Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has been surprised by the Scottish Government’s response to Covid rule breaches by Rangers players Jordan Jones and George Edmondson.
The Dons were on the end of a stringing rebuke from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in August when eight players were pictured socialising together at an Aberdeen bar
Sturgeon said she was furious after the Dons players breached the ruling at the time that permitted no more than three households to meet indoors, although the Dons players later claimed they wrongly believed they were part of the same “bubble”.
Celtic were also heavily criticised after defender Boli Bolingoli breached quarantine rules after travelling to Spain in secret and failing to self-isolate for 14 days on his return.
But while the Dons and Celtic drew the ire of the First Minister, Rangers were praised by the Scottish Government for taking “swift and decisive action” after suspending Jones and Edmondson.
Police were called to disperse a house party that the pair attended on Sunday night.
Hoops boss Neil Lennon accused the Scottish Government of double standards and McInnes also feels his side were harshly treated.
McInnes, whose side host Hibernian tonight, said: “We took an unbelievable amount of criticism from the outset.
“Rightly so, and we took our punishment.
“There was a feeling from a lot of people and one or two managers that they were doing everything right and I felt as though it was too easy for us to be shot at.
“We were the first ones to be highlighted and there were probably a lot of clubs who took a sigh of relief and looked at what they were doing with their own procedures.
“With us being caught out by the naivety of the players, it probably allowed other clubs to assess everything.
“That was a good thing as I don’t think everybody was being squeaky clean.
“I did feel at the time when I saw other managers and people from clubs being interviewed saying that they were doing everything right and it was them at Aberdeen letting the whole side down.
“I felt angry and disappointed about that.
“I did say at the time that every club would be affected by this. All you can do is try to minimise the risks.”
He added: “We have learned to deal with the virus with the way our lives have been different for the last four or five months. We have become regimented with what we can and can’t do.
“I think football is doing so much right to keep the whole season going.
“While we were wrong at the time and rightly criticised, I haven’t seen the same condemnation that was aimed towards us right across the board for anybody else. That is a fact.
“Whether that was because we were the first, I don’t know.”