Scotland's 'victims' of close inspection

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Tony Higgins, the Scottish players' union chief, has claimed that his members are becoming victims of their own success.

Even this season's battle between Rangers and Celtic for the championship has sometimes been overshadowed by a number of on-field incidents which have caught the attention of the police as well as the football authorities.

But Higgins, himself a former professional but now an official with the Scottish Professional Footballers' Association, believes his members are suffering as they come increasingly under inspection from the media.

"They are under greater scrutiny than ever before," said Higgins. "We cannot condone certain actions on or off the field and I am sure the police don't want to spend their time investigating complaints. But they are now finding that fans are becoming increasingly involved."

He added: "The last two or three years have seen regular incidents between fans, players and the police and things could get worse before they get better."

The SPFA hope to combat the problem by giving young players an idea of what is expected of them. "We have launched an apprenticeship scheme which we see as a player education service," Higgins said.