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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Thursday, 18 November 2010

Celtic call for referee Dougie McDonald's resignation

Dougie McDonald referees Hibs versus Motherwell
McDonald was back refereeing in the SPL at the weekend

By Chris McLaughlin

Celtic chairman John Reid is calling for the resignation of referee Dougie McDonald as well as a complete review of the Scottish Football Association.

McDonald was warned by the governing body after lying about his reasons for overturning a penalty award.

"If the SFA had any sense of their own integrity, they should look at it again," said Dr Reid.

"His position is completely untenable. The SFA's position on this issue is also untenable."

McDonald had told Celtic manager Neil Lennon that he had overturned his decision to award them a penalty against Dundee United because he was alerted to the mistake by his assistant, Steven Craven.

Tony Mowbray's appointment was a mistake and I ultimately take responsibility for that

Celtic chairman John Reid

But the referee later admitted that he had simply realised his own error and the row that followed led to Craven's resignation and an investigation by the SFA that reprimanded McDonald.

It led to a meeting between Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell and his SFA counterpart, Stewart Regan, who had already promised an overhaul of the refereeing system.

Reid, addressing around 200 shareholders at the Glasgow club's annual meeting, said "bold, radical action" must be taken to combat "stories of lies, conspiracies and cover-ups" within Scottish football.

"We're not asking for special treatment, but neither will we be treated as less than anyone else," he said. "Those days are gone."

Reid, who also thinks video technology should be used to help officials make decisions, backed a suggestion by a Scottish National Party MP that referees should declare which teams they support.

"Maybe Peter Wishart's proposals about referees declaring their allegiances should be considered as part of the process," said Reid.

Celtic had also written to the SFA seeking clarification over a spot-kick awarded against them by referee Willie Collum in their defeat by Rangers.

Reid calls on McDonald to quit

And, despite criticism from some quarters that Celtic were putting undue pressure on officials, Lawwell defended his club's stance to shareholders.

"We lost the league last year because we weren't good enough, but we reserve the right to query decisions," he said. "It's not sour grapes or paranoia.

"Stewart Regan has promised us a full review of referee procedures. But, not just that, a full review of the SFA as a whole."

Lawwell saw a brighter future for the club under the present team management, led by Lennon, who took over after the sacking of Tony Mowbray.

"Last year on the pitch was clearly unacceptable," said the chief executive.

"We have a new, young, vibrant managerial team led by Neil Lennon that will be here for a very long time."

Meanwhile, Reid shouldered the blame for the appointment of Mowbray, the former Celtic defender who was previously with West Brom and has recently taken charge of Middlesbrough.

"We got off to a false start under Mowbray," said the chairman. "But we managed to avoid some of the catastrophic financial failures that others fell into.

"Tony Mowbray's appointment was a mistake and I ultimately take responsibility for that."

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see also
MP makes ref club allegiance plea
16 Nov 10 |  Scotland
Celtic welcome SFA referee review
07 Nov 10 |  Celtic
SFA promises ref system overhaul
04 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Ref warned after Tannadice probe
29 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic want Collum clarification
26 Oct 10 |  Celtic
SFA chief calls for ref respect
30 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier

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