It’s Old Firm week and we’re barely made it into Monday afternoon for Celtic fans to embarrass themselves as Neil Lennon’s side prepares to face Rangers this weekend.
Steven Gerrard’s league-leading Gers will make the short journey across Glasgow to Parkhead on Saturday with the hope of opening up a four-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.
And because the Celtic fans cannot pack the stands to support their team in the flesh, they’re doing their best to apply pressure on the SFA and SPFL to hand themselves an advantage in other ways.
Last week, it was confirmed that John Beaton will referee the first Old Firm of the 2020/21 season.
Beaton didn’t referee an Old Firm derby last season and the last time he took charge of the match was when Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 at Ibrox in December 2018. Ryan Jack was the match-winner on that occasion.
But Celtic thought that Beaton was the match-winner for Rangers and went to the laughable length of releasing a statement about the referee’s performance because Alfredo Morelos wasn’t sent off.
It’s not very often you see clubs releasing statements about refereeing performances. But Celtic do.
And it’s not very often you see the general secretary of a supporters club write an open letter to the SFA to bemoan the appointment of a referee for a match.
But that is what Joe O’Rourke, the general secretary of the Celtic Supporters Association, has done.
The Glasgow Evening Times have shared the ramblings that were aimed at SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell.
After hitting out over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, O’Rourke also wrote: “I’ll make one last point Mr Maxwell, and it’s got nothing to do with the pandemic, although it seems like a virus. In this historic season when Glasgow Celtic are attempting to write even more history by winning Ten in a Row, it seems that every attempt will be taken by the SFA/SPFL to stop us doing that.
“The appointment of John Beaton as referee is a complete slap in the face to Celtic and our supporters. Beaton does not even try to hide where his allegiances lie. The last time he officiated at a Glasgow Derby, he had a shameful display of bias against one team, and after that match, he received the full backing of the SFA.”
Celtic have won nine titles in a row yet their fans seem to believe there’s a conspiracy against them.
If that was the case, why doesn’t Beaton referee every single Old Firm match? Why didn’t he referee one last season? Why haven’t Rangers won the Scottish Premiership title since returning to the top-flight?
It’s a bizarre statement and honestly, the more level-headed Celtic fans must be rolling their eyes over the lengths the CSA has gone to here.
At the start of O’Rourke’s open letter, he said that Maxwell had been ignoring emails he’s been sending to him.
We can see why.
In other Rangers news, another Celtic player is likely to miss the Old Firm.