Celtic reaction: Time to call a halt to any away supporters in derbies amid missile--throwing fall-out; referee John Beaton proves himself

As Celtic as good as made sure of the title by holding out for a 1-1 draw at home to a driven Rangers, matters off the field encroached on reflections of the afternoon.

Referee John Beaton used his head to keep a firm grip on derby proceedings as Celtic Park yesterday.  (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Referee John Beaton used his head to keep a firm grip on derby proceedings as Celtic Park yesterday. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Time to call a halt to any away supporters in derbies

A statement blame game has ensued between Rangers and Celtic over missiles and objects thrown in the viccinity of the section housing the 700 visiting fans. Yet Police Scotland have implicated followers of both the clubs in placing on record that they are “aware of missiles being thrown between groups of supporters within the stadium”. To prevent such scenes being played out in the teams’ future meetings - the incidents this weekend following on from similar at Ibrox involving the 700 travelling Celtic supporters last month - there is one obvious solution.

Away allocations should be removed completely once more, with no such issues in the first two league derbies this season played in front of only home fans, the ambience for both these encounters praised. Not that this alters the reality that there is a poison to this fixture that requires lancing in any ways possible. Forget the guff about the “passion” being diluted with only home supporters. Hate and disorder shouldn’t be enabled. And on that front, pity both clubs didn’t call out their own constituencies for the religious bigotry for which the two sets of fans were guilty with abusive chants deploying Orange and Fenian as shorthand for Protestant and Catholic.

Referee John Beaton proves himself

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Daring to arrive at the conclusion that an official in the middle has performed competently appears to have become the unsayable in Scottish football. John Beaton, though, can be content with his handling proceedings at Celtic Park yesterday as he kept a firm grip without being overly picky. Appeared to get most borderline decisions correct - even if, inevitably, clips appeared on Twitter that promoted claims of a possible missed penalty for Celtic, and leniency in sanctioning players of both sides for hefty challenges. Just about all the seven bookings he did show - four for Rangers, and three for the home side - appeared legitimate. The fixture is notorious for its red card count, but Beaton’s control ensured that the season will conclude without a single dismissal across all five meetings of the bitter rivals. The last time both clubs were in the top flight together and that proved the case was way back in 2006-07.

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