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MARTIN SACKED PHYSIO OVER HIS BOOZING; Celtic medic tells of rows and players' complaints.

Byline: By Mark McGivern

MARTIN O'Neill sacked Celtic physio Brian Scott after he turned up for work drunk several times,a tribunal heard yesterday.

Club doctor Roddy MacDonald said drinking was one of several complaints against Scott, 50, who was with Celtic for 25 years.

The problems began shortly after Dr MacDonald joined the club in 1999, the medic said.

He claimed several senior players refused to be treated by the physio and even paid for private treatment.

The doctor added Scott also failed to keep proper treatment records, handed out drugs although not qualified to prescribe medication and accused a player of faking an injury.

The decision to sack Scott in August 2003 was taken by manager O'Neill, who is expected to give evidence today, the doctor said.

But he also revealed he had been offered the option to have Scott fired under the previous Kenny Dalglish regime.

Dr MacDonald was told players claimed Scott was making critical comments about him.

At a meeting, senior club figures, including Dalglish, said a decision had been taken at board level to dismiss Scott if he(the doctor)wanted him out. But he declined at that stage.

The doctor also told the Glasgow employment tribunal at which Scott is claiming unfair dismissal that the physio: #SPENT only the mornings at Celtic Park before leaving to treat private patients.

#ONLY spent 30 minutes at the ground on a Sunday after a Saturday match.

#BRIEFED journalists on players' injuries.

#AGREED to test an electro-therapy device, called Phy-Back, without the official consent of the club, using it on at least 10 players. The tribunal later heard he had demanded payment for publicly endorsing the device.

#HAD complaints made about him by players including Shaun Maloney, Liam Miller and John Kennedy, with some players refusing his treatment.

But the most shocking allegations concerned Scott's drinking habits.

Dr MacDonald said he got drunk when the team played overseas, was unkempt, turned up late and was often still tipsy the next morning.

On one trip, he was talking to players Steve Guppy and Stephen Crainey one morning while still drunk. Dr MacDonald said: 'As soon as he started talking, it became clear. I told him to stop talking to them.'

The medic described Scott's behaviour as 'pathetic and embarrassing'.

The doctor also saidScott placed too much emphasis on electronic therapy.

And he claimed Scott breached patient confidentiality by sending the firm behind the Phy-Back notes on his work. They disclosed those he had tested it on, including Johan Mjallby, Rab Douglas, Stilian Petrov and Chris Sutton.

The doctor added that Scott once accused Liam Miller of faking an injury minutes before he was due to play in the US.

He said: 'The team was playing in Seattle. Liam was about to play in front of 68,000 people.

'Brian said to him: 'Have you got a f ***** g problem?' before dismissing what he said. He hardly needed to be spoken to like that by a team medic.'

Miller had an ongoing groin problem that required surgery after his move to Manchester United.

The tribunal heard problems with Scott had started shortly after Dr MacDonald was appointed club doctor in 1999, when he moved from Newcastle United.

Dr MacDonald said Scott refused to accept change, including the appointment of second physio Tim Williamson.

Williamson was promoted at the end of 2002/2003 to work with the first team alongside Scott but Dr MacDonald said Scott wanted the ex-Leeds physio to be his 'subordinate'.

Dr MacDonald said: 'I thought he was behaving pathetically. I was frustrated by his reaction.

'He was behaving unhappily in front of players and was surly and unfriendly to Tim Williamson.'

He claimed Scott had handed out medication - including antibiotics and sleeping pills - to players, even though hewas not qualified.

O'Neill told Scott of his concerns about the time he was spending on his private practice, the doctor added.

But the physio refused to change the way he worked.

The doctor said: 'During the 18 months before Brian left,players were unhappy with their treatment, some foreign and some Scottish.

'If Brian Scott had no other commitments and could spend all his time at the club, he would have been able to perform his duties.'

One player - believed to be Welsh striker John Hartson - was so unimpressed, he found his own physiotherapist and asked Celtic to pay for his private consultations.

Dr MacDonald said defender Didier Agathe was given conflicting information about the time he would receive physiotherapy .

He said: 'We'd decided Agathe be treated in the afternoon but he was told different things. He was understandably unhappy at getting mixed messages. I was unhappy, as it made the rest of the physios look foolish.'

Dr MacDonald added Scott had created a 'surly and unfriendly' atmosphere in the club's treatment room.

He said: 'The players enjoy a laugh there and it is relaxed but whenever Tim (Williamson) was in there, Brian was cold to him. Some players complained to me about it.'

He added: 'It was clear Brian Scott would not even accept there was a problem, never mind do anything about it.'

The tribunal continues today.

CAPTION(S):

CLAIMS: Dr Roddy MacDonald; ACCUSED: Scott allegedly turned up for work drunk and star players reportedly refused to be treated by him; SURGERY; Miller who was sold to Man United; COMPLAINTS; Shaun Maloney, above, and John Kennedy, below; COMPLAINTS
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 7, 2004
Words:902
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