THE Scottish football rulers will be delighted to know John Logie Baird has perfected the transmission of moving images of people on a screen. The invention is to be known as broadcast television.

Charles Dickens has also completed the final draft of ‘A Christmas Carol‘, slavery has been abolished in the United States and man has landed on the moon.

One of these days the dear, old SFA will gatecrash another century.

Until such enlightened times, alas, they will remain entrenched in a sepia-coloured world of the horse-drawn carriage.

Freedom of speech? Allowed to deliver a forthright comment? Good grief, sir, have you taken leave of your senses?

Draconian laws are still alive and well and thriving in Mount Florida, it seems.

SOMETHING STINKS…Brendan Rodgers gives his thoughts in aftermath of a controversial Tynecastle loss. 

So, Brendan Rodgers has been hit with a notice of complaint following his criticism of VAR’s John Beaton in the wake of the official’s perplexing performance in front of the multi-screens during Celtic’s 2-0 reverse against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.

The Irishman will face the Hampden authoritarians three weeks today for daring to question the competence of onfield referee Don Robertson in Edinburgh and master of the remote controls Beaton at Clydesdale House in Glasgow.

Just to make things clear, the potty decision-making process between two of the SFA’s most experienced officals saw Robertson book Celtic winger Yang Hyun-jun for a high boot on defender Alex Cochrane. Beaton instructed his colleague to review the incident on his touchline monitor and that led to a straight red card for the bewildered South Korean.

That was in the 14th minute of a crucial encounter. As the match edged towards half-time, the technical guru miles from the action detected a supposed infringement when the ball brushed the arm of Tomoki Iwata on the edge of the box.

Not one solitary Hearts player called for a penalty-kick. It wasn’t mentioned during match commentary and Robertson, with an unobstructed view, took no action.

PENALTY PUZZLER…Alistair Johnston and Tomoki Iwata challenge Stephen Kingsley for a high ball.

Beaton was on the blower tout suite to relay a message in the referee’s ear that he better have another look at the phantom occurrence. Dutifully, for a second time, Robertson trotted over to the touchline, took a glance and returned to the pitch to point to the spot much to the merriment of the hosts and the puzzlement of the rest of the universe.

Jorge Grant duly scored the opening goal and the rest is history.

Forgive me if I have misread the rules, but was the new-fangled Video Assistant Referee system not meant to be used to correct “clear and obvious errors”?

That being the case in both potential game-changing moments on this occasion, why was Beaton getting involved at all in events in Edinburgh?

Maybe he has been gifted superior powers than us mere mortals and believed he had identified two “clear and obvious errors” that had been missed by everyone else, including the participants.

There could be alternative reasons, of course.

It would have been inconceivable for Rodgers not to have flagged up the incidents. To have overlooked such glaringly obvious questionable judgements would have been a dereliction of his duty to the club and the supporters.

SPOT THE PENALTY CLAIM…not a solitary Hearts player is calling for a spot-kick and referee Don Robertson has a clear view, but eagled-eyed VAR official John Beaton spotted the unseen infringement.

As I recall, Philippe Clement was less than satisfied with decisions on and off the field in the derby at Celtic Park on December 30. His employers, displaying all the cunning of a collection of imbeciles, went further in their criticism of referee Kevin Clancy and VAR’s Willie Collum. They even demanded to listen in to the audio tape between the officials.

The Hoops hierarchy have every right to make such a requirement to learn what was actually said between Beaton and Robertson. It’s a pity the incomparable Morecambe and Wise aren’t around these days or they could have fitted the conversation into one of their Christmas sketches.

Cutting to the chase, Rodgers now faces the prospect of a two-game dug-out suspension which will see him stuck in the stand for the match against Livingston in West Lothian on March 31 and the encounter at Ibrox on April 7.

In the midst of the enemy in Govan, the Irishman will be tasked with curbing his emotions if Celtic are afforded the opportunity to concentrate on actual football and emulate their victorious achievement of September last year at the same venue.

God forbid he smiles when/if his team score a goal that escapes the scrutiny of VAR. Rodgers will be running the risk of being charged with inciting a riot in such a circumstance.

Crazy, isn’t it?

VAR-CICAL…Hearts are moments away from an inevitable penalty-kick.

In the interests of fair play, I think it is only right and proper the SFA are allowed to answer criticism they are struggling to free themselves of cobwebs, caught in a time warp and adhering to rules written with a quill and ink.

Here is an offering from the association’s former president Alan McRae on the day Alex McLeish returned to the Scotland international manager’s post on February 16 2018.

The decision-maker seemed to get a tad confused when he revealed to a nation: “In season 1888/89, I was appointed chairman of Alex’s testimonial committee.”

A quick calculation informed me the country’s new team chief would be at least 150 years of age.

McRae held the exalted position for four seasons. In all, he had been with the SFA for 28 years. He was awarded an OBE for services to sport in 2020.

Lord help us, one and all.

I fear for Brendan in three weeks’ time. If McRae’s wisdom somehow seeps through, there’s every likelihood of a custodial for the Celtic gaffer.

SFA SPOILER ALERT: Women have been given the right to vote.


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