Today’s late tackle from Devante Cole was the second time this season he’s lunged in on a Celtic player, and the second time he’s done so without getting a red card.
It’s not the first time this season that we’ve had a rough-housing. It won’t be the last.
Motherwell were not particularly brutal today, but Cole’s escape makes it clear that they could have got away with pretty much whatever they wanted.
Other clubs have spent the full 90 minutes kicking us all over the pitch this season and they were allowed to.
We’re all, I think, thoroughly fed up with this.
The only players in Scotland who seem to be guaranteed protection are those in the colours of Ibrox; protection from conceding penalties, protection from getting straight reds, protection from the kind of treatment we are subjected to frequently.
I’ve seen players red carded against them for the most innocuous things this season; Nir Bitton’s was only the most obvious of them.
Our own club has done nothing about this except raise a stink in the press from time to time.
I blame the silence at the top of Celtic for this as much as anything, because it should have been blindingly obvious that this would be an exceptional season even by Scottish football’s ludicrous standards, and that something like would be in the offing.
It must be obvious now to everyone at Parkhead that we cannot expect protection from refs or officials.
The media isn’t going to help us either.
Indeed, between them and the SFA they appear more interested in looking for things to charge us with.
We have to fight our own corner, and some might say “well, what’s the point?” and they are correct, of course, because this campaign has gotten away from us and the league season has collapsed.
We’re not going to win the title; indeed, we might lose it shockingly early and by a record number of points.
But there will be other seasons, and we already need to be thinking ahead.
I said in an earlier article that this should be one of the key priorities for Dominic McKay; it is painfully obvious that there’s a need for our club to take the lead in reforming refereeing.
Nobody else is going to do it. What are we waiting for before we act?
This has been a dreadful season for us all, but one which leaves many at our club exposed for the things they haven’t done. It has hammered home the need for us to do in the future all that we’ve failed to do in the past.
Before it costs a Celtic player his career, this is one area where things plainly have to change, and change fast.