Club chief fires back over MSP’s criticism

Clyde winger Ally Love (pic by Craig Black Photography)
Clyde winger Ally Love (pic by Craig Black Photography)

Clyde chairman Norrie Innes has offered to meet with an MSP who criticised the club for not firing winger Ally Love.

Love was handed a five-match ban by the SFA last month for racially abusing Annan Athletic player Rabin Omar.

Clyde carried out its own investigation and stated it had “disciplined” Love and will be sending him on diversity training.

During a Scottish Parliament debate the punishment was criticised by Glasgow list MSP Anas Sarwar.

He said: “Neil Lennon got suspended for five matches for having an argument with a referee. Are the SFA and Clyde FC seriously saying Mr Love’s racists comments merit the same punishment?

“I’m sick to death of hearing diversity training being used as some kind of excuse, or some kind of punishment.

“Ally Love should be suspended by his club, if not expelled altogether. We’ve got to send a message that time is up for people with these hateful views.”

In a statement Mr Innes described the criticism as “misguided”.

He said: “I would be delighted to meet with Mr Sarwar to respectfully demonstrate that the club is all about producing better communities, people and footballers, and if people seek support for improvement, in any aspect of their life or game, this is the right place to be.

“Bigotry, racism and toxic aggression exists. No part of what we do as a club will condone or nourish any of these! Quite the opposite. Clyde are a truly inclusive club.

“We hear the misguided criticisms towards the club and all I can say is “harbouring” can be seen from two very different viewpoints!

“We welcome the challenges and we will continue to work hard on being a club and a Foundation who helps, in any way possible, who come into its community.”

Mr Sarwar welcomed Mr Innes’s statement, tweeting: “I look forward to meeting with them and opening up a dialogue on this case and on the wider issues.”