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Celtic chairman demands ref McDonald be axed

Celtic chairman John Reid has called for referee Dougie McDonald to either resign or for the Scottish Football Association to remove him from post. Hoops boss Neil Lennon is still awaiting an apology from McDonald, who admitted lying to the Irishman after reversing a penalty award in Celtic's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Dundee United at Tannadice in October.

"We need a fundamental review and restructure of the Scottish Football Association," he said.

"We have seen instances recently where, in the case of a referee, his position ought to be completely untenable.

"No-one who has admitted to lying to our manager over important decisions at a game should remain in post.

"He (McDonald) should go and if he didn't resign he should have been removed from post.

"I believe his position is untenable and I believe the position of the SFA is untenable in protecting him.

"There cannot be integrity in a system that allows a referee to lie and allegedly to try and get others to lie on a crucial decision affecting a game.

"Now that we have new chief executive who appears to me to be determined to look at these things afresh, he needs the support of all of us.

"This game is bigger than any one club."

Asked about the decision to allow McDonald to stay in his position, Reid continued his theme.

He said: "It is a wrong judgement, not just for Celtic, it's actually wrong for the game and wrong for the SFA.

"If, on the one hand, you are saying we want to restore confidence in this game but, on the other hand, we know that an official has lied and conspired and there is an attempt to cover up the lie, but we are actually going to leave him at the centre of the game, then that undermines people's confidence in your readiness to changes things.

"The SFA, if they have any sense at all of their own value and integrity and role in Scottish football, should recognise that this incident signals a lot and even at this late stage they should look again.

"That's an issue they have to deal with, but this club wants to help the chief executive, and we want to do it not just for us but the game itself.

"It makes it hard to do that if there is an unsustainable and quite frankly, incredible position."

Reid alluded to a belief that Celtic were badly treated in the past, saying "read your history books" and insisted that it would not be allowed to happen again.

He said: "We don't seek special treatment. We are not without fault or better than anyone else but we will not be treated less than anyone else - those days are gone."

And chief executive Peter Lawwell is not expecting McDonald to be handed a Celtic game again.

He said: "We would be astonished in the first instance because there are other ways of keeping him occupied rather than sending him here.

"This is an SFA problem and they have to deal with that problem.

"The satisfactory outcome, ultimately, is if there is transparency and accountability and a system and procedures within the referee section of the SFA that satisfies all the stakeholders in the game.

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