John Robertson has hit out at an “arrogant and obnoxious” fourth official after he was sent to the stand for the second half of the 3-0 Premiership play-off semi-final defeat by Dundee United.
The Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager is alleged to have flicked a bottle of water at fourth official David Lowe following the award of a controversial penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Robertson denies it was intentional and has branded Lowe “a liar”.
His fury was compounded after the final whistle when Lowe prevented him from standing on the pitch side to congratulate United manager Robbie Neilson and his players. The Tannadice side now face either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies in the two-legged play-off final as they seek to return to the Premiership at the third attempt.
Inverness’ season might now have ended but Robertson intends to “take it all away” with the SFA as he contests being sent off. He stressed he was prepared to risk a lengthy ban if it means getting justice.
“I have been irate before and done some daft things,” accepted Robertson “I have kicked Csaba Laszlo for goodness sake! All I have done is flick a water bottle about two or three feet in the air and it clipped the back of his [Lowe’s] heel. I am sure he will be in hospital tonight getting his leg amputated the way he reacted.”
“After the first goal, there was a water bottle lying there, I flicked it with my foot, it went about a foot in the air and clipped the back of the fourth official’s calf which was translated into me losing the plot, getting irate and smashing a water bottle at him,” he added.
“It was the biggest lie ever and I’m prepared to take this all the way. To be sent to stand for that is an absolute joke. This was a fourth official who began by saying ‘speak to me’ and then ended with ‘don’t speak to me…take it up with the referee.’
“He has lied. I am quite prepared to take it all away. We don’t get fourth officials in the Championship and thank goodness we don’t. I now know what [Hibs manager] Paul Heckingbottom was on about. We don’t get fourth officials in the Championship, thank goodness we don’t. All they do is antagonise the two benches.
“What happened at the end was incredible. It’s the end of our season, all I was doing was congratulating [referee] Kevin Clancy and the other officials on their game, I was waiting to congratulate Robbie Neilson and his players and wish them the best for next week, and again in his arrogance, he [Lowe] comes across and asks me to leave the pitch.
“I was told I wasn’t allowed to wait on the pitch, that I had to go to the tunnel. The season is over! He then says he will report me again. Nobody was bothered but he wanted to have a go at me. They can ban me for as long as they want. I’m taking this all the way.
“He has rubbed salt in the wounds by saying: ‘get off the pitch’ [at the end]. Kevin Clancy was not bothered. The other two officials were not bothered. He wants to make a go of it again.”