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Vintage Beaton clips highlight a pattern of assistance

John Beaton’s past inconsistencies are impossible to ignore, unlike previous generations of referees the evidence is out there of ever bizarre decision taken by the Lanarkshire referee.

Bizarrely the latest ‘inconsistencies’ both involve Lanarkshire teams in Scottish Cup ties, no-one will be surprised that Albion Rovers and Hamilton Accies were the victims of injustice at Ibrox.

Back in the 2013/14 season under Ally McCoist the Tribute Act were riding high in League One with the SFA creating the incentive of staging both Scottish Cup semi-finals at Ibrox as Hampden was out of bounds for the Commonwealth Games.

Albion Rovers shouldn’t have been much of a problem for McCoist’s side but a goal from Ciaran Donnelly in the 14th minute came as a minor set-back.

With the Brains Trust of McCoist, Ian Durrant and Kenny McDowall running out of ideas on the touchline David Templeton swung in a desperate 78th minute cross into the goalmouth.

Realising that he had no chance of heading the ball Bilel Mohsni jumped with the Rovers keeper, bundling him into the net as he pushed the ball over the line.

The Rovers players waited for the inevitable free kick but as players and fans of clubs visiting Ibrox discovered over the years the man from the Crown Bar does things his own way.

With a draw secured and Beaton in charge Rovers were knocked out in the replay at New Douglas Park, Beaton had launched his career as a top flight referee.

In March 2017, soon after Mark Warburton had been informed that he had resigned Hamilton Accies were at Ibrox in a Scottish Cup tie.

Cammy Bell had already escaped unpunished from grabbing the ball outside his penalty box with the match goal-less, at half time Graeme Murty’s side were leading 1-0 thanks to a Martyn Waghorn penalty.

Joey Garner doubled the lead early in the second half then went completely OTT with a full on swing of his boot to deliberately strike Dougie Imrie.

Last week at Tynecastle Beaton recommended a red card for Yang Hyun Jun for lifting his leg from a stationary position, seven years ago he viewed Garner’s assault as a booking.

With that reprieve the striker went on to score two more goals in a 6-0 win, what the score would have been down to 10 men will never be known.

Imrie liked to put himself about on the pitch but speaking to The Sun he was shocked by Beaton’s verdict on the assault from the Ibrox forward:

Garner is just on the park, it’s three minutes into the second half. I don’t know if we’re in the UFC, are we in the UFC?

It’s disappointing. The refs have a hard job, but I think it was nearly a leg-breaker so he caught me quite high. One thing I will say is that if that was me or Darian McKinnon then we’re off the park. We’ll leave it at that.

The linesman is four yards away, the ref is five yards away. Don’t get me wrong, referees have a hard job to do but those are the decisions that change games.

He went on to score a hat-trick — if he was sent off then he doesn’t score three goals and who is to say we can’t get something out of the game if they’re down to ten men?

We’ve got an extra man and could maybe put pressure on them. The referees have a hard job — it’s just disappointing that they’re so close to the incident and don’t get it correct.

In January 2019 Celtic reluctantly issued the following statement after Beaton’s incredible performance in his first Glasgow Derby, naturally enough at Ibrox:

Celtic Football Club is surprised that there will be no disciplinary action taken by the Scottish FA regarding the incidents during the match on December 29, which have been widely addressed in the media. 

It is reported that no action was taken because the match referee saw all of the incidents in question. 

Given that the referee took no action at the time, this tends to suggest that such conduct, which in one instance led to a Celtic player, Anthony Ralston, being injured, is acceptable in Scottish football. That cannot be right.

On the day, Celtic did not play well enough to win the match, something we accept. However, this issue goes beyond the result of the match.

Celtic is not the only club this season to raise concerns regarding the standard of officiating at matches in Scotland, concerns which have also been shared by many commentators on the game.

In order to fully understand what is going on, Celtic, our supporters, Scottish clubs and the general Scottish football public need transparency in these matters, and we therefore call on the Scottish FA to allow the referee, John Beaton, to explain these decisions publicly as well as any match officials involved in other similar circumstances.

In the meantime, we have requested a meeting with Scottish FA Chief Executive, Ian Maxwell, and the Association’s Head of Refereeing.

After tea and biscuits with Maxwell at Hampden and a reminder of the Five (Six) Way Agreement of 2012 Peter Lawwell opted to drop the matter.

On March 28 Brendan Rodgers has to answer a Notice of Complaint from the SFA following comments made after Celtic’s 2-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle.

CLICK HERE for What is the purpose of Sports Lawyer Michael Nicholson at Celtic?

CLICK HERE for Shinnie hits out as Beaton suspends him from Scottish Cup semi-final.

CLICK HERE for the full SFA charge again Rodgers.

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