St Mirren chairman John Needham has apologised “unreservedly” to everyone connected with the Paisley club after the Scottish Football Association (SFA) launched an investigation into his online conduct.
A series of offensive tweets recently emerged from the Buddies boss aimed at Rangers and their supporters.
In some of the posts highlighted, ranging from 2013 to as recently as May, he refers to the Ibrox club as “Sevco” and their fans as “H**s.
In another tweet, the SMiSA-appointed St Mirren director also joked he hoped a bridge would collapse while thousands of celebrating Gers fans crossed it in the wake of last season’s title win.
Apologising for his remarks on social media on Sunday, when the two clubs met in the Premiership, Needham said: “On Friday 22 October a number of Tweets I created in the past referring to Rangers fans were highlighted on Twitter.
“As a club chairman I have extra responsibility for the conduct and example I show.
“These posts are completely inappropriate and do not reflect my character or beliefs as a person and I very much regret them.
“I apologise unreservedly to the directors and fans of Rangers and to everyone at St Mirren. I am acutely aware of my responsibilities. This won’t happen again.”
Despite his apology, the Hampden authorities have now stepped in and are investigating the matter.
The comments could be in breach of Rule 77, which reads: “A recognised football body, club, official, team official, other member of team staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football.
“Furthermore such person or body shall not act in any manner which is improper or use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.”
If the SFA’s compliance officer finds there is evidence he feels actionable from the investigation, a disciplinary case may be brought against Needham.
The punishment for club officials who break the rule is normally a fine.
Nil By Mouth, Scotland’s leading charity for challenging sectarianism, also got involved and suggested a donation should be made to Rangers Charity Foundation.
“We suggest these sentiments could be made more tangible by a donation toward Rangers Charity Foundation to support its education work with young people.”
The Paisley Express approached both Needham and St Mirren for comment.