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‘Why is it acceptable in England, but not Scotland?’ ‘deplorble standards’ ‘absolutely bizarre’ McGowan taken to task over staunch referee defence

Stephen McGowan has been slaughted across social media for his defence of Scottish referees and the climate of secrecy.

While Don Robertson and John Beaton have shared four out of seven Celtic matches since they were called out by Brendan Rodgers at Tynecastle across the city Kevin Clancy and Willie Collum have dropped off the rota for SPFL matches involving Philippe Clement’s side.

Social media has been all over those issues, joining the dots for anyone looking in with fans turning to Twitter and fan media websites for the real issues- the ones that no-one in the mainstream will acknowledge never mind highlight or ask questions of the SFA.

With brilliant timing Nottingham Forest have highlighted the different approach to match officials. In England referees complete a form at the start of the season to declare the team that they support and also to flag up any potential conflict of interest that may crop up.

McGowan would have you believe that Scottish match officials are overflowing with integrity, dumping their club allegiances as soon as they step into their Specsavers kit.

It is a bizarre theory, the backgrounds and family connections of John Beaton, Steven McLean, Andrew Dallas, Greg Aitken, Nick Walsh and David Dickinson are all well known, under Crawford Allan they have risen to the top of the refereeing tree while officials outside of Glasgow and Lanarkshire barely make it out of the lower divisions.

The statements from Forest have highlighted the strange, secretive practices of the SFA with McGowan jealously guarding against transparency that would reduce the suspicions over the club from Ibrox enjoying a 64 and a 75 match run of SPFL matches without conceding a penalty.

McGowan explains:

Making referees declare the team they grew up supporting is not a recipe for honesty, transparency and fairness. It’s pandering to people who see conspiracy in the cornflakes when the milk turns.

Fans of Celtic and Rangers think they know which team John Beaton, Willie Collum, David Dickinson and Kevin Clancy support.

Whether they do or they don’t is neither here nor there. They think they do and that’s good enough for some to demand the exclusion of a referee from games involving their team in future.

Or, if Forest have their way, any game involving a team which raises any hint of a conflict of interest of any kind. Just because they are incapable of looking at any decision objectively, they assume everyone else is the same.

Picking up on the Forest issue, McGown adds

Marinakis was furious when his team were denied three penalties during a 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park, with VAR Attwell choosing not to send referee Anthony Taylor to his pitchside monitor to review any of the decisions.

Scotland has seen a variation of this movie before. Collum declined to recommend a trip to the monitor for Nick Walsh for a handball by Celtic’s Alistair Johnston — and Rangers asked the SFA to take him off their games in future.

VAR Beaton intervened in a couple of contentious calls during Celtic’s defeat to Hearts last month and Brendan Rodgers accused both him and match referee Don Robertson of ‘incompetence’. While he stopped short of accusing them of bias, supporters felt no need to bite their tongue.

With 90 referees required for the European Championships this summer UEFA have ignored all of Scotland’s officials. Drinking in the Crown Bar or being a friend of the Dallas family is irrelevant outside in Europe.

Eighteen referees have taken charge of SPFL Premiership fixtures this season. Celtic play their 34th match of the season at Dundee on Sunday with Beaton refereeing for the sixth time- only an idiot would bet against the man from the Crown Bar getting one of the five remaining SPFL fixtures or the Scottish Cup Final.

CLICK HERE for Celtic fans call out gaslighting of O** F*** cup final.

CLICK HERE for John Beaton matches this season.

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