Ferguson still angry over SPL handling of Rangers congested fixture list

The SPL refused a request by Rangers to postpone the visit of Dundee United - their third league game in seven days.

Opponents Zenit St Petersburg had three Russian league games postponed before the final and won 2-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium last month.

Ferguson claimed seven of the players who started for Rangers carried niggling injuries into the biggest game of their lives.

The Ibrox skipper told the Scottish Sun: "I was angry then and now there is just this lingering bitter disappointment that Rangers' biggest game for 36 years was played with that sort of preparation.

"I was bitterly disappointed in the SPL and I always will be.

"They keep saying they want their teams to do well in Europe but the actions didn't back up the words.

"There were players inside our dressing room from abroad - guys like Carlos Cuellar and Jean-Claude Darcheville - who were just astounded. They were staggered our own league would treat us like this."

The SPL did extend the season by four days to accommodate the fixture pile-up caused by Rangers' run to three finals.

But the Ibrox club played four games in eight days as they lost the title on the final day.

However, SPL chairman Lex Gold insists clubs should take some responsibility for refusing to start the season earlier.

"The main way we would get space is by starting the season earlier but our major clubs don't like that," he said.

"It was discussed last year but the major clubs didn't fancy it because it cramped what they could do in the summer. That's why the new season in starting in August."

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