A Sky Sports pundit’s absence has been revealed after the ex-Celtic striker ended up being hit with an Ibrox ban this Bank Holiday weekend.
Andy Walker was no where to be seen for the coverage of Sunday’s Old Firm derby and it has now been claimed that there has been a row over comments he made regarding the Gers’ finances.
The Daily Mail have said that the Gers are demanding an apology from Walker before allowing him back into Ibrox.
Commentator Ian Crocker was instead joined by Ally McCoist and James McFadden, while former Gers forward Kris Boyd was in the studio alongside Eilidh Barbour and Stiliyan Petrov.
Writing on Twitter, Heart & Hand said: “Had a few questions re: Andy Walker’s absence today. I understand it’s due to a dispute caused by comments he made concerning Rangers finances. The issue remains unresolved.”
Celtic boss John Kennedy has hit out at Nick Welsh as he laid responsibility for Celtic’s heaviest derby defeat in 13 years at the feet of the referee who was making his debut.
The Hoops crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Rangers after having Callum McGregor sent off just 26 minutes into the game.
The Scottish midfielder had only been cautioned for a trip on Ryan Kent three minutes before.
Welsh then allowed play to go on as McGregor then went into Glen Kamara during the build up to Kemar Roofe’s opener, though returned back to the incident to show the Hoops player his second yellow.
It was a huge blow and while they did end up levelling the scoreline through Odsonne Edouard, Celtic weren’t able to prevent Rangers getting their biggest derby win since October 2007 as Alfredo Morelos, Roofe and Jermain Defoe also found the net.
After watching Celtic fail to register a single win over their bitter rivals a top-flight campaign for the first time in 21 years, interim boss Kennedy took aim at referee Welsh. Watch the highlights below…
“Callum being sent off at the same time as Rangers score obviously swings the game in their favour,” he said. “We got ourselves back into it but in key moments we weren’t strong enough in defending our box.
“When we did have our chances, which are always going to be hard to come by with 10 men, we just couldn’t get the ball in the net.
“It was a bit of what we have been (all season) again – but made all the harder because of the decision to send Callum off.
“I think it’s a bad decision. Not the second one because he’s on a yellow and makes a tackle on the ground.
“I asked the referee for clarity at half-time on why he booked him for the first one. His words to me exactly were ‘it was a reckless challenge’. It wasn’t reckless, I’ve seen it. There was no malice, no intent in terms of any power behind the tackle.
“It was a big game for a young official who doesn’t have a lot of experience. He makes a very harsh call which costs us.
“Callum is gutted. He is the most disappointed man at Ibrox today.
“I feel for him because I don’t think he deserved it. Okay, he makes a decision to go to ground (for the second one) which he’ll learn from. But he shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place, he shouldn’t have had a yellow card earlier.”
Steven Gerrard said after the game: “It was an important game and it was a really strong performance. We needed Kemar, Alfredo and Ryan to be the difference for us in the final third and we ran away with it in the end.
“From the team’s point of view, consistency is something we are always striving for. Kemar has had a mixed few weeks but he responded in a fantastic way. His two goals were fantastic and he played big for us. Over the course Kemar has certainly delivered.
“These games are always decided by the big moments. And I thought the referee got the decisions right because he [McGregor] was stopping a promising attack.”
6.8 – McGregor
6.8 – Tavernier
7.4 – Goldson
6.9 – Simpson
8.2 – Barisic
6.8 – Kamara
7.4 – Aribo
7.2 – Davis
8.0 – Kent
8.8 – Roofe
7.8 – Morelos
6.1 – Wright (sub)
7.2 – Defoe (sub)
6.3 – Hagi (sub)
5.8 – Bain
6.2 – Kenny
7.1 – Ajer
5.9 – Welsh
5.9 – Taylor
6.1 – Brown
4.7 – McGregor
6.2 – Forrest
6.6 – Turnbull
6.4 – Elyounoussi
7.4 – Edouard
6.4 – Soro (sub)
5.8 – Johnston (sub)
6.3 – Christie (sub)
Fans reacted as the Sky Sports pundit’s absence is revealed after being hit with an Ibrox ban…
@RRFC_72: Ian Crocker is so much better without Andy Walker in commentary
@Delbert73: Rangers banning Andy Walker hasn’t received nearly as much praise as it deserves. Treating our haters with the utter contempt they’ve shown us for years is top level shithousery & long may it continue…..
@alanmurdoch70: Let’s make it clear that even an apology won’t cut it and that he is permanently banned because of his potentially slanderous* comments. We should make a public statement about this. *it might be libellous, as it was in a media broadcast. Not 100% sure which applies
@DerickSnake: It’s defamatory – and I hope the club are pursuing legal action. In a financial climate like this, potentially scaring investors with public statements about “parlous” finances could have serious ramifications. On another note, it shows he’s drinking the Sevco Kool Aid
@gemma_gems6: Absolutely! About time we had people running the club that stick up for us!
@Wom8le: Andy Walker ahaha ha Andy Walker ha ha haha hahahahahahahahahahahahhahhahahh Andy Walker ha ha hah ahah 🤣
@RangersRobbie83: It was Brilliant to see that Andy walker was banned from Ibrox today, he should be banned for life 👍
@christrfc29: I really missed Andy walker talking shite the day 🤥
@rharv89: Usually hate Andy walker being on commentary but would have loved to have heard his tears today
@ofvoid: My only regret is not being able to listen to Andy Walker cry for a solid hour after the sending off.
@GDowney14: Walker and Mc Coist was a “love in” during their commentary in the last cup tie at Ibrox. It was the same yesterday, Mc Fadden for Walker. No difference! Gordon Strachan is the only guy who stands up for Celtic. But I’m no way condoning yesterday’s capitulation. Pathetic .
@joydivision61_h: How many of the media were barred from ibrox for reporting the sectarian abuse at the st johnstone game 🤔
@MarleyLovesBeer: I wish I’d been barred from watching it.
@DaftMorph: @ScotlandSky your commentary team has been top notch today. Now do the decent thing and consign Andy Walker to his retirement
@deathdenial: Andy Walker’s absence doesn’t surprise me, his comments on Rangers finances were defamatory and an open goal for any civil action. He forgot he was not some unemployed blogger in a Donegal cave.
@alan1980g: Couldn’t have been any worse than the two plonkers on commentary today.
@muirsworld: How good is the commentating nowadays without Andy Walker
@LoyalKP7: Price the difference in tone from the commentary. No Andy Walker stoking up shite and manufacturing controversy. McFadden is much better with McCoist
@rockthekasbah88: How refreshing is it to watch an Old firm without Andy Walker burning your ear for 90 mins, bliss!
@Vodka2Whisky: I’ve enjoyed the sky commentary today. Both co commentators are very balanced and crocker isn’t doing his usual bs.
@skelf73: And it was a much more pleasant experience for his absence. Please keep this matter unresolved @SkySports
@swigalot: Long may it continue
@TheRanter2012: It’s actually an easy listen now. Long may it continue. @SkySports
So Andy Walker comments on @RangersFC’s finances and is then promptly denied access to Ibrokes.
Why? Did Andy hit the nail right on the head?
— 🔰𝐇ÜΩ$KEL🅿️ЁR™ (@hunskelper_) May 3, 2021