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Men's Football Clarke ready for his day in court against SFA

DEFIANT Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke refused to back down in his row with the Scottish Football Association today despite facing a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.

The Rugby Park manager says he is looking forward to his day in court after insisting he stands by the prepared statement he read out attacking Hampden chiefs for their refusal to overturn Gary Dicker’s controversial red card.

Clarke claimed the decision not to wipe the Irishman’s dismissal against Hearts last month had been “pre-judged” after referee Willie Collum was chosen to officiate the recent Old Firm clash at Parkhead.

Both he and Killie — who have also been charged after posting Clarke’s statement on their website — now face a hearing on October 25 but the former West Brom and Reading boss insists he will not back down.

And in a fresh swipe, he has also branded SFA bosses “disrespectful” after they managed to spell his name wrong on the official charge sheet, writing Steven rather than his correct spelling of Stephen.

He said: “I’m disappointed that the club has been charged for something I said, so that’s the first part.

“Obviously we’re going to fight our corner. We’ll go to the hearing and put forward our case.

“I stand by everything I said in my statement — no retraction — so I look forward to the hearing.

“On the charges, maybe I’m being a little bit pedantic but I thought it was disrespectful that they spelt my name wrong, both on the front cover and inside.

“I won’t use the word amateurish but certainly unprofessional.

“We look forward to the hearing … we will be ready for it and will defend our corner.

“It’s an unfortunate situation. We don’t think it’s of our making so we look forward to the hearing and putting forward our side of the argument. I look forward to discussing my statement with the people from the SFA and they can explain exactly what I’ve done wrong.”

But Clarke insists he is not at war with referees despite his stinging rebuke of Collum, who he claimed had “lacked a calm and rational approach” when producing his red card after a “ridiculously short” period of time following Dicker’s tackle on Jambos forward Callumn Morrison.

“I’ve got no issues with the referees,” he stressed at his pre-match press conference ahead of today’s trip to face Hibs at Easter Road. “I’m one of the few managers, if not the only one, who goes into shake their hand before every game.

“What might be said afterwards is not personal, it’s professional. I like to think I can go in and speak to every referee on a personal basis before every game.

“We just want consistency in decisions, consistency in who you charge and who you don’t charge — that’s all we ask for. Just put it across the board, the same for every club.”

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