Scottish bosses explain no-show for League cup draw

Rangers boss Walter Smith dismissed criticism from David Longmuir about his club's failure to attend the Co-operative Insurance Cup draw.

Scottish Football League chief executive Longmuir claimed the four clubs who were not represented for the Hampden quarter-final draw should be more "thoughtful" as the organisation attempts to persuade the Co-op to renew their deal.

Motherwell, Falkirk and Dundee United were also absent but Smith claimed it was difficult to meet such demands at short notice.

"I've got a wee bit more to worry about at the present moment," he said.

"I think we have supported the league and sponsorship for any of our games.

"If we didn't do it the other day, there obviously must have been some kind of problem.

"You don't even know if you're going to be in it or not until the Tuesday evening.

"Then, players are off the next day and that kind of thing happens. It's a difficult scenario.

"But I don't think the league can complain about help they get from the clubs overall."

Motherwell boss Craig Brown apologised for his club's no-show but he also offered mitigating factors.

Brown did not want to take a player out of training and pointed out that he had attended the third-round draw.

The former Scotland boss said: "We were asked at fairly short notice - it had to be because the previous round was only completed in midweek.

"We normally have a weekly programme for the players. We had organised a training session for the morning and a gym session for the afternoon.

"It was pointed out that we could have sent injured players and that could have been done, so we apologise for that.

"I have great respect for David Longmuir and great respect for the competition and the Scottish Football League."

However, Brown added on BBC Radio Scotland: "The previous round there were 16 teams in and I think only two managers attended, myself and Jim Weir of Brechin.

"I was pulled all over the place for photographs with the cup, a cup we hadn't won, which I didn't feel was appropriate. But I did so grudgingly.

"I don't know how many interviews I did. I felt I had done my fair share."

Brown added: "The timing was poor, 2.30 the day after the games on a training day."

Dundee United manager Peter Houston admitted he might have been able to attend given he was at home in Glasgow at the time.

But he was unaware of the invite and believes United sent their apologies in advance, because they did not arrive back in Dundee following their extra-time win at Ross County until the early hours of Thursday morning.

"I could have been there, but for our players it would have been difficult because they're all locally based now," said Houston.

"But as far as United are concerned - we did speak to people at the SFL and they did know prior to the draw being made."

Falkirk chairman Martin Ritchie revealed his club had apologised in advance for their absence.

Ritchie said in a statement: "The first-team squad train every Thursday afternoon, therefore it was impossible for Steven (Pressley) to take a player out of training.

"We are fully understanding of the obligations to sponsors and are fully supportive of all commercial activity within Scottish football."

Celtic sent coach Garry Parker to the draw, injured Kilmarnock goalkeeper Alan Combe represented his club, Liam Craig turned up for St Johnstone while Chris Maguire and Zander Diamond travelled from Aberdeen.