The SFA has appointed John Beaton as the ref for Sunday’s fixture. He has come in for enormous criticism on both sides of Glasgow since he last did one of these games.
He was then pictured in a Sevco supporters bar downing pints with his fellow fans.
There are a dozen referees the SFA could have chosen for this match.
Most are pretty sub-par. But Beaton will be getting pressure from both sides, and he’s simply not up to handling it. Sevco fans, ignoring his choice of boozer, and ensconced in their own vivid fantasy world, believe he’s biased in favour of our club. We know where his true allegiances lie.
This is what the SFA gets for failing to have a policy on this stuff.
In England refs declare their allegiances and it’s all out there in the open. Here in Scotland we pretend that refs are somehow immune from such frivolity, in spite of the number of former officials who now make the circuit as after dinner speakers at lodges both Orange and Masonic.
Sevco’s gripe with him is based on his apologising to Gerrard in December last year for decisions he made in the 2-2 draw at Aberdeen. Refs never apologise for their errors, except when it’s to bosses at Ibrox. Beaton undermined his own performance that day.
Still, Sevco fans were and are furious with him, a feeling which wasn’t improved when he allegedly gave a number of decisions against them when they lost at Kilmarnock last month.
Sevco fans think this is our fault, that we put so much “pressure” on him after Ibrox last year, when, amongst other things, Morelos was allowed to kick and claw and hack everything in a Celtic strip.
Beaton’s performance was lamentable that day and it was entirely right that our club should protest and that our fans should be furious about it.
Sevco fans reckon that he now tries so hard to prove he doesn’t favour them that he comes off looking like someone who wants to give them a kicking instead.
He’s in the firing line because his competence is debatable and his impartiality is in serious doubt.
That he’s been allowed in this situation is the SFA’s fault entirely.
The moment he was photographed in that pub, that should have been the end of his refereeing these games.
He put himself in the spotlight with that reckless and stupid decision and the SFA should have ushered him off to one side and told him straight that he’d jeopardised his chances of being seen as impartial.
That they failed to do so is a nonsense.
That he’s been handed this game guarantees controversy. It is quite simply the worst decision the SFA could have made.