John Beaton to referee first Celtic game since controversial Old Firm clash with Rangers

Referee John Beaton will take charge of his first Celtic match since the Old Firm clash with Rangers in late December when he takes to the pitch for the Hoops’ potential title-clinching match against Aberdeen on Saturday May 4.

John Beaton books Celtic captain Scott Brown in the December 29 clash. Picture: SNS Group

Beaton hasn’t been handed any Celtic matches since the Glasgow derby on December 29, which Rangers won 1-0.

The official was criticised for a series of decisions in the powder keg Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Ibrox, with the Parkhead club issuing an angry statement in the days following the match.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

The Hoops highlighted three incidents involving Gers striker Alfredo Morelos - a stamp on defender Anthony Ralston, a clash with Ryan Christie and another flashpoint where he appeared to kick Celtic captain Scott Brown between the legs.

John Beaton books Celtic captain Scott Brown in the December 29 clash. Picture: SNS Group

No action was taken against the Colombian striker, and Hoops chiefs demanded Beaton explain himself.

A Scottish FA summit on refereeing standards was hastily arranged in January at St Johnstone’s McDiarmid Park stadium.

In the aftermath of the match, which saw several people injured in clashes in and around Glasgow city centre, Beaton’s contact details were reportedly published online, leading to a torrent of abusive messages.

The 37-year-old has been appointed to referee this Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Pittodrie between the Dons and Celtic, where a point would be enough to secure the Hoops their eighth consecutive title.