Former Celtic star Kris Commons has criticised Paul Heckingbottom for his reaction to refereeing incidents during a match against Neil Lennon’s men on Saturday, as reported by The Scottish Daily Mail (30/09 print edition, The Verdict supplement, page 16).

Heckingbottom was sent to the stands after furiously reacting to a Kevin Clancy decision.

After the match he continued his complaints, claiming that the officials had let Hibs down for failing to send Olivier Ntcham off in the first half (BBC Scotland).


Commons though doesn’t understand his problem, feeling that the Hoops were more hard done by after two strong penalty claims were turned down.

As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail (30/09 print edition, The Verdict supplement, page 16), he explained: “Heckingbottom is clutching at straws if he’s pinning the blame solely on Clancy.

“The reality is that his team only had two shots on target and their goal came from a freak incident which saw Kristoffer Ajer put the ball through his own net.

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“Yet, there he is, charging around kicking water bottles at people on the touchline and making a clown of himself.

“Celtic had far more cause to feel aggrieved at Clancy because he denied them two stonewall penalties.”

(Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Poor refereeing all round

The fact that both Lennon and Heckingbottom had major problems with the refereeing on Saturday tells its own story. Clancy had a shocker, it’s as simple as that.

Last season felt like a low watermark in terms of officiating in this country and we can only hope that inconsistent decisions and bizarre calls are not as commonplace this term.

Ntcham probably was fortunate not to get his marching orders, but as Commons points out we were denied two stonewall penalties. How the match might have turned out is impossible to determine.

The only thing that’s clear is that Scottish refereeing continues to have a terrible reputation and for good reason.

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