After a week in which Rangers finally got the monkey off their back and beat bitter rivals Celtic to blow the Ladbrokes Premiership wide open, all the talk, unfortunately, has not been about their superb win but the performance of referee John Beaton. The fall out from the game has been incredible regarding him. Reported threats against Beaton and his family have been a disgrace, culminating in him unbelievably having to get a bodyguard accompanying him to his place of work, which was Somerset Park on Saturday. There is absolutely no place for that kind of behaviour in football and I feel desperately sorry for him and the treatment he has received.

I do not think even the most ardent of Celtic fans would argue that their team were anything but well beaten at Ibrox - regardless of the referee or his display. He didn’t force the Celtic players to kick the ball out of the park aimlessly or let the Rangers players run over the top of them. But what I will say is that I still think his performance at Ibrox was worthy of scrutiny.

In the Scottish Football Association statement that was issued it stated that Beaton has seen all three incidents regarding Alfredo Morelos yet had deemed that none were worthy of even a yellow card. If neither of these decisions aren’t at least deemed a yellow card then there is definitely something wrong with the game and the rules haven’t been applied. For me he could have walked for any of his three indiscretions. This is not me singling out Morelos at all. A few Rangers supporters have an opinion that people in the media have it in for the Rangers striker. Nonsense. He is currently the best striker in Scotland and if he was playing for Celtic they would be romping the league in my opinion.

It seems every single week there are decisions being made by referees that are, quite frankly, bonkers, and are driving managers and fans mad. Daniel Candeias being sent off for blowing a kiss at Anton Ferdinand. Gary Dicker’s red card for a tackle on Callumn Morrison. Jordan Jones' blatant dive at Dundee that contributed to gettting Neil McCann the sack. I could go on and on. These decisions for me are a clear sign of the incompetence among our top refs. That doesn’t mean that they should be subjected to the bile that Beaton has been in the last week. Of course I condemn it. But surely the time has come for referees or their supervisors to be allowed to explain how they arrived at decisions on the pitch. Transparency and honesty is all that people want. It would help supporters, managers and players to accept decisions - even if they went against their side. It would also help referees massively in the public domain.

Rangers sent out a club statement querying the referee's decision to send off Candeias at St Mirren. Celtic sent out a club statement regarding the decision by the Scottish FA not taking action against Morelos. Stevie Clarke and Kilmarnock sent out a statement regarding Dicker. If the referee and his observer got together straight after the game and spoke, then surely decisions could be explained and the need for clubs to put out statements which in turn pile pressure on officials wouldn’t be needed.

I played professionally for 16 years and I never got the impression that any referee I encountered was biased or gave decisions due to the team they supported. Sure, I was severely frustrated at times with some decisions that cost me or my team goals or points, but I never thought that referees made bad decisions on purpose. But there is no doubt that refereeing in this country in the last 10 years has gone downhill fast. The human element seems to be also missing in terms of talking to players.

The emergence of social media has put players, managers and officials under intense scrutiny. Everyone at games now has a camera phone in their hand. Televised games have cameras for the viewer to see every angle and inch of the pitch. The referees need a hand and VAR surely must be brought in to help them - because make no mistake they need help. The next Old Firm game is scheduled for March 30. Right now it’s a game that will surely induce dread amongst every one of our current referees. With the treatment of Beaton fresh in the memory, who would want to go and officiate that game?

Certainly not me.

And another thing

Jermain Defoe signing for Rangers is a serious statement of intent. At 36 his best days are behind him but if he still has the same hunger and desire that he had at 26 then he will score plenty of goals in Scotland. But he must still have that fire in the belly. If he doesn’t, then he will flop like Joey Barton.