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Celtic 'aggrieved' as John Beaton named Rangers referee but conspiracy theorists land 2 pronged slapdown

John Hartson has conceded that Celtic will feel "aggrieved" that John Beaton has been named as as the referee for the clash with Rangers.

But the former Parkhead hero and pundit Jim Duffy have moved to play down conspiracy theories emerging before derby day in Glasgow. The SFA decided to name Beaton as the man in the middle for the top of the table clash just days after Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers was slapped with a ban by the Hampden beaks for branding him 'incompetent' following the defeat to Hearts.

The Celtic boss called out referee Don Robertson and VAR official Beaton following the clash at Tynecastle after the decision to send off Yang and award a penalty against Tomoki Iwata for handball. The decision has since raised eyebrows - with one caller on the Go Radio Football Show floating the theory that outgoing Head of Referee Operations has made the decision to "stick it" to Celtic.

Hartson distanced himself from the loaded call - insisting it shows the Hampden chiefs have faith in Beaton to do a good job: "Yes, but also the Scottish FA clearly don't think it is a problem to get John Beaton to do the game with the history of the Hearts games and the decision.

"In their eyes they feel that John Beaton is more than capable of doing the game. They trust John Beaton. But on the Celtic side with decisions that have gone on in the past fans will be really aggrieved with this decision."

And a raging caller on Clyde 1 Superscoreboard claimed that the move was meant as a "kick in the teeth" to the Hoops. However, former Dundee and Clyde boss Duffy reminded the punter that it was referee Don Robertson who had the final say on the controversial calls at Tynecastle.

He said: "The on-field decision was made by Don Robertson,

Read more on dailyrecord.co.uk