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Celtic would have the SPFL title won if it wasn’t for John Beaton

If John Beaton wasn’t refereeing Celtic could well be SPFL Premiership champions going into the post-split fixtures.

As it stands the hoops are three points clear with five matches still to be played.

Beaton has refereed five Celtic matches this season with Brendan Rodgers’ side picking up seven points from those fixtures, the last five points that they have dropped have been in matches involving the man from the Crown Bar in Bellshill.

Back in September Beaton sent off Joe Hart in the match away to Livingston but the champions ran out 3-0 victors with Scott Bain in goals and nine outfield players.

In November it took a late goal from Oh Hyeon-kyu to deliver full points in a match full of inconsistencies from the match referee highlighted by a booking for Kyogo Furuhashi.

There wasn’t much wrong with Beaton’s performance in February when Celtic drew 1-1 at home with Kilmarnock but his last two involvements have raised many questions. Similarly there was no obvious issues when Celtic beat Hibs in December.

Celtic, John Beaton, SFA, Crawford Allan, VAR, Steven McLean, Goldson, Crawford Allan

After the defeat to Hearts at the start of March Rodgers described Beaton, who was on VAR for Don Robertson, as incompetent which brought a one match touchline ban.

The SFA didn’t give Beaton the Willie Collum treatment, he was put in charge of the April Glasgow Derby with several curious issues coming to the fore.



Beaton’s biggest intervention was to reverse a yellow card for Fabio Silva into a penalty. The match referee had a clear close up view of the incident but opted to go with a screen prompt from Nick Walsh.

Alongside that penalty there was the bizarre 23 v 10 foul count which made Celtic the dirtiest team in the UK that weekend.

Celtic picked up four yellow cards in that match while their opponents escaped Scot-free, with three of those cards in the first half Rodgers’ players were walking on egg-shells while their opponents charged in with immunity from cards, much like Alfredo Morelos in the notorious December 2018 Derby match.

It isn’t too far fetched to suggest that had other referees been involved in the matches at Tynecastle and Ibrox Celtic would have taken six points rather than one while Clement’s side would have been beaten by their city rivals for the third time this season.

It’s not just Celtic matches that have thrown up puzzling decisions from Beaton, at the end of October in Clement’s second SPFL home match his side were trailing to a fifth minute goal from Lawrence Shankland.

In extended first half stoppage time the home side were gifted a penalty. James Tavernier missed it but there was another in the 89th minute which was converted before Danilo scored a 96th minute winner.

When Livingston visited Ibrox in February even Davie Martindale felt the need to comment on the Kung-Fu kick from Connor Goldson in the lead up to the opening goal in the 40th minute.

With Crawford Allan demob happy there are bound to be further refereeing issues with Celtic knowing that winning their next three matches will almost certainly deliver a third successive title.

CLICK HERE for SPFL explain Celtic fixture imbalance.

CLICK HERE for Beaton’s matches this season.

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