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Ross County chief criticises Tannadice boss for post-match anti-racism gesture

Ross County v Celtic – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Global Energy Stadium
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Ross County have labelled Dundee United head coach Tam Courts irresponsible for his reaction to allegations of racism against their fans which they say proved unfounded.

County chief executive Steven Ferguson claimed Courts could have incited trouble for the travelling fans after raising a Show Racism the Red Card T-shirt aloft after United’s 1-0 win at Tannadice on Saturday.

United midfielder Jeando Fuchs had reported an alleged racial slur coming from the visiting fans after his side’s first-half goal but County say initial investigations from both clubs ended with the conclusion that it was a misunderstanding.

Ferguson said in a statement: “During the end of the first half and for the vast majority of the second half our safety officer engaged with his Dundee United counterpart, Dundee United stewards and Ross County supporters as well as other representatives of both clubs where it was made clear to him from all parties, that no racist language had been used during a chant that was aimed at Jeando Fuchs.

“Dundee United stewards were extremely close to the area where the chant had come from and had confirmed that no racist language had been used, however swearing and foul language had been.

“We also feel the gesture from Dundee United manager Thomas Courts towards our supporters did not reflect responsible handling of the matter given that representatives of both clubs upon the full-time whistle had come to the conclusion that no racist language had been used.

“This could also have incited risk to Ross County supporters leaving the stadium after the game.

“As a football club we will always defend our club, our supporters and our people where we feel they are being misrepresented or have not being treated to the same standards that we show to visiting supporters.

“We understand that this is a hugely important societal issue, and we will continue to support the fight against racism, but in order to best do so we need to always ensure that there is accurate, clear and unquestionable evidence and facts to support racism complaints.

“We would also like to state that Jeando has the full compassion of everybody at Ross County as we were made aware of how distressed he has been from the chain of events.”

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park

Tam Courts was criticised by Ross County chief executive Steven Ferguson (Jane Barlow/PA)

County boss Malky Mackay stated after the game that evidence suggested Fuchs had misheard the chant and Ferguson believes the reaction to those comments has been unfair. Courts did not speak to the media after the game.

“The criticism that has been levelled at our club, supporters and manager in the wake of yesterday’s alleged incident has been very distressing for us all,” he said.

“Our supporters have been targeted as ‘racists’ by individuals and by members of the media when the evidence has shown that was not the case.

“Our manager during post-match press conferences was asked about the incident and shared information that had been relayed to him after conversations between Ross County club officials and Dundee United’s security team, stewards and other parties.”

Ferguson stressed the club’s support for anti-racism campaigns and added: “We will continue to support and co-operate with Dundee United’s ongoing investigation and would encourage the involvement of Police Scotland and the Scottish FA compliance officer as a full and thorough investigation needs to be conducted.”