Scottish football gossip: Ex-whistler hits out at state of Scottish refereeing; McInnes admits he hasn’t abandoned hope of managing in England again and Chris Sutton takes Joey Barton to task over his latest comments
‘There are no consequences’
Former referee Charlie Richmond doesn’t believe whistlers have agendas against teams - but he does think the standard suffers because officials who make mistakes face no consequences.
Richmond said: “Of the five red cards Craig Thomson has given this season he’s got two right and three wrong. But I don’t think he will care, because there are no consequences for him.
“Overall the standard of refereeing in Scotland is poor at the moment and part of the reason for that is there is no succession plan.” (Daily Record)
McInnes eyes England return
Last year Derek McInnes rejected lucrative offers to take charge of Sunderland and Rangers but insists that doesn’t mean he has abandoned plans to eventually leave Aberdeen for a bigger club.
This week the Dons manager celebrates five years in charge at Pittodrie but even being sacked by Bristol City in 2013 hasn’t blunted his ambition of returning to England if the right team come calling.
His judgment that Sunderland wasn’t it has been reinforced by their near certain relegation to League One, while Aberdeen could finish second in the Premiership and win the Scottish Cup. (The Scotsman)
Sutton slaps down Barton
Joey Barton’s recent comments about the Scottish Premiership being “Sunday League” standard and “pathetic” were picked up on by numerous commentators yesterday.
One of those was the BT Sport pundit and former Celtic striker, who took to social media to mock the ex-Burnley and QPR player for failing to handle the pressure at a “big club”.
Sutton tweeted: “You’ve got to love Joey..Good career but he was found wanting for Rangers and simply couldn’t handle the big club pressure so it was everyone else’s fault... So Scottish football is rubbish..And he’s had a better career than Lustig and Brown...mmm.” (The Scotsman)
Levein has big plans for Keena
Teenage Hearts striker Aidan Keena will be promoted to the club’s first-team squad this summer after a blistering run of goalscoring form on loan at Queen’s Park.
Keena’s double in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Stranraer took his total to seven goals in just eight appearances for the League One side. Hearts manager Craig Levein now intends to see how he handles the Ladbrokes Premiership next season.
Keena was loaned out to test his readiness for the first-team. Levein is delighted with his progress and will give him the chance to stake a first-team claim when he returns to Riccarton in June. (Evening News)
Scotland coach reassures Capital players
Assistant Scotland coach Peter Grant has reassured Hibs midfielder Dylan McGeouch that he will play international football even although injury denied him a first senior cap this week.
Grant also stressed that Hearts defenders Christophe Berra and John Souttar should not consider the Scotland door closed simply because they did not make the current squad.
A groin injury has ruled McGeouch out of friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary over the next eight days. However, Grant promised the 25-year-old he will get his chance to pull on the dark blue shirt in the future. (Evening News)
Is Brown the full shilling, asks Barton
Joey Barton has questioned if Scott Brown is the “full shilling” during a discussion on radio.
Speaking to Alan Brazil on talkSPORT this morning, the former Rangers midfielder brought the debate round to the Celtic captain, asking: “Has Scott Brown been cheating again?”
Barton continued: “Is [Brown] the full shilling? We saw him up at Aberdeen the other week and then wearing the shades against Rangers. It seems to me he is a little bit short. He doesn’t look the full ticket to me.” (The Scotsman)
Barnet bin McGhee after five months
FORMER Scotland No2 Mark McGhee has been sacked by Barnet after just five months at the club as manager and technical director.
The ex-Motherwell and Aberdeen boss was appointed boss of the struggling English League Two side in November, but less than two months after he took charge, he was moved upstairs and chose his own successor at The Hive.
He appointed Graham Westly as his replacement as manager, but they are now bottom of the Football League with 30 points from their 38 games and are seven points away from safety. (Scottish Sun)