Paul McGinn in dock for John Beaton criticism - Hibs back their player

Hibs defender Paul McGinn has been hit with a Scottish Football Association disciplinary charge following his criticism of League Cup final referee John Beaton.

Hibs' Paul McGinn confronts referee John Beaton during the Premier Sports Cup final against Celtic.
Hibs' Paul McGinn confronts referee John Beaton during the Premier Sports Cup final against Celtic.

McGinn branded Beaton's display as "inept" and while his club accepts that was a breach of the rule prohibiting those in football from criticising match officials in a way which indicates "bias or incompetence" or could "impinge on their character", it is understood that they concur with their full-back’s assessment.

Furthermore, there is enduring anger that he appears to be the only person being punished for errors, when they believe Beaton should also pay the price.

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According to sources within the Leith club, owner Ron Gordon and chief executive Ben Kensell have been in heated and regular dialogue with the SFA since Sunday, furious at the referee’s performance, which the players and staff believe undermined their chances of silverware.

Fuming that they did not get a penalty when Ryan Porteous was bundled over in the box late on by Carl Starfelt, they claim there were several inconsistencies in the officiating.

But the biggest gripe is the awarding of the freekick that led to Celtic’s goal and the referee’s decision to allow it to be taken so quickly.

McGinn explained he and his team-mates were waiting on a substitution after they saw the fourth official with the board ready. But Celtic were allowed to take a snap free-kick which played Kyogo Furuhashi in for the decisive goal.

In the aftermath, a visibly livid McGinn said: "It's not a foul and then the fourth official is holding the board. I think Jamie Murphy could stand over the ball, as you do, but he steps away from it, to assume 'sub'.

"No control over the situation, [Beaton] he just lets it happen, and the goal goes in. I don't know if you see me running to him straight away and get myself booked. But it's just inept.

"Even 90 seconds later, Celtic are going to make a sub [there’s] a quick throw-in, and he whistles it back for the sub to happen.

"I ran to him and just said 'What's going on? There is no way we would have got that the other way. No way!’"

McGinn faces a hearing on January 13.