Another cup semi-final, another four goals conceded - but there's no point in being glib about Sunday's defeat to Celtic, and there is no humiliation for the Dons found in other recent Scottish Cup defeats. Celtic's win came as a direct result of their disgraceful bullying of the SFA and referees this season in a way that has patently brought the game into disrepute but has been pathetically pandered-to by both the governing body and media alike.
Aberdeen had the better of the game until Andrew Considine’s unjust red card, and performed admirably in the entire first-half, with Jamie Langfield in particular making up for previous cup-tie bottlings with a tremendous and unlikely penalty save. However while the Dons could compete with their injury-ravaged team against the demonstrably stronger squad up to a point, they were always going to tire and collapse after going down to 10 men, with so many players playing out of position and every refereeing decision going greenwards - and so it proved.
Neil Lennon's weasel words following the game about the red card rule needing investigated were the final insult - it is he and his club's behaviour this season that has directly resulted in referees being terrified of not giving the players in green and white the benefit of any doubt - and he well knows it. Another season it will be their cousins from the other side of the city who turn the screw on the governing body, and reap the benefits because of their similarly powerful position. And it is every other club in the country that suffers as a result. The game's a bogey.
See the published version of this article plus fans of other SPL clubs' responses to their team's performance at: http://sport.scotsman.com/newsfront.aspx?SectionID=14223, and in the Scotsman newspaper every Wednesday.