This is what we’re up against, and at a time when there are a lot of criticisms of our club flying about it pays to be reminded of this fact.
We operate in an environment which is not exactly Celtic friendly, and you don’t have to look too far to see proof of it.
Bobby Madden has to be one of the most consistently poor referees in Europe, and he has a special talent for Honest Mistakes.
At the weekend he sent James McPake, the manager of Dundee, packing after the match after he’d failed to red card the Ibrox keeper during the game, when he was the last man and committed the foul for the penalty.
McPake says that when he demanded to know why the red card hadn’t been shown that his only answer was “you missed the penalty anyway” … which is a weird reply and technically incorrect; the goalkeeper, who shouldn’t have been on the park, saved the penalty, which is precisely why McPake was so angry about it.
Madden gets away with that level of contempt for a manager because refs in this country aren’t accountable to anyone.
They live largely unscrutinised lives. Our media’s long term insistence that they aren’t to be subjected to the same examination others in the sport are is ridiculous because it openly encourages both suspicion and corruption.
With ref’s decisions essentially being unchallengeable we’re opening a door to all manner of dodgy behaviour.
This is a common refrain from those of us who think refereeing needs a major review, but the problem is that clubs only get angry about the state of officiating when it adversely affects them and even in those circumstances people talk about a “pro Glasgow bias” when what they actually mean is one that benefits Ibrox.
Madden is clearly not a friend of Celtic. “Brother” Bobby as we call him has a long history of decisions against us which the media would describe as “inexplicable” but have all too obvious an explanation if you are really looking for one.
What’s most concerning is that he made a whopper of a blunder (if we’re calling it that) at the weekend in not sending off the Ibrox goalkeeper and has basically been rewarded for his incompetence (or something else) with the biggest game of the coming weekend; what kind of message does that send?
It sends the message that they aren’t accountable in any way, shape or form.
It sends the message that you don’t demoted, you get treats for the mistakes you make.
Celtic allows this too, because we’ve had plenty of opportunities to try and change it and we never have.
Until we do, we’re going to keep on getting what we deserve.
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