Rangers leader quits over `bigotry'

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The Independent Online
THE RANGERS football club vice-chairman, Donald Findlay, has resigned following allegations that he sang sectarian songs at an end-of-season party in Glasgow.

A newspaper yesterday published photographs of Findlay, one of Scotland's leading lawyers, apparently standing on a stage and singing what was described as "anti-Celtic anthems". The club had been attempting to defuse religious tensions with rival Glasgow club Celtic.

Findlay has acted in some of Scotland's most high-profile criminal cases. In 1996 he represented Jason Campbell, who was jailed for life for slashing the throat of a young Celtic fan. And last year he represented Thomas Longstaff, 26, who was jailed for 10 years for attacking another Celtic supporter.

Rangers issued a statement confirming that David Murray, Rangers chairman, had accepted Findlay's offer of resignation, tendered in a letter which read: "The events of Saturday night were a serious misjudgement on my part."

He added: "My conduct was not acceptable and I ought to have realised this. I regret any harm done to the club I care about deeply. I apologise unreservedly for the offence caused to anyone."

Gerry Madden, the secretary of the Glasgow Celtic Supporters' Club, said Findlay had let down his club and had no option but to resign. "In the light of what has happened I don't think he had any choice but to resign," The Rangers Supporters' Association said Findlay had done the "honourable" thing.

The allegations soured Rangers' celebrations after they achieved a Scottish domestic treble in the first full season of their manager, Dick Advocaat. They completed that treble with a 1-0 Scottish Cup final win over Celtic on Saturday.