The incredible power of the Lanarkshire Refereeing Association will be on display at Ibrox on Saturday. Network may be a better phrase for the Lanarkshire lot that propelled Hugh Dallas into power.
In Scotland there are 12 Referee Associations- at Ibrox three of the match officials will come from Lanarkshire, the other is an extreme right wing Tory MP from the Highland Association.
Taking charge of the match is John Beaton on the back of a nightmare performance at Pittodrie that led to both managers getting involved in a very public row.
Go to 2 minutes 20 for Mohsni goal
Beaton came to attention in 2014 when he awarded the tribute act a very dubious goal against Albion Rovers when Bilel Mohsni bundled the Rovers keeper into the net to earn the Ibrox side a replay.
Three years later, against another Lanarkshire side, Hamilton Accies, Beaton allowed an incredible assault by Joey Garner on Dougie Imrie to go unpunished. Garner went on to score a hat-trick in the match.
Fourth official Madden has a long history of honest mistakes, playing the Disadvantage Rule in Celtic matches is a favourite tactic.
When he was given a Glasgow derby match he excelled himself by failing to even book Kenny Miller for a two footed lunge at Stuart Armstrong before denying Leigh Griffiths a penalty when he was scythed down by Clint Hill.
Tory MP Ross enjoys a second income way above the national average wage with generous expenses added in, much like his real job at Westminster. In Celtic’s previous visit to Ibrox this year he was seen roaring RED CARD RED CARD as Alfredo Morelos ran into the arm of Jozo Simunovic.
A new face in the Lanarkshire network is assistant referee David Roome who credits Madden for recruiting him into the refereeing scene.
In an interview with the Daily Record/East Kilbride News he explained: “I first met Bobby when we were both at EK Thistle together in the under-21s, but it wasn’t until much later that our paths crossed again.
“I signed for Lanark and when I was playing one of my first games for them in walks Bobby Madden. He was the referee for the game. I hadn’t seen him for years but it turned out he’d stopped playing to become a referee. That got me wondering.
“He said I could still make Category One but I’d need to move up quickly. There was the assistant referee route as well and after speaking to Bobby I decided to go for it. I do have to pinch myself now when I see where it has taken me.”
Of the seven SFA referees on the FIFA list four of them come from Lanarkshire- Beaton, Madden, Willie Collum and Andrew Dallas. 57% of the FIFA referees come from one of 12 refereeing associations.
It seems that any aspiring match official should move to Lanarkshire or become a Tory MP if they wish to progress their career, a part-time gig that pays way more than the average wage in Scotland.