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Celtic Players Are Offered No Protection On The Pitch. This Really Cannot Continue.

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There are times, as a Celtic blogger, when I have to step back from my own perceptions to see whether the rest of the world is seeing things in the same way as I am.

There are times when I know I’m being biased, and that’s allowed.

But there are other subjects I write about when I have to play with a straighter bat, and at those times I have to seek an opinion other than my own because I don’t want my own prejudices to inhibit the work.

Yesterday I knew what I was watching on TV.

I knew that we were seeing a brutal, vicious performance from Alloa, led as they are by two arch Ibrox men, Ferguson and Malcolm.

I knew they had kicked us off the park, and I knew the ref had failed to protect our players.

But it was good to read that same view not only amongst our community but amongst the media too.

I thought the conduct of their team yesterday was atrocious. I thought the rough-housing we were subjected to was a scandal, and I thought that the referee was a flat-out disgrace especially in the delay between Callum going down and his allowing our medical people onto the pitch. Our club should be raising ninety-nine kinds of Hell over that.

Ange is a good guy, and we all respect him for his decency and intelligence.

But I cannot be alone in wishing he were a little more vocal on this.

We are already in the midst of a long run of bad injuries. Part of the problem is that teams know they can behave as Alloa did yesterday without serious sanction. The officials do not prevent their worst behaviour.

That makes it all the more important that the club stands up, and we are failing to do so. Don Robertson’s failure to allow our medical team onto the pitch the moment McGregor went down should have sparked fury not only on the Celtic bench, but at every level of the club, and we should have been asking for an explanation as soon as the final whilst blew.

The tackle on Ideguchi was truly shocking.

To me there’s simply no debate that the challenge deserved the red card, and the Japanese player was very lucky not to avoid a serious injury. Richard Foster was allowed to spew all kinds of tripe on BBC Scotland yesterday; I wrote about that earlier.

No-one else really doubts that it was a sending off.

But, again, we didn’t complain in the aftermath of the game.

Look at Ibrox the other day; they managed to find eight separate things to bitch and gripe about in their “letter” to the SFA and I’m betting that not one of them was as serious as the failure to send off the Alloa thug who hacked down our player, or the ref’s failure to get the medical people on instantly when McGregor went down.

They moaned about the goddamned ball blowing on the penalty spot.

What are we going to do about the ref endangering the safety of our captain?

Honestly, we lost three players yesterday in a single game because of the treatment we were subjected to and the club cannot think that’s alright.

The referee singularly failed to impose order or control on our opponents, who’s manager went on the telly last night and talked about how well they played.

At what? Rollerball?

Because in the football match I watched they couldn’t manage a single shot on target after they’d scored their late goal, so the great comeback attempt I keep hearing about is another work of fiction.

And even as I’m writing this, my old man has told me that Kevin Clancy is making the news, with an apparent punishment beating at the hands of the SFA over Ibrox’s complaint.

They raised a stink over nothing whastoever … and a referee has been publicly rebuked as a result of it.

The only other times that’s happened this season is when decisions have gone in favour of us.

You could not make that up.

In the meantime, Don Robertson’s abysmal decision making is defended by an ex-Ibrox player via the national broadcaster whilst Celtic barely stirs.

If we don’t stand up for ourselves better, we will continue to be on the end of these shocking displays from the officials.

We have ample grounds for complaint here.

The basic safety of our players is at stake, and that should really concern us.

If we don’t act, we deserve everything we get.

On top of everything else, this kind of thing could cost us this title.

Our club simply cannot remain silent about the treatment we are subjected to and the lack of official protection for our stars.

We need to be vocal. We need to speak out now.

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  • Finbar muldoon says:

    This behaviour will eventually go global. They can’t keep getting away with it. Signing these boys from Japan will shine a long overdue spotlight on this wee cesspit of a country. HH

  • Paul K Donnachie says:

    Totally agree with the points raised here. Surely we should be putting the board on notice now that their silence will be challenged at the next AGM and the directors will need to be prepared to answer questions on their apparent cowardice, particularly if, by then, we have not won the title because essential players were out injured.

  • Danny says:

    Great article, I’ve been saying that for months celtic need to grow a set,… I watched the game in a bar and everyone thought Ange would have been vocal on the game yesterday. Absolutely shocking.. HH

  • John says:

    100%correct , the board must act now, this has been going on all season, it’s thuggery at the highest level , because no punishment is being dished out , it’s corrupt to the core

    • Larsson 7 says:

      We Barrys second half team talk.would have been interesting eh.
      Bob “F….k the pope ” on a card for a women at a shindig.the only thing is she reported him.thats we Barrys pal,Bob Malcolm

  • Robert Hopkins says:

    I totally agree with him. The level of refereeing in Scotland is diabolical, and should be challenged by the Celtic board. If they do nothing about it, someone is going to have a very serious injury.
    It’s time for our board members stand up and be counted.

  • Pan says:

    It is time to bring in the lawyers and bring actions to protect out players. Celtic’s lawyers should be all over this as the SFA their corrupt referees are not applying their duty of care. If Celtic do not act, then they are guilty of the same lack of duty.

  • Johnny mcglinchey says:

    They won’t speak out cos all the masons stick together, and they don’t want to upset the brethern. HH

  • Scouse bhoy says:

    Keep complaining same as sevco bring the whole shambles to a standstill.

  • Frankie pearson says:

    All employers have a duty to their employees for their health and safety no matter what line of business they are in,therefore the Celtic board should take the sfa to task about these thuggery attacks on our players with no help from the sfas employees ie referees.

  • Stuart Murdoch says:

    You are 100% correct, James. Unfortunately, even if Celtic were to complain like the”New Boyz on the Block” I think we all know the outcome would not be the same as Kevin Clancy found out.
    It’s time to bring in UEFA and demand that they supply the referees (paid for by the SPFL) until such time that they can give us officials competent enough for the modern game.

  • Roonsa says:

    100%. Why this doesn’t get more media attention is not exactly surprising but that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous. Celtic need to say something now because this has been going on for seasons, this is not a new phenomenon.

  • Jack says:

    The Alloa players appeared to be trying to maim the Celtic players. They succeeded in injuring three players, including our Captain. Ferguson will have been happy with his days work. Progressing in the Scottish cup was not his main objective it seems. The SFA should do something about this starting with at least a retrospective red card for thuggery. Also, it’s time to ban artificial grass pitches. They are anti football and favour teams who tend only to try hard against Celtic. Martindale’s Livingston for example.

  • SSMPM says:

    Well done for highlighting this again and again James and for not simply bowing in acceptance of it.
    We should not only be complaining to the SFA and UEFA but kicking up a stink when journos and media come to press/media conferences and not give them the satisfaction of further questioning until the issue is highlighted and taken onboard to our satisfaction. As stated above this is about the the H & S of staff and the failure of the authorities to protect them against thuggery, authority figures that do indeed appear to be in collusion with it. The board, the PR team and Ange need to stand up for our club today. HH

  • John S says:

    Celtic need to take up the matter of refereeing appointments but not in the immediate aftermath of any single game. A dossier of unacceptable refereeing (incidents, bias, allegiances, competence) should be compiled on behalf of the Board (we can’t have Ange taking up everything).

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