SCOTT Brown has strongly insisted he did nothing wrong in the last Old Firm game and claimed it was he who was the real victim that day.

Speaking for the first time since the controversial match against Rangers on March 31, the Celtic captain made it clear, in a calm and detailed diatribe, he felt the SFA charge of “not acting in the best interests of football" was a nonsense, as was the criticism from some quarters which came his way in the aftermath following his celebrations at the end of the game which Celtic won 2-1 thanks to a late James Forrest winner.

Brown was cleared last week of any wrongdoing, which the 33-year-old always believed would happen, and the midfielder is now solely focussed on sealing the Ladbrokes Premiership title at Aberdeen this Saturday and then completing the Treble for a third successive season.

Brown said: “I’m delighted. I don’t think I did anything really wrong. For me, I spoke to the lawyer and he was happy to go forward with it, and I spoke to Peter (Lawwell) as well. The SFA had to do something about it but they were happy enough at the end of the day that I didn’t overstep the mark.


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“I walked away. I got smacked in the face and punched. I stood up and I walked away from when it was all going on, because somebody is usually looking to blame me so I made sure I stayed well clear of it all.

“Why was I charged? You tell me. I’ve not got a clue.

“I had to ask the lawyer what that (the charge) was. I still don’t know. But the SFA was happy enough when we looked at the footage that I didn’t do anything wrong.

“I had people jumping over me at Ibrox the last time. I took it on the chin, I walked away. Each to their own. They did well they managed to beat us at the end of December. They celebrated and I just walked down the tunnel and whatever happened when they came down the tunnel, celebrating and shouting, I just walked into the changing rooms.

“They celebrate, I celebrate. But we won, went 11 points clear and they obviously didn’t like the way we were celebrating.”

When it was put to Brown that even those who felt he did little wrong felt he hadn’t acted as a Celtic captain should, he said: “I don’t care. I celebrated with my team-mates and a fight kicked off - and I walked away from it.

“Somebody elbowed me in the face and I walked away from it. Somebody punched me in the face and I walked away from it. If I was a hooligan, I’d have started a brawl in the middle of the pitch. But I just walked away from it all. I didn’t want to get myself booked or suspended. I think I acted quite well on the day”


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Brown confirmed that he and his team-mates had to endure Rangers player celebrating at Ibrox on December 30 after the 1-0 win for the home team.

But made the point they didn’t react in the way Rangers did at Celtic Park on a day two players, Alfredo Morelos and Andy Halliday, were sent off and Ryan Kent received a retrospective red card for hitting the Celtic captain.

Brown said: “We all respected that they were celebrating and they wanted to enjoy themselves. They caught up with us on points, although we had a game in hand.

“That was when we realised that we had to turn it around, get focused and we got ourselves ready for Rangers to come to Celtic Park. For us to get the goal quite late on to win the game was emotional and it is always going to be.

“People maybe saw that as a turning point in the league and they did not really like that. For me, it was a great day, it was enjoyable and it put us in a great place.”

Brown admitted he found it strange that he is blamed by so many for incidents that he claims were not of his making.


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Asked why he thinks there are some who believe him always to be the guilty party, he said: “That I’m doing something right! If people hate me it puts a smile on my face. It must mean I’m either playing well or I’m noising somebody up in the wrong way.”

Brown then defended his style of play and hit back at accusations that he was an instigator of any on-field trouble.

He insisted: “I don’t start anything. I just sit back, take it, watch it all, and hopefully at the end of the game we are celebrating.

“Football is football. You win, you celebrate, you enjoy yourself and after that for me it is forgotten about. There are always a few angry punters or a few angry players who don’t like something but that is part and parcel of the game and not everyone will agree.”

Brown insisted he would never change not matter what is said or written about him.

He said: “I am 33. I have two years left. What would be the point? Let’s be honest. I have done not bad. I think I have had five red cards since coming to Celtic in almost 600 games. There are a lot of people with worst records and I seem to get the blame for most things.

“Every pundit, punter and ex assistant managers (John Collins) as well tried to have a little go at me so that was nice.”


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Neil Lennon said last month that he had no intention of leaving Brown out of the final derby game of the season, which takes place at Ibrox a week on Saturday and promises to be a fiery affair.

And that is just fine with the player who has played in this fixture more times than any player at either club at this moment in time.

Brown said: “It will be fun. They are always great games. They are good for everyone to watch and it’s great for Scottish football. It gets a lot of viewers for tele and if that helps improve the game and get money into the game then that is the way we need to go about it.

“I think for everyone it is a Rangers-Celtic game, whether I play at Hearts or Aberdeen, people get on to you. I take a lot but all I have done is celebrate with the Celtic fans after the game and if they can give it out for 90 minutes I am sure they can take it back for 10 seconds.”