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Celtic tooled up with UK’s top sports barrister, where it’s heading for Scottish FA

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Celtic will be represented by the UK’s top sports law barrister Nick De Marco at Brendan Rodgers’ hearing at the Scottish FA tomorrow afternoon. And the Scottish FA have faced Di Marco previously when he represented Scott Brown over their charges over not representing the best interests of the game after various players from theRangers lost the plot – and the league – and Broony merely enjoyed the entertainment.

It’s far to say that that was one of the easiest victories of the sports barrister’s career to-date and he’s bound to enjoy dealing with the Scottish FA as most of the time he’s got to contend with competent sports professionals and administrators.



Article image:Celtic tooled up with UK’s top sports barrister, where it’s heading for Scottish FA

It’s Brendan in the dock this time, for calling out Beaton and Robertson after their double act to rescue the season after Motherwell had won at Ibrox. Yang’s nonsense red, upgraded from a yellow on Beaton’s insistence and then the icing on the cake as Beaton used his laptop to find a handball that no-one in football ever would say is a penalty, never mind a clear and obvious error missed by the referee.

Article image:Celtic tooled up with UK’s top sports barrister, where it’s heading for Scottish FA

John Beaton – Photo Malcolm Mackenzie PSI

Robertson didn’t have the balls to say no to Beaton and Brendan’s description of all that being merely incompetence does both officials a massive favour. If it’s not incompetence then what exactly was going on? Most Celtic supporters could give an answer to that one and they’d probably be hitting the nail on the head.

Will tomorrow go down this rabbit hole and will the Scottish FA be getting hot under the collar as it all unfolds?

Now the rules and regulations that are in place on what managers and players can say about referees is one thing but what about VAR officials? A referee or his assistant could previously make a call that later TV showed to be wrong. Let’s say on an offside decision. Flagged off, no goal. TV shows player was on – it’s an honest mistake and the rules are there to protect the officials in those circumstances.

Article image:Celtic tooled up with UK’s top sports barrister, where it’s heading for Scottish FA

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic –  Greg Taylor and Celtics Cameron Carter-Vickers speak with match referee Don Robertson after he awards a penalty to Hearts during the cinch Premiership match at Tynecastle Park, on Sunday 3rd March, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

But here both decisions were correct in real time – yellow to Yang, no penalty to Hearts, but VAR found reasons to change the referees mind. In effect VAR (John Beaton) was refereeing the game from his monitor – NOT what he’s supposed to be doing and Robertson was allowing this to happen.

Starting to reek of something is it not?

Here’s what Brendan said after the controversial incidents at Typecastle earlier this month:

Article image:Celtic tooled up with UK’s top sports barrister, where it’s heading for Scottish FA

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic – Photo Andrew Milligan

“I try to respect decisions and give the benefit of the doubt but I think when I see that level of incompetence, which is the only word I can use, then that makes me worry for the game. In such a tight title race that can make the difference. I also think that VAR is not the problem here. “That’s clear. It’s competence.
“The first one is the sending off when there is no force. Show a still image of that and of course and you will see a foot up with the head near it, but it’s not the reality of the move. Don got it actually right on the field. It was a high boot, so it’s a yellow card – no malice or force.
“For John Beaton to actually look at that in VAR, supposedly under no pressure, and say that was sending off? I find that incredible. The second one is worse. If you have a penalty go against you for that then there will be penalties every single weekend and midweek,” Brendan Rodgers

One way of the other we will know the outcome tomorrow. If Brendan Rodgers is given a two match ban then Celtic – and the Celtic support – must consider all options. There is widespread unhappiness in Scottish football about the competency of the VAR staff and already Crawford Allan, the Head of Referees has fallen on his sword.

Article image:Celtic tooled up with UK’s top sports barrister, where it’s heading for Scottish FA

Motherwell and St Johnstone have both spoken up about VAR in recent days. Celtic could consider publicly stating that the club no longer wish to finance VAR and seek support around the league. Other clubs will feel the same.

Being the first country to walk away from VAR because essentially the Scottish FA cannot manage it probably will be hugely embarrassing for the Scottish FA. But the game in Scotland would be all the better to having put VAR in the bin. That’s where this is heading for the Scottish FA.

John Collins Glasgow Celtic FC 27 September 1994

ON CELTIC SHORTS…To Celtic supporters of my generation John Collins became our star midfielder

Article image:Celtic tooled up with UK’s top sports barrister, where it’s heading for Scottish FA

ON CELTIC SHORTS…Exclusive Photos – A phoenix rising, a house of steel and 60,000 Celtic dreams

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