Keith Hackett suggests Scottish FA sanctions after Rangers supporters incident in 3-1 win at Livingston

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive Rangers columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…

Keith Hackett suggests Livingston are the club that will be under investigation after crowd incidents in their 3-1 defeat to Rangers on Sunday.

Play was halted for 10 minutes in the second half at Almondvale as Livi goalkeeper Max Stryjek was pelted by snowballs from Rangers supporters.

Former FIFA-listed official Hackett has expressed concerns over what happened in West Lothian.

“This is a worry,” Hackett told Ibrox News. “Any object thrown on the field of play can cause injuries to a goalkeeper. I think it’s unfair.

“This is the danger when you have snow and where you put the snow, so I think Livingston might learn from this in terms of the snow in the stands. That’s something they will have to look at next time.

“The referee did the right thing to take them off and if they didn’t stop then the game would have been abandoned. The referee did the right thing, no question.

“When I’ve had that, I’ve almost made sure that they don’t pile the snow up.

“I think Livingston will learn from that and there is a possibility of facing a fine of course because they will be sanctioned by the Scottish FA for delaying the kick-off, especially as this game was on television.”

When asked if Rangers could face sanctions for the behaviour of some of their supporters, Hackett replied: “Ultimately, this is the nonsense bit, it’s the home club that has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the players.”

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Rangers Looking To Lock Down Talent Amid Premier League Interest

Rangers are planning to start contract negotiations with starlet Leon King amidst interest from Premier League duo Manchester United and Newcastle United, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

King, a product of Rangers academy set-up, is highly rated at Ibrox and has been tipped for big things in the future.

The 17-year-old has already registered two appearances for the senior team, but is yet to feature for them this season.

However, King’s future at the Scottish giants is under the scanner as his current deal is set to expire next summer.

The defender’s situation has seen him attract interest from south of the border in the shape of Premier League giants Manchester United and Newcastle.

But the Gers are keen on keeping hold of their young star and are now plotting to enter contract talks with him.

As it stands King is allowed to enter pre-contract negotiations with potential suitors when the January transfer widow swings open, but Rangers are looking to secure his signature on fresh terms.

King earned a spot on the bench in Rangers’ 2-0 Europa League win over Sparta Prague last week, their first game under new boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst, and it remains to be seen whether the youngster will be at his disposal beyond this season.

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Startling Rangers stat emerges under Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Rangers are starting games much faster under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, a statistic from Andrew Dickson reveals.

The Bears beat Livingston 3-1 in the Dutchman’s Scottish
Premiership managerial debut on Sunday and were two goals up inside 16 minutes.

It followed a 2-0 win over Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday, in which the scoring was also opened early – Alfredo Morelos notching after 15 minutes.

Writing on Twitter, Sky Sports journalist Dickson highlighted how these early goals are a big change from the last months of Steven Gerrard’s tenure.

“One notable stat for me from van Bronckhorst’s first two games,” he said.

“Three goals scored in the opening 16 minutes of those
matches. Rangers’ last three goals in the opening 16 minutes of games came over
their previous 18 fixtures.

“Stronger starts will do a lot to build confidence.”

Fast starts

Two games is obviously a very small sample size, but it is
definitely something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.

As van Bronckhorst sat in the Hampden Park stands for Rangers’ Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat to Hibernian, there was a fear that he had a bigger job on his hands than anticipated.

However, he is making the perfect start – quite literally – and ensuring that the Bears do not take their foot off the gas in the Scottish Premiership title race.

The team are asserting their dominance on games right from
the off, which was not the case under Gerrard; Rangers conceded the first goal in
the Englishman’s last five matches in charge.

But against Livingston on Sunday for example, after Scott
Arfield and Joe Aribo had put them 2-0 up with just over a quarter of an hour gone,
there was never any doubt that they would go on and secure the three points.

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