Aberdeen have issued a furious response to the decision to ban Graeme Shinnie for four matches, saying the appeals process is flawed and that the club has been insulted and treated unfairly.
The club have made a public request for the Scottish FA to review the appeal decision and take the unprecedented step of hearing the case again with a new disciplinary panel, saying the punishment handed down was “ridiculously harsh and unnecessary”.
Shinnie was sent off during Aberdeen’s win over Ross County on Friday, with referee Euan Anderson dismissing the player for using excessive force, having reviewed the incident after VAR intervention.
Aberdeen appealed the decision through the Scottish FA, with an independent panel hearing the case on Tuesday. The panel upheld Anderson’s decision to show Shinnie the red card, reinstating the original punishment.
Shinnie was to serve a two-game suspension for serious foul play, and miss a third game because he has previously been sent off this season. The disciplinary panel then added an extra one game ban because it considered the appeal to have been frivolous or to have had no chance of success.
That had infuriated the Pittodrie club, who issued a strongly-worded statement on Tuesday evening, saying the appeals process has faults and that the decision to add an extra match ban is insulting to Aberdeen and “ridiculously harsh and unnecessary”.
The statement read: “In the cold light of day, we very carefully considered the decision to appeal Graeme Shinnie’s red card at last Friday’s game against Ross County.
“We eventually decided to appeal in the belief that it had merit and a chance of success after watching the footage numerous times, listening to the various professional pundits on the matter and discussing it with the player and the manager.
“In setting out our appeal, we also reviewed similar tackles in the Scottish Premiership in the last six months where at least two players, who have unintentionally caught an opponent in the follow through of a tackle and were red-carded after VAR reviews, have had their ban over-turned on appeal and their suspensions quashed.
“Each appeal is heard on its own merits, which means that no prior case/appeal decisions are considered. The legal system for hundreds of years has used and relied upon prior cases as evidence. We believe that the omission of these key prior appeal findings will continue to affect consistency of decision-making.
“Scottish FA rules prohibit us from commenting publicly on such decisions, but having been accused of presenting a frivolous appeal our supporters need to know that this is not only insulting to the club but grossly unfair and entirely untrue. To add a further match ban seems ridiculously harsh and unnecessary.
“We are publicly asking the Scottish FA to urgently review our appeal with a new panel.”
Shinnie will now miss his side’s next four matches as they look to finish third in the Premiership. The defender will sit out the Premiership match against Rangers on Sunday and three games after the league split.
Following Friday’s game at the Global Energy Stadium, Aberdeen manager Barry Robson told the BBC: “I don’t think it’s a red card.
“He’s won the challenge, we want our players in the Scottish game to challenge and slide tackle. He’s won the ball first, it’s bounced off him, and he’s actually trying to pull his leg in after the challenge.
“For me it’s not a sending off. I want my players to play like that, so I’ll speak to the club after this and see what we can do.
“With VAR it’s just continuous, one thing after another. Every time there’s a decision everyone is asking the referee ‘are you checking it?!’ For me, it’s ruining the game.”