Barry Ferguson has been stripped of the Rangers captaincy and sent home from training on Friday along with goalkeeper Allan McGregor after being dropped from the Scotland team in midweek for a breach of discipline.
“Barry Ferguson has been deposed as Rangers captain and sent home from training today along with goalkeeper Allan McGregor in lieu of their actions at Scotland’s World Cup qualifier with Iceland on Wednesday,” said a statement on the Rangers website.
“It is common knowledge that Ferguson and McGregor were involved in a drinking session with other players… on Sunday and that Scotland manager George Burley decided to leave them on the bench for the Iceland match as a result.
“However, it is the gestures that the two players made while sitting on the bench that have angered Rangers and the manager (Walter Smith) in particular,” added the statement on the Scottish Premier League club’s website (www.rangers.co.uk)
The two players will return to Murray Park later on Friday to meet chief executive Martin Bain and “learn their fate”.
Rangers manager Walter Smith has taken his own action while explaining that it was not so much the drinking controversy as the v-sign gestures the players made, that had led to him taking action.
“We were unhappy about that situation, but that was something for George to act on,” said Smith.
“The more disappointing aspect for us was the subsequent action on the bench on Wednesday night.
“From the club’s point of view, that was not a good image to project.”