Fri, Mar


MURDO MacLEOD has a clear conscience. The former Hibs star insists Jason Scotland didn’t deserve the work permit he wanted in 2005.

Scotland, 35, is furious he was denied the paperwork to play in this country back then.

MacLeod was one of FIVE former Hibees who booted out the Trinidad & Tobago striker’s bid to sign for Dundee United.

Scotland revealed that rejection drove him on to help Hamilton Accies win promotion at Easter Road on Sunday.

But ex-Scotland midfielder MacLeod — who judged the case with Tommy McIntyre, Pat Stanton, right, Peter Cormack and Tony Higgins — revealed to SunSport: “I’m comfortable with the decision we came to. We were told he wasn’t guaranteed to play every week, that he was being signed as an impact player who’d be on the bench.

“It was fairly straightforward.When a player is looking to come into the country to join a team — and he’s not likely to play — it works against him.

“It had been reported at the time he’d lost his international status because of something ridiculous. I think the story had something to do with him not getting a haircut.

“But then the manager of the national team said it was because he wasn’t good enough.

“Because everyone on the panel had an ex-Hibs background, fingers were pointed. There was a real conspiracy theory.

“It still makes me smile when I hear people going on about it. It was cut and dried. Any panel looking at it would have come to the same conclusion.

“Hindsight is a great thing. But at that time he didn’t justify a work permit and it was the correct decision.

“I know United supporters weren’t happy about it and they blamed everyone on the panel for having an agenda against them. But it was all nonsense.

“He definitely didn’t qualify at that time. End of story.

“It wasn’t one I’d look back on and think: ‘We could have viewed it differently.’

“It wasn’t even a case that we felt he wasn’t good enough. At no point did we take that view.

“It had nothing to do with his ability. It was all to do with his background with the inter-national team and whether he would actually play games for Dundee United.”

Scotland ran riot against Hibs on Sunday, scoring after 11 minutes to make it game on.