Barry Ferguson "isn't bothered" by the fact under-fire referee John Beaton will take charge of this weekend's huge Old Firm clash. 

Rangers and Celtic go head-to-head at Ibrox on Sunday in a derby encounter that could have a huge bearing on the Scottish Premiership title race. Celtic currently hold a one point advantage, but have played a game more than their fierce Glasgow rivals. 

Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers was handed a one-match ban, with another suspended by the Scottish FA for comments highlighting Beaton's competence following a defeat against Heart of Midlothian a few weeks ago. While there's been intense scrutiny from both sets of supporters over the whistlers appointment. 

However, Ferguson reckons the standard of officiating in general has been poor and believes any referee could be prone to a game changing error given what he's witnessed across the league this season.

"It didn't bother me in the slightest," said the former Rangers captain on Go Radio, when asked about the choice of referee. 

"If I'm being honest, whether it's what happened a few weeks back at Tynecastle, or five years ago, or ten year ago, whatever referee it is I'm always nervous about decisions, certainly with VAR now. 

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"But people have got to remember, it was John Beaton that advised Don Robertson to go and look at the Yang high foot, obviously the penalty decision as well. 

"I told you at the time that I thought it was never a sending off and it was never a penalty. But Don Robertson had to make the final decision on that, it was nothing to do with John Beaton."

Fellow pundit Peter Grant then chimed in to agree with Ferguson’s opinion. 

"I think that's the problem everybody's got,” the ex-Celtic midfielder claimed. “You've had two referees that's actually had to opportunity to say 'that was wrong', but they didn't. 

"And I think that's where all the hullabaloo has came from more than anything else. 

"We are talking here as footballers, well ex-footballers I should say, and the decisions were really poor. And for that standard of referee, top referee supposed to be in the respect of that, that shouldn't be the case."

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Ferguson came back in and argued: "It's not just the Hearts and Celtic game, all the games that I've watched, most of the decisions have actually baffled me. 

"But in terms of the referee (Beaton), it will not mean a jot to the Rangers players or the Celtic players come Sunday at 12 o'clock once that whistle goes."