St Mirren chairman John Needham has been charged by the Scottish FA for discriminatory and offensive comments after tweets he made regarding Rangers resurfaced.
Needham faces an SFA hearing on December 2 to answer three charges over his historic tweets and could face a serious penalty as a result.
After the tweets came to light, Needham apologised, insisting they didn’t reflect his “character or beliefs” and admitting that he “very much” regretted them, saying: “On Friday 22 October a number of Tweets I created in the past referring to Rangers fans were highlighted on Twitter.
“As a club chairman I have extra responsibility for the conduct and example I show.
“These posts are completely inappropriate and do not reflect my character or beliefs as a person and I very much regret them.
“I apologise unreservedly to the directors and fans of Rangers and to everyone at St Mirren. I am acutely aware of my responsibilities. This won’t happen again.”
Needham joined the St Mirren board in October last year after the club was taken over by the St Mirren fans and at least one of Needham’s tweets were made after he was appointed to the Buddies board.
The three rules Needham has been accused of breaching are:
Disciplinary Rule 71 – No recognised football body, club, official, Team Official or other member of Team Staff, player, match official, or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall bring the game into disrepute.
Disciplinary Rule 73 – No recognised football body, club, official, Team Official or other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall in an interview, a ‘blog’ on the internet, on a social networking or microblogging site, or in any other manner calculated or likely to lead to publicity, make comment(s) of a discriminatory or offensive nature based on, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability, or that endorse or encourage foul play or violent Conduct or are otherwise offensive. There shall be a presumption that any material published in such a manner was published in the name of and/or with the authority of the person or body bearing to have published the material.
Disciplinary Rule 77 – A recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football. Furthermore such person or body shall not act in any manner which is improper or use any one, or a combination of, violent Conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.
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