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Two title rivals and the incredible John Beaton penalty discrepancy

John Beaton’s appointment for Sunday’s Glasgow Derby is an issue that is going to dominate the build up to the match.

The man from the Crown Bar in Bellshill has been a frustrated figure for the last six derby clashes, watching Nick Walsh and Don Robertson both take charge twice while he had to sit back and sup pints with his mates.

With the fourth SPFL match of the season being played at Celtic Park the weekend game at Ibrox seemed very likely as the match that Beaton could exert his influence on.

Twice during his time as Head of Refereeing Crawford Allan has given his mate from Lanarkshire the Scottish Cup Final, before he heads off for new opportunities he has ensured that Beaton remains in the small group trusted with the prime fixture in Scottish football.

Broken down for every penalty awarded against the Ibrox club Beaton will award them 10.

For every penalty awarded against Celtic Beaton will award the hoops 1.66 penalties.

Typical of the pattern was his last Glasgow Derby appointment in January 2023 when Fashion Sakala dived into Carl Starfelt to gain a penalty, soon afterwards Connor Goldson used two hands to deflect a Starfelt shot without any punishment.

From Albion Rovers (Ibrox, Scottish Cup 2014) to Celtic almost every club in the country have had reason to question the competence of Beaton when refereeing their matches. If it isn’t an issue of competence there is only one other explanation.

The stats above are far more than a statistical blip, over one season almost any trend can be picked up but comparing the two clubs that have contested the honours over almost six years is fairly conclusive.

Even the penalty that Beaton awarded against Philippe Clement’s side tells a story.

There was a real danger that the mainstream might reluctantly be forced to comment on a 75 match SPFL run without conceding a penalty as it approached the second anniversary of Kevin Clancy’s award at Pittodrie.

At home to Kilmarnock, with Clement’s side leading 2-0, thanks in part to the miracle of Abdallah Sima knocking a ball over his head without using his upper arm, Beaton took one for the team by awarding Kilmarnock a penalty.

There was surprise across the country as news spread on January 2, at match 76 a penalty had been awarded and a little attention taken away from an unprecedented run that covered three managers and the introduction of VAR.

Throughout his eventful time at Ibrox Micky Beale never once saw his side concede a penalty.

Over the coming days the mainstream will be indulging in an incredible deflection exercise away from the referee from Bellshill, with the Internet Bampots on the case they are fighting a losing battle as the FACTS! Are presented on Sunday’s match referee.

A generation ago Davie Syme, Brian McGinlay, Bobby Tait and the others could get by without any real scrutiny, life is a little tougher for the current batch from the Lanarkshire Refereeing Association.

Despite Scotland reaching the European Championships this summer it seems certain that Beaton and his colleagues will be watching real match officials in action from afar.

CLICK HERE for Anthony Joseph calls out Ally McCoist’s Hate promise.

CLICK HERE for Beaton’s matches this season.

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