Celtic say they would be “astonished” if Tom Boyd’s commentary sparks a Scottish Football Association disciplinary charge.
SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte is understood to be reviewing the former Hoops captain’s criticism of referee John Beaton during Celtic TV’s live coverage of Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Dunfermline.
The Celtic ambassador claimed Neil Lennon’s side were up against 12 men and that Beaton had “bottled” a potential penalty award.
He also claimed the Lanarkshire-based official would be “welcomed down his pub again”, in an apparent reference to a photograph of Beaton which appeared after he refereed last season’s New Year derby between Celtic and Rangers.
After it emerged Whyte would review the comments, a Celtic spokesperson said: “We have had absolutely no contact from the SFA in relation to this matter and, given the context and circumstances in which the comments were made, would be astonished if the matter were to be progressed. If it is, then we will respond robustly.”
Celtic could face action under the SFA disciplinary rule 38, 29.2, which states: “A club or recognised football body which publishes, distributes, issues, sells or authorises a third party to publish, distribute, issue or sell a match programme or any other publication or audio/visual material of any description in any media now existing or hereinafter invented, including but not limited to the Internet, social networking or micro-blogging sites, shall ensure that any such publications or audio/visual material does not contain any criticism of any match official calculated to indicate bias or incompetence on the part of such match official or to impinge upon his character.”
Ladbrokes Premiership clubs face fines ranging from £1,000 to £100,000 if found guilty of the charge.
Boyd, in the immediate aftermath of Beaton’s decision to award Celtic a corner after Ryan Dow blocked Mikey Johnston’s shot, said: “Once again Celtic are denied the decision by the referee and the referee has bottled that.
“That’s an absolutely scandalous decision by John Beaton and we’ve seen that before on many an occasion.
“It’s unquestionably a penalty. He’s moved his hand towards the ball, heading towards goal and what does John Beaton not know about the new rules?
“If he doesn’t know that’s a penalty then he shouldn’t be in the middle of the park refereeing a football game.
“He’ll probably be welcomed down his pub tonight again.”
He added: “Old law, new law, no matter what the law is, that is a penalty in anyone’s book.
“How John Beaton hasn’t given that, we have seen it before from referees like this.
“I’m mystified, well I’m not mystified. It was obviously a pre-meditated decision not to give that penalty, because it was so late in the game, I’m not sure.
“He has given us a corner, so he has seen it hit the hand of the Dunfermline player and it should be a penalty kick. An absolutely outrageous decision from John Beaton.
“We have not played well today but a decision once again from a referee may cost us in this game.
“Hopefully we go on to beat not the 10 men, 11 men of Dunfermline, but the 12 men of that decision from John Beaton.”
After the final whistle, Boyd said: “We should have had the opportunity to get it over earlier from what was as stonewall a penalty as you will likely see ever, ever in a game of football, and once again John Beaton, controversial decisions in a Celtic game.
“Absolutely stunning. And what will be done about that? Absolutely nothing.”
Beaton was at the centre of controversy after taking charge of Rangers’ 1-0 win over Celtic on December 29 last year.
Celtic called on Beaton to be allowed to publicly explain decisions not to punish Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos over a number of incidents during the game.
Three men were arrested and charged in connection with communications offences in February after Beaton called police to report abusive messages and calls received in the wake of the game.