One of the stupider points that’s been made to me since the weekend, in relation to the refereeing situation, is that Celtic fans are only angry because of a perception that officials all support the same club, and it’s not the same one as us.
If the shoe was on the other foot, so goes the logic, we would not be quite so keen for scrutiny and disclosure, far less for the idea of foreign referees. What nonsense. Some folk see everything through the prism of their own deep selfishness; they would not care how their team won games or points or leagues.
They never did before, after all.
As a result, they reckon the rest of us don’t care either.
But some of us want fairness – actual fairness, not simply changing the slant on the playing field.
The idea of winning at any cost has never appealed to me and nor to most other Celtic fans.
Part of the satisfaction comes from knowing we’ve earned everything we’ve got. The whole idea of wanting a clean game is that if it’s clean then we know we’ll win … because we have the best players and the best manager. This is what we were built for.
Had Steve Conroy came out yesterday and said that the majority of refs were Celtic fans we would have sneered and laughed.
Our support for transparency and even for bringing refs in from abroad would not have abated even a little.
I do not want favours. I do not want special treatment. I certainly do not want our club to benefit from cheating or bias. Win or lose, as long as we do it clean our supporters will have no complaints, and I don’t care whether our rivals believe it or not.
Look at the picture that accompanies this piece.
Look the next time you are on The Celtic Way.
There are no dodgy officials on those walls or flags, and I wouldn’t want there to be.
I do not want Celtic fans refereeing our games; I don’t think it would bring us the least benefit anyway. Knowing how things work here in Scotland they’d know not to go easy on us and as such they would be even less likely to give us 50/50 decisions as the blue brethren would. The media would be all over them and the SFA would have them in the lower leagues the first time they gave us something with which the hacks and rival managers disagreed.
All this chit-chat about how many Celtic fans are in the business matters not one bit to me.
Even if refs declared their allegiances tomorrow, and the SFA passed the rule change which kept them away from games involving their clubs, there would be no respite from the nonsense we’re currently dealing with. It’s one change amongst many that needs to be made … the standard would remain abysmal, the bad decisions would continue to come.
The level playing field is only part of what’s required here.
The SFA has to do things better.
There is no sign whatsoever that they even care.
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