assured that ‘we don’t have that in the west of Scotland any more. It’s gone’.
“They can call me a bastard or a wanker. No problem, thanks, guys. But to call me a Fenian bastard, come on. Where are we living in? The dark ages?
“They are not allowed to call my assistant [Alex Dyer] a black b but they can call me a Fenian bastard. What are we doing in Scotland?
“I wake up every morning and thank Chelsea for coming and taking me away from the west of Scotland because my children don’t understand this. Thankfully when I go down there my children, my grandchildren don’t have to worry about this. So, fantastic to be back in Scotland.”
Steven Gerrard admitted the Rangers centre-back Joe Worrall had placed an arm on the visiting striker Eamonn Brophy when they clashed inside the Rangers area two minutes in but said Killie penalty appeals were debatable.
Clarke had no doubt about the matter and savaged Muir over his decision to send off Bachmann after the keeper was accused of elbowing Kamara at a corner 25 minutes in.
He said: “If the penalty had been given in the first two minutes it would have been different. The red card is a joke. If that’s the standards we might as well go home. Why speak? It’s every week.
“You’ll probably write about Morelos’s four goals but the officials decided the game. It’s embarrassing. The goalie just lifted his arms. Every goalie does it every week. It’s embarrassing. How can I talk about football tonight?”