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Celtic welcome Scottish FA referee review

Celtic chairman John Reid
Reid thinks Celtic's pressure was justified

Celtic moved to draw a line under the Tannadice penalty saga by praising Stewart Regan's plans for reform at the Scottish Football Association.

Referee Dougie McDonald received a warning after lying about the reasons for overturning a penalty.

"We are encouraged by the proposals of the new chief executive, Stewart Regan, to address a series of issues within the SFA," said a Celtic statement.

"And to allow greater transparency and openness in future decision making."

McDonald changed his mind in Celtic's Scottish Premier League win over Dundee United after consultation with assistant referee Steven Craven, deeming that goalkeeper Dusan Pernis' challenge on Gary Hooper had been fair.

Celtic wrote to the SFA demanding clarification over the incident and the governing body launched a probe in light of Craven's decision to resign.

While we would have liked a review to be more independent in nature, Stewart Regan's objectives are to be applauded

Celtic chairman John Reid

Craven was unhappy that he had been cast as the instigator of the U-turn and then sensationally accused the SFA's head of referee development, Hugh Dallas, and his assistant, John Fleming, of "harassment and bullying" - something that was refuted by Dallas.

McDonald admitted that he had exaggerated Craven's role when explaining the decision to Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

But, although Hooper suggested that the referee's position was untenable, he vowed to remain a match official.

Regan has not been wholehearted in his support of McDonald or the decision by the SFA's referee committee.

And last week the chief executive promised reform of a system where mainly former referees sit in judgement of officials and promised reforms designed to introduce more urgency and openness.

It is a sentiment with which Celtic chairman John Reid found favour.

"Following events at Tannadice, it was Celtic's absolute right to request clarification on a matter of this nature," he said on his club website.

"Indeed, it is widely accepted that this was an incident which deserved some explanation.

"It was also correct that the Scottish Football Association conduct an investigation into events following the resignation of an assistant referee.

"Clearly, as a result of this investigation it is very unfortunate that dishonesty has been proven. This, of course, is a matter for the SFA to deal with."

Reid was pleased with Regan's plan to reform the system, although he harbours some misgivings about the coming review.

"While we would have liked a review to be more independent in nature, Stewart Regan's objectives are to be applauded," the Celtic chairman added.

"We fully understand that there is intense pressure on referees in a high-profile environment. We know too that they carry out a very difficult job.

"We now look forward to the review process being carried out and to the implementation of the appropriate recommendations."

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see also
SFA promises ref system overhaul
04 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Butcher asks bosses to help refs
04 Nov 10 |  Inverness CT
McDonald's lie 'will hinder refs'
03 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Refs are against Celtic - Hooper
03 Nov 10 |  Celtic
Ref McDonald explains 'lie' role
01 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Dallas slams ref bullying claims
01 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Scottish ref 'cover-up' is denied
31 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
SFA chief calls for ref respect
30 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Ref warned after Tannadice probe
29 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier

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