'I'd be a hypocrite'; Dundee United boss' surprising reaction to debate over Celtic man Hatate

By Euan Davidson

March 18, 2022

There’s been plenty of debate over a tackle made by Celtic man Reo Hatate against Dundee United on Monday night, but Thomas Courts wants nothing to do with it.

Pundits labelled Hatate “lucky” to stay on the Tannadice turf, and subsequent arguments over the nature of the tackle have dominated forums and social media.

However, Courts says he’d be a hypocrite if he asked for retrospective action. In another game at Tannadice, Calum Butcher was punished after the fact for a horrible tackle on David Turnbull. The furore from that incident seems to have put Courts off dealing with the SFA Disciplinary Panel.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Courts explained [Daily Record]: “I remember remonstrating on the side of the pitch at the time of Hatate’s challenge.

“I did feel there were some similarities to the Calum Butcher tackle that was retrospectively looked at. I’ve taken a look back and I don’t think there was any malice in it. But there is no doubt, in the modern game and under current rules, it was a red card.

“I understand player care is really important but the thing I didn’t like about the Calum Butcher situation was the furore that was attached to his tackle. I remember feeling at the time that Calum was victimised, I don’t want that for Hatate. He probably should have been sent off but there are so many things that happen in a game.

“I’d be being a hypocrite if I wanted Hatate retrospectively banned. I didn’t want the furore around Calum Butcher and don’t want it now.”

Why is Celtic’s incredible unbeaten run not being spoken about? | Jackie McNamara on 67 Hail Hail

Why is Celtic’s incredible unbeaten run not being spoken about? | Jackie McNamara on 67 Hail Hail
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Fair play to Dundee United boss Courts on his reaction to Hatate incident

You have to commend this, really. He has every right to say he thinks it was a red card – plenty of Celtic supporters think we got away with one there.

Others believe it’s really just a storm in a teacup.

Either way, we’re getting very much into the territory Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has derided of late. Instead of focusing on the result and performances, we’re still days into a navel-gazing debate on whether a tackle was a yellow or red card.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

At this point, it doesn’t really matter, does it? The game’s well over. And if Thomas Courts isn’t pursuing retrospective punishment for Hatate then surely that’s the case closed.

At worst, it’s a lesson for Hatate going forward. You can be certain that however he was punished on the pitch, he’ll have had a word in the ear from Ange Postecoglou. Malice or not, it wasn’t a tackle you’d expect from a Celtic player this season. By some distance, the Hoops have the best disciplinary record in the league [WhoScored?].

Hopefully, then, this is the end of the matter with regards to Hatate.

If we could talk about actual football instead, all the better.

Read more: Callum McGregor’s brilliant message about new Celtic players; they completely get it