Buttering Up Beaton – Brendan’s strategic charm-offensive after his suspension

Brendan Rodgers was given a one-match suspension at Livingston last weekend, with one suspended for calling out John Beaton in the aftermath of our Tynecastle horror show. The Irishman was irked and unusually for him called out that particular official by name, deeming his performance “incompetent” for urging Don Robertson to the monitor to send off Yang Hyun-jun.

The booking was clearly the correct decision for the high-boot, which Alex Cochrane predictably made more than a meal of, as the fresh air that whizzed past his face was just too much to handle when the slender South Korean winger tried to snatch the ball. It left us all in complete and utter disbelief, but then again, if you’ve watched closely since VAR was introduced in Sccttish football since October 2022, there’s been a clear trend with the implementation and subsequent statistics.

The fact that decisions have overwhelmingly aided one team, with red cards and penalties in particular, then you don’t need to do much arithmetic to see what has been happening. Since Phillipe Clement has taken over from Mick Beale, his side have had fifteen penalties and they always seem to get them at crucial moments in matches when they have been struggling. Doubt pervades every nook and crannie of the Scottish Footballing Authority and their match officials in this regard.

When asked before the match this weekend about the confirmation that John Beaton would be the man tasked with refereeing this powder-keg clash at the home of his favourite outfit, Brendan Rodgers changed tac and went on a charm-offensive when talking about Beaton. Speaking to Sky Sports Scotland, he said: “For me, for John to be given the game…I think these games are for the top referees.

“I’ve always said John Beaton is one of the top referees in the country. So he’s been allocated the game, I’m comfortable with that. My point was with that one game – not talking about John Beaton’s career as a referee. My gripe was on that day. They will feel they need to appoint someone who is experienced and John is one of the top, experienced referees in the country.”

The flattery used by Rodgers when it comes to Beaton before this one could have been an attempt to use his undoubted charm and psychological nous to impart professionalism on the whistler. A well-known fan of the Ibrox entity, he’s had howlers (or homers) against Celtic in the past, as has his comrade Bobby Madden. Ironically, Beaton’s clear bias was in full view when Rodgers was here the first time at Celtic Park. In January, 2019, the man in black allowed Alfredo Morelos away with murder as he assaulted Celtic players in a poorly officiated match. Afterwards, he was spotted in a partisan bar in Bellshill.

This is what we’re dealing with and Rodgers knows it. His praising of Beaton is surely a tactic deployed to make him maintain what’s left of his integrity, as we stand on the precipice of a tight title race which should go right to the wire this season…

Beaton Question – 4 Min

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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