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The day that marked Rodgers’ card on John Beaton

Neil Lennon reckons that there has been an issue between Brendan Rodgers and John Beaton going back to the 2018 Ibrox masterclass when Alfredo Morelos was given licence to boot lumps out of anyone in green and white without being punished.

Two months later the Irishman had left for Leicester City, despite a hard hitting statement from Celtic some tea and biscuits with Ian Maxwell at Hampden ensured that Peter Lawwell dropped the issue with Beaton’s place at the top of the Scottish game ensured.

Beaton was the referee for Rodgers’ first ever match in Scottish football, at Tynecastle in August 2016 in a match best remembered for Scott Sinclair’s winning goal following a brilliant run and cross from Leigh Griffiths.

Football fans had been keeping an eye on Beaton since he denied Albion Rovers a Scottish Cup victory at Ibrox in 2014 as he looked the other way as Bilel Mohsni bundled the ball and the Rovers keeper into the net with his hands.

With Mark Warburton’s side drawing 1-1 at home to Hamilton in their first ever top flight match a little momentum was lost after a summer of joy topped up by the signing of Joey Barton to put Celtic in their place.

Hearts at Tynecastle was as tough an opener as Celtic could have expected, under new management that task was made even tougher by the appointment of Beaton to take charge of the match.

45 seconds penalty against Tierney

James Forrest gave Celtic an early lead but 10 minutes from half-time Beaton threw the homeside a lifeline with the sort of decision that he has made a career out of.

Asked about Walker after the match Scott Brown told STV:

It is brilliant how well he dives. He is really good at that. He should have been in Rio. It was a dive. Cheat. What else can you say?

The referee came out at half-time and said he got it completely wrong. He made the decision, he hasn’t seen it and the linesman’s not puts his flag up.

It was always a hard game when you come here, a great atmosphere and you expect a hard challenge like they gave us. They tried to play football and mix it up as well.

Hearts are great at that but sometimes there is no place in football for cheats and that’s been a couple of times here now.

It is quite an admission for Beaton to have gone into the away dressing room and admit that he had got it ‘wrong’ with his first half penalty call.

There was a claim for a penalty from Conor Sammon but most players claim for anything in the penalty box, Beaton had a clear view of the incident but for his own reasons decided to award a penalty with Walker recovering to equalise for his team nine minutes before half time.

Kenny Clark and others were quick to praise Beaton for acknowledging his ‘mistake’ when the real issue was how he viewed a foul when there was no contact.

Had Beaton done his job Walker would have been booked for diving, Celtic would have retained their lead going towards half-time and in need of Scott Sinclair’s debut day rescue act.

While the match referee continued his way towards the top matches including cup finals and being in charge of the Glasgow Derby Walker was given a two match retrospective punishment.

Reacting to a likely ban for Walker Robbie Neilson told the Daily Mail:

Every time you watch the picture there is a crossing at high speed. That is all it takes for a player running at speed for that to happen. People are saying they didn’t see much or anything.

People can’t just say: “I didn’t really see much there” and then ban someone. You have to say it was either this or that – there is no in-between.

We are watching a slow-motion video and we are saying there might or there might not have been contact.

Do we then jump to a conclusion because somebody said so after the game or someone who forms an opinion on it and says he did this or he did that?

You have to have firm evidence whether it is this or that. My firm evidence is that I asked the player if there was contact. He said: “Yes, there was contact” and, for me, that should be it.

Nothing that Beaton comes up with in Celtic matches comes as a surprise to supporters, his decision making on Sunday at Tynecastle simply continued his pattern.


To the surprise of no-one the SFA circled the wagons at Hampden today to reject Yang Hyun-jun’s appeal against his red card against Hearts. The winger will now serve a two match suspension.

From a stationary position Yang raised his boot to control the bouncing ball with Alex Cochrane charging in to head the ball.

Every week there are similar incidents, many will escape unpunished as Theo Bair did the previous week with a dangerous lunge at Daizen Maeda.

Don Robertson’s yellow card seemed justifiable but with Beaton lurking in the VAR room he decided to exert his influence on the match, to Robertson’s shame he went along with the view from VAR, returned to the pitch and upgraded to a red card.

With Yang’s appeal rejected Celtic fans are looking carefully for the reaction from Michael Nicholson, digging out the surprised and disappointed statement template isn’t an acceptable reaction.

CLICK HERE for Celtic Supporters Association chief calls out Beaton for blatant cheating.

CLICK HERE for Celtic’s two statements on John Beaton.

CLICK HERE for You Don’t Know What You’re Doing over Beaton’s Joe Hart red card.

John Beaton, VAR, SFA, Celtic

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