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Why the SFA are playing with fire over Rodgers’ Ibrox ban

On Thursday the SFA open up more than a can of worms when Brendan Rodgers answers a Notice of Complaint, if found guilty the minimum sentence is a two match dug-out ban.

Fine if you are going to the Tony Macaroni Arena three days later, not so if you are taking your team to Ibrox and expected to sit in the Directors Box with the big wigs behind you and the fat cats in front of you. If he is allowed into the Directors Box.

Technically it is Rodgers facing the Notice of Complaint, in reality there is every reason to believe that the SFA and their version of discipline and justice that will be in the spotlight.

Using the word incompetent has landed Rodgers his appearance at Hampden but if someone is incompetent what sort of system punishes someone for highlighting the glaringly obvious?

Exhibit One for Rodgers and his legal team to present is the Kung Fu kick by Connor Goldson against Livingston on February 3 in the build up to the opening goal of the game by Fabio Silva.

Beaton witnessed that attack in full, as did Matthew MacDermid on VAR yet Goldson escaped without even having a free kick awarded against him. The goal stood.

Roll the clock forward one month, from a stationary position Yang Hyun-Jun raised his boot to control the ball, Alex Cochrane comes charging in and Don Robertson decides to book the Celtic winger.

Not so says Beaton, Robertson takes another look, the audio hasn’t been made available but the match referee is persuaded to send the Celtic winger off.

There is no shortage of evidence to highlight the incompetence or inconsistencies to be kind to Beaton, the problem is that there is a very identifiable pattern to his inconsistencies.

Presented with the evidence whoever is representing the SFA will have to conclude incompetence on the part of one of Crawford Allan’s golden boys. If it is not incompetence bias is the only conclusion, surely not?

If the panel of three side with the SFA then Rodgers faces a minimum two match touchline ban, fine at most grounds but not at Ibrox, not by a long shot.

In April 2012 with a win for Celtic giving them the title at the home of their city rivals Neil Lennon was sent off at half-time following a discussion with referee Calum Murray who had sent off Cha Du-Ri after 28 minutes.

Most folk knew that it was a match Celtic were never going to win, with Celtic down to 10 men cutting the lines of communication between the manager and his players made that task near impossible.

There was no way that Lennon was being allowed to sit in the Directors Box at Ibrox, picking up on the match coverage from the Press Association, The Guardian reported the Celtic boss saying:

I can’t sit in the stand for my own safety, that sums things up in this country. I would have sat in the directors’ box but I was told for my own safety that it wasn’t a good idea. I watched the second half in here [the media room].

The biggest game of the season and I can’t go out in the stand to watch my team or send down messages. I have Stevie Woods [the goalkeeping coach] at the door and he was running up and down the tunnel for me. I might as well have sat in the house and watched the second half.

When you are down to nine men, it is an uphill task. This is not the first time we have come to Ibrox and had players sent off for little or nothing.

It wasn’t revealed if it was the Police or the Ibrox Security that told Lennon not to go to the Directors Box. More recently Lennon and Chris Sutton have been denied media access to Ibrox on security grounds.

Victor Wanyama was sent off after 57 minutes, Celtic went 3-0 down but scored in the 89th and 90th minutes while being two men down. Referee Murray played 60 seconds of stoppage time.

Rodgers isn’t quite the same toxic figure as Lennon to the Ibrox support but only a complete fool would put him in the Directors Box at Ibrox without clearing out a 10 yard exclusion zone around him.

Anyone in any doubt about the morals of the fat cats should Google the names ‘Alan Crawford‘ and ‘Daniel Friel’. In April 2022 corporate client Crawford struck the Celtic physio with a glass. Fortunately the CCTV was working with a 12 month jail sentence delivered.

No public apology was ever made or explanation given to the mysterious discovery of glass in Joe Hart’s penalty box during the half time interval.

It is no surprise to find out that Lennon’s comments from that match in 2012 cover much of the ground that has landed Rodgers with a Notice of Complaint.

Again, The Guardian reported the Celtic boss saying:

My sending off is a joke. I don’t think I deserved to be sent off. My staff are very angry about it, my players are angry and disappointed. I spoke quite quietly and coldly to the referee in the tunnel. I didn’t swear and didn’t point any fingers. I told him I wasn’t happy with his first-half performance.

I was speaking to the match delegate after the game and his version of events is different from mine but I’ve got witnesses to back me up. Alan Thompson [coach] and our PR person were there, a couple of other members of staff and players.

I do my team talk at half-time, I walk back out and get called into the referee’s room. I have been deprived of doing my job properly when my team needed me. I am very angry about that.

With Allan walking away at the end of the season the SFA haven’t made things easier for themselves- especially with Beaton their preferred choice for the April 7 clash at Ibrox with Andrew Dallas or Greg Aitken on VAR duty.

CLICK HERE for the Crawford Allan rumours.

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