Date: 17th March 2019 at 8:56pm
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More than two months after Celtic officially requested a public explanation of refereeing decisions in the December Glasgow derby, supporters are still in the dark about the baffling decisions taken by John Beaton.

Scott Brown, Ryan Christie and Tony Ralston all suffered attacks way beyond the norm in a football match without any punishment from the match referee.

Celtic’s request has been ignored, referees from Lanarkshire continue to get the majority of their matches and Alfredo Morelos still goes unpunished while injuring opponents.

As puzzling as Beaton’s actions was the fact that no retrospective action was taken. With the SFA operating in a closed world it’s not known if the Compliance Officer referred any incidents to their ‘three wise men’ and if they had a difference of opinion over whether any red card offences had been missed by the match referee.

Responding to public anger on January 4 Celtic stated:

In order to fully understand what is going on, Celtic, our supporters, Scottish clubs and the general Scottish football public need transparency in these matters, and we therefore call on the Scottish FA to allow the referee, John Beaton, to explain these decisions publicly as well as any match officials involved in other similar circumstances.

In the meantime, we have requested a meeting with Scottish FA Chief Executive, Ian Maxwell, and the Association’s Head of Refereeing.

While the statement was welcomed by most supporters the cynical waited to see what would happen next, recalling a similar statement in 2015 after Steven McLean had missed a clear penalty box handball by Josh Meekings in a Scottish Cup semi-final against Inverness Caley Thistle. A year later McLean refereed the Scottish Cup Final.

Refereeing standards haven’t improved, Willie Collum’s performance in the 2-0 win at St Johnstone on February 3 continued in the same manner as Beaton’s Ibrox performance.

In one incident Christie and Odsonne Edouard both suffered injuries in the penalty box that went unpunished. Edouard, already sent on as a substitute had to be replaced.

Since Christmas Day Celtic have had three matches refereed by Collum, during the same period our closest title rivals haven’t had to put up with that referee once.

Bobby Madden has refereed two Celtic matches in a month as the key matches continue to go to Lanarkshire officials, at Ibrox in December three of the four match officials came from Lanarkshire. There are 12 refereeing associations within the SFA.

With the Beaton statement apparently ignored by the SFA it seems that Celtic supporters can expect similar standards while refereeing issues are dealt with in secret.

In 2015 McLean’s mistake cost Celtic a possible treble, with Beaton getting the full support of the SFA it looks like similar mistakes are on the way with no explanations offered and no sanctions applied on the match officials.