Date: 8th January 2019 at 2:32pm
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Scottish refs are threatening strike action. Again.

Over being asked to justify the decisions they make. Again.

The finger is being pointed at Celtic. Again.

Forget all this stuff about intimidation; a few text messages and social media posts does not amount to a verifiable threat to someone’s life and safety. If they did, I would have 365 days around the clock police protection myself. It’s just nonsense.

John Beaton’s performance in our match at Ibrox was highly suspect. His assertion that Morelos did nothing wrong in the game is absolutely outrageous. To be blunt, he is a disgrace. This is either proof that he is not up to the job or he made those decisions out of bias; there is no alternative hypothesis. Those were all yellow card offences at the very least, and there’s not a single commentator with a functioning brain cell who would deny it.

On top of that, the SFA’s own declaration about how Beaton’s judgement cannot be called into question after the fact – oh yes it can and it should – collapses when you recall the Scott McKenna incident involving Edouard, for which he was correctly cited afterwards in spite of a referee’s report which dismissed the foul at the time.

For the SFA to say Beaton’s similar assertion about Morelos closes the door to any possibility of action being taken against him … it doesn’t stand up for one second, and you wonder why they’d ever tangle themselves up like this by flatly contradicting past precedent, or hoping it won’t be brought up.

Celtic has brought it up already.

We’re not the only club concerned about refs. After revelations about where Beaton spent his evening following the game, the question I would ask any fan in the country is to consider whether or not they have confidence in him officiating any match where they are playing the Ibrox club. I would ask the same of every manager.

Let’s see how many would agree to it.

Refs in this country have acted like a protected species for far too long.

Every time serious scrutiny is given to them they play the same card, the same pitiful card.

Players, managers and club officials all get stick from fans. Only one person in the history of the game here has ever been subjected to the kind of treatment that caused genuine safety concerns and he was blamed for his own problems by a media which never ceases to protect refs.

It is dire that any official would be subjected to threats. But there should be no question of them escaping scrutiny and the media and the governing bodies should be calling their bluff on this strike talk. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? That they actually follow through and withdraw their service. My God, where would we be then?

In exactly the same place as we were last time.

We’d bring in foreign refs and for a single weekend the standards would improve right across the boards. The media might be falling all over itself giving these guys the cover they don’t deserve but fans, players and managers would all be well happy if we brought in a better class of official from elsewhere.

Most of us believe that our refs are awful beyond belief.

This threat doesn’t worry us in the slightest.

In fact, it’s just what the doctor ordered, and a better start to 2019 than I expected.

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