The Hacks Would Rather Criticise Celtic Than Scrutinise Deplorable Refereeing

Image for The Hacks Would Rather Criticise Celtic Than Scrutinise Deplorable Refereeing


Celtic are coming in for criticism for daring to suggest that a contentious refereeing decision ought to be properly explained.

What is the world coming to, I ask you?

Why are referees the only people in the game who aren’t supposed to be subject to job performance review?

Why are they the only people in the sport who’s integrity, who’s motives, who’s allegiances, can’t be examined for bias?

Half of Scottish football moans bitterly about the “Glasgow clubs getting all the decisions”, yet the same people squeal “conspiracy theorists!” when you suggest that perhaps a way to avoid uncertainty is to get people on the record where those decisions can be put under the spotlight.

Better yet, get refs to declare their allegiances before they are given games.

Surely it’s time to end all the secrecy and the uncertainty?

This Association won’t even introduce TV evidence.

Except to do people.

And even then they sometimes don’t bother.

They’ve found several Sevco players “Not Proven” this season although the evidence was right there on the screen.

In addition, they found a Celtic player guilty of racism when there was absolutely not a shred of supporting evidence.

You’d be forgiven for thinking they make this up as they go along.

Scottish football faces enough challenges without the competence (or honesty) of our referees having to come up time and again, so why are suggestions about how best to put it to bed once and for all not taken seriously?

Why is our club, again, deemed to be out of order when all we’re asking for is some openness and transparency?

Why do some of our hacks want to focus on that, rather than on why we get decisions such as these?

What are they scared to actually say? Why isn’t tackling the problem an issue for them?

The decision at the weekend was inexplicable.

The excuses already being made are contradictory when they are not frankly unbelievable.

There were more than 30,000 people at Hampden and almost all of them saw the incident clearly.

Hundreds of thousands more watched it on TV and they are equally certain of what they saw.

Yet we are being asked to believe that at the crucial moment, and for only that moment, the people who were on the pitch and being paid to watch out for precisely such an incident were amongst the only people, aside from those on toilet seats or standing at pie stalls, or facing the other way in the stands, who actually missed it?

Give me a break!

During that “crucial millisecond” all four of them were denied a clear view?


If they’re asking us to swallow that one then it makes me ask what exactly are they covering for?

Adrian Durham used a column in the Daily Mail today to attack us for this view, Adrian who thinks Sevco were “victimised” by Scottish football, that the whole of our game basically acted against its own interests, out of spite.

He says we are “arrogant” for trying to get answers.

He needs to look the word up, sticking his nose in where it’s not wanting and thinking his opinion has validity or ought to be of any consequence.

It’s also hypocritical.

Isn’t it arrogant to do what our Grade 1 refs do, and to refuse point blank to explain decisions like this?

Isn’t it arrogant to try and be the only people in the professional sport who don’t have to account for their mistakes?

Salient details like that don’t matter to some people.

Graham Spiers is at it too this afternoon, telling Celtic to “stop bleating” about the incident, as though we ought to operate by a different set of rules from every other club.

Because you can hear managers and players moaning about officials all week long, but none of them are ever subject to the kind of abuse Celtic gets for speaking up.

Honestly, you couldn’t mark the necks of these people with a blow torch.

Football in this country will continue to exist under a cloud only as long as we let it.

Reforming key parts of the game could change all this.

Introduce TV evidence.

It wouldn’t be hard to do, and the critics of the idea are absolutely full of it.

No-one is, or has ever, suggested it be used at every ground or every game, but it stands to reason that when the cameras are already covering a match that it has some level of importance.

In those games, it could be used without a problem.

Make referees declare their club allegiances like they do in England.

Everyone knows Steve McLean’s brother played for Rangers … there are numerous other officials who’s club connections are equally well known, so we’re not divulging secrets here.

It makes good sense to get it on the record.

Good sense has no place in our national sport though.

A lot of people would rather live under the cloud.

Some worry about what we’d find out if we started lifting rocks.

They would let the game rot before they’d expose the corruption that allows it to.

That tells you everything you need to know about where their priorities lie.

Some of us want better from this sport, and for it.

(If you want to support this site, you can make a donation over on On Fields of Green.

I published a longer article on this subject over on On Fields … check it out here.

Have you seen Glasgow Scooped yet? It’s a new free tabloid about the city of Glasgow. You can get your copy clicking on the picture.


Share this article


  • LaughinBhoy says:

    I’m as disappointed as any fan at missing the treble, at at an utterly hopeless and inexcusable performance from the referee and his team. How could this be missed?
    That said, Caley played very well and bossed us around a fair bit. Our midfield and front players couldn’t keep their feet, and they looked more of a threat than us. When we got that penalty ignored, we were 1-0 up and got the chance to go in at half time and regroup. The second half we fell on our own sword. Surely we should be capable of bringing a maturity to steer ourselves to victory, and forget earlier incidents in the game, when we had the tie in our own hands, so to speak? Big Jock told his lions, if we score 3 times and them none, it doesn’t matter what the ref does. We should have put the tie to bed, and our performance was poor all round. Credit to Caley who were more up for the fight than us. We used to be able to be dignified in defeat, and you rarely heard a boo at Parkhead. I hope we are not losing that sporting dignity that we hold so dear, and that impresses many opponents and their fans. Good luck to Yogi and his team, they clearly have worked and played their socks off to get to where they are.
    Lets regroup have some humility and focus on continuing Peter, Ronnie & Johnny’s plan!

  • Therese Marie Storrie says:

    this is the absolute truth, why worry about anyone looking and asking for answers if you have nothing to hide If this was Sevco or the old Rangers the whole Media would be asking questions then again that wouldnt happen to them Paranoid ? No Wanting fair play of course That will never happen unless there is a complete overhaul from the SFA down Peter Lawell should be shouting from the rooftops about this Enough is enough !!!!!

  • Jimmybee says:

    There has been enough bad decisions against Celtic through over my 40 years of watching the hoops. My Father and Grandfather of course go back further.
    This is nothing new. What is new is that tv coverage has become far better than what it was. In a split millisecond a decision and that is the correct decision can be viewed and called correctly. A match with sporting integrity would be the outcome and the final result a just and deserved winner.
    No honest mistakes no cover ups just the right result.
    Is this too much to ask!

  • Gerard F Reilly says:

    How the hell can a mega sport like rugby conduct a move by move scrutiny in live play , and not disrupt the game ..yet our other big sport football stumbles from one balls up to another causing more controversy than most major sports put together? the longer this cloak and dagger stuff rumbles on in football by lawmakers who are content to allow refs and other match officals to turn the nelsons eye and cause mayhem in the once named simple game? would it not be easier to rectify a dubious incident durin the match instead of causing further finger pointing in the media days after the horse has bolted , or maybe the beautiful game will die due to lack of integrity ..please man up and stop the sport becoming a laughing stock “

  • Gerard F Reilly says:

    Where is my post of 3 minutes ago?

  • John clifford says:

    Meekins missing the final for being honest and admitting the ball hit his hand. UNBELIEVABLE
    MACLEAN AND CO getting off scot free for their dishonesty
    Says it all as far as I am concerned

  • jack walker says:

    grow up for f…. sake and tell the truth fremasonry runs the word as well as this country.

  • DJBEE says:

    Completely wrong only about the TV bit if you are talking about the SFA.
    If SFA introduced TV all Scottish teams would be thrown out of football completely.

  • Paul Shiach says:

    The SFA proved today, if proof were needed that they are an abysmally inept organisation which exists to the detriment of Scottish football. To attempt to excuse McLean by inferring he never was unsighted is bad enough. If he never saw anything so blatant, what is he doing officiating at a game of football?. To compound this by dishing out a one game ban to Meeking adds insult to injury. Mc Lean should have been carpeted for his actions rather that cosseted. However it can really come as no surprise from an organisation whose Chief Executive has spent the last 3 years bad mouthing the product he is supposed to promote. The SPfL is not much better when Doncaster can change rules and attempt to tell everyone that he hasn’t . A root and branch reform is urgently needed starting at the top

Comments are closed.