Another televised Celtic game, and Bobby Madden gets to be centre stage.
The very referee Celtic expressed concern about.
The very one who was involved in a shocker of a high profile incident at the weekend where he booked an Aberdeen player for being shoved by a Dundee Utd fan. Now he will referee our match against Hearts.
Here in Scotland, referees are rewarded for their incompetence.
The message this sends to the Brethren is very clear; it doesn’t matter what mistakes you make. It doesn’t matter how scandalous the decision making is. You have nothing to fear. No demotions, no sitting on the side-lines, not even the scrutiny which would be given to anyone anywhere else in the game. Referees walk between the raindrops.
The number of high profile incidents involving us and this guy is long enough that it doesn’t need going into.
The weekend’s incident shows that we’re not the only club who suffers because the SFA tolerates this clown. We had our own issues at the weekend, with Walsh deciding not to red card a St Johnstone player for taking out one of ours with an elbow … and our club talks a good game but does nothing whatsoever to move the needle even an inch.
If they did, we wouldn’t be getting Madden. Again. Brother Bobby.
Who will one day do the lecture circuit in the Orange Halls of Scotland, joking about his time as a whistler.
Until then he’s going to keep on getting high profile games whilst the media, our club and even some members of our support kid themselves on that this isn’t wrong and that it doesn’t cost us.
This will happen until we stop it, it’s as simple as that, and the only way we’ll stop it is to lead reform, makes refs accountable and ban them from officiating at matches where they have an “emotional investment” of some sort.
Every other country does it, it is high time this one did.
But it will not happen whilst clubs – especially ours – refuse to act.