Ross County chief executive Steven Ferguson has asked that his club is given time to “get to the bottom” of the homophobic abuse allegations levelled at midfielder Michael Gardyne.
According to reports, the Scottish Football Association is set to launch disciplinary action against the 34-year-old following an incident during Sunday’s 4-0 defeat to Rangers.
Ibrox defender Connor Goldson accused his County opponent of uttering an unacceptable remark during a flash-point just before half-time – a claim the players’ agent and manager have already strongly denied.
Referee John Beaton choose only to book Gardyne for using ‘foul and abusive language’ at the time of the incident.
The PA news agency understands the official acted after hearing the veteran use the phrase “f*****g f***y” but did not hear anything which would have merited stronger action.
After the game, Gers boss Steven Gerrard said: “What my players are saying they heard, it shouldn’t be heard on a football pitch.”
County chief Ferguson said his club have yet to be told officially by Hampden bosses that Gardyne will face a notice of complaint.
In the meantime, though, the Dingwall outfit will carry out their own investigation.
Ferguson said: “We’ve woke up to the stuff in the papers today. As far as the football club is concerned we are aware of the situation and we’re conducting our own investigation to get to the bottom of what was allegedly said or allegedly done.
“If you guys in the media could just respect us and give us a wee bit of time and make sure we can get to the bottom of it and deal with it in the correct manner, then we’d be grateful.
“It’s only 48 hours on from the alleged incident so we do need time to do this properly.”
Asked if the SFA had delivered its disciplinary charge yet, the former first-team co-boss replied: “There’s nothing clear, so that’s why I’m just asking for some time to get to the bottom of it.
“We really don’t want to say anything that one, jeopardises anybody or, two, is the wrong thing. Until we get any concrete evidence then we can’t make any sort of judgement.
“We will be in touch as soon as we have anything factual or concrete or anything that we feel is appropriate to say.”
Meanwhile, Dingwall boss Stuart Kettlewell is delighted to be welcoming Jason Naismith back to the Highlands after his release from Peterborough.
The 26-year-old defender spent 18 months with County before departing for England in the summer of 2018.
He spent last season on loan at Hibs but suffered a serious knee injury that ended his campaign.
However, Kettlewell believes the former St Mirren ace will be ready to return to action with his side once he is eligible to sign officially on a six-month deal from January 1.
“Naisy has come in this morning and we’re delighted to have him on board,” he said. “He can’t play right now having been a signed player with Peterborough but he will be able to come back from the beginning of January.
“Naisy said to me he would have walked back up the road to come back to a place where he is going to get an opportunity to play.
“He is desperate to prove people wrong who think nonsense like he’s injury prone or finished.”
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