Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom has his say on SFA misconduct charge

Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom will stand his ground when he faces a disciplinary hearing at Hampden on Thursday.

By David Hardie
Friday, 4th October 2019, 10:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th October 2019, 2:47 am
John Souttar in action for Hearts

The head coach was sent to the stand by referee Kevin Clancy following his furious reaction to Celtic’s equalising goal during last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Celtic, remonstrating with fourth official Nick Walsh and kicking a water bottle which hit assistant referee Alan Mulvanny.

The SFA’s compliance officer Clare Whyte issued a notice of complaint accusing him of breaching disciplinary rule No.203 – no member of staff shall commit misconduct at a match.

Heckingbottom – who also insisted Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham should have been red carded for raising his hands to Josh Vela – admitted to swearing at Walsh and conceded he shouldn’t have kicked the bottle. But, having seen a report of what is being levelled at him, the Yorkshireman was adamant he’ll happily debate those points.

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Paul Heckingbottom

“It will be a new experience for me to go to Hampden,” he said. “So I’ll wait to see what they’ve got to say, what the whole process is about and what comes of it. They have sent a report through which we’ve read and we’ll go through it.

“There are things that I know I did wrong and shouldn’t have done, which were pointed out to me [the water bottle] and didn’t realise had happened. However, there are other aspects that I will stand my ground on and have a discussion about what happened and what I think was right and wrong.

“I’m not bitter or angry about it, I just want to go through on Thursday and get it resolved. I’ve seen what they have sent back and I’m happy to go through and deal with it.

“I didn’t think I said anything out of the norm - especially when you’ve had fourth officials swear at you in the past. A lot of it is just part and parcel.”

Clancy, who was also accused by Celtic boss Neil Lennon of failing to award his side two penalties in the match, hasn’t been put in charge of a game at any level of the SPFL this weekend, but Heckingbottom insisted he couldn’t answer as to why that should be.

He said: “Who know why that was? They don’t get games every week so I don’t know if it’s a result of that. I’m not assessing the games he did and there was nothing personal about what I said, I didn’t suggest there were any agendas or anything like that.

“Other people will have different interpretations about incidents. But it was the ones that were absolutely black and white that seem to have been going against us all season - blatant offsides, blatant slaps in the face.

“Time after time, there are no debating those things. They have happened and should be dealt with.”

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom has demanded his players produce the same level of performance shown against Celtic when they face Aberdeen at Pittodrie tomorrow. He said: “I’ll not be relaxed really until we get that every week.”