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.
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