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Are the SFA holding John Beaton back for the Glasgow Derby?

John Beaton took charge of the first ever Glasgow Derby with VAR available. On 2 January 2023 with Willie Collum in the studio he delivered the decisions that everyone expected.

When Fashion Sakala threw himself into Carl Starfelt early in the second half the man from Bellshill pointed to the penalty spot- they were soon off their seats cheering in the Crown Bar when James Tavernier found the net.

Soon afterwards Starfelt’s shot at the other end of the park was parried away by Connor Goldson’s hands, after the briefest of pauses when the ball went out for a throw-in he got the word from Collum that there was no need to check over the handball on the VAR monitor.

Strangely, in the six Glasgow Derbies since then Beaton hasn’t been the man in the middle. Nick Walsh has handled two including a cup final, Don Robertson has refereed two of the clashes with Steven McLean and Kevin Clancy all getting the fixture that every member of the Lanarkshire Refereeing Association covets.

Collum was due to take charge of last season’s Scottish Cup semi-final but was injured in the warm up with Robertson called up from fourth official duties.

It is highly unlikely that Collum will be put in charge of the April 7 clash at Ibrox but not impossible, handed the Scottish Cup tie against Ayr United he showed that he can deliver to expectations with the bonus of a yellow card issued to Scott Brown.

At 10am this morning the SFA announced the match officials for the weekend Premiership matches- Beaton and Walsh aren’t involved which is the standard process as the man for the Glasgow Derby is taken out of harms way the previous weekend.

Beaton and Walsh will take charge of Championship fixtures, away from VAR and intrusive media coverage unless they really go overboard.

John Beaton, VAR, SFA, Graeme Shinnie, Crawford Allan

Since Walsh took charge of the Derby match at Celtic Park in December it is likely that he won’t be handed successive matches between the two clubs, there is still another SPFL match to be played and a likely Scottish Cup Final.

The SFA of course have a very significant obstacle to get through on Thursday when Brendan Rodgers answers a Notice of Complaint for comments made about Beaton.

There is a lot of speculation about what evidence and representation the Celtic boss will take to Hampden, it wouldn’t be hard to put together a case of very questionable decisions taken by Beaton just as it would be easy to identify a pattern in his decision.

The SFA appear to have two options for refereeing the Glasgow Derby, one with Beaton in charge at Ibrox with the other involving him watching Walsh’s performance with his mates at the Crown Bar.

CLICK HERE for Crawford Allan doubles down with Livi v Celtic officials.

CLICK HERE for the Crawford Allan rumours.

CLICK HERE for the weekend refereeing appointments.

CLICK HERE for Beaton’s matches this season.

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