Ibrox fans are understandably furious today as the prospect of VAR is cast into doubt by an inexplicable decision last night against Dortmund.
VAR, which has been touted by some as a miracle solution to the growing problems caused by the Unseen Fenian Hand, is under discussion at the SFA and will be the subject of a vote by the clubs, once the cabal running Celtic find a way of making other people pay for it.
Up until now, the Ibrox board has been in favour of the proposal, believing that it will break the cycle of pro-Parkhead bias influencing close games.
But following last night, they aren’t so sure anymore.
“How can they justify that decision?” one clearly emotional director told me, as he laced up his sash. “This was the whole rationale behind the “Protestants Only” clause in the Lanarkshire Refs constitution … we thought protections like that would be enough, but they still get every 50/50 call going their way. We thought the use of technology would fix it … but if it’s remote controlled from Rome then it’s just as bad as leaving the current system in place.”
VAR has been a hit in several countries, but Ibrox sources were quick to point out that those where there are teams called Rangers have seen controversies.
“Look at what happened to Queens Park Rangers in the Carabao Cup in October last year against Sunderland,” the director told me. “Goal disallowed by VAR and it cost them a place in the Quarter Final. They see the word ‘Rangers’ in the name and some of these officials, even with the technology, just can’t help but give it against you.”
He even suggested a reason for these otherwise inexplicable decisions.
“VAR. What does it actually stand for? Vatican Assisted Referees,” he said. “Think about it.”
A well-known national broadcaster took time out from writing his latest newspaper to column to give us his view on whether VAR can fully be trusted.
“We just assumed, I think, that bringing in the technology would have Celtic on the run. But you never know whose hands are going to be on the controls. If they wanted to, they could insert bits from other games into the footage and make referees very confused. They could end up giving goals and penalties to Celtic in games they aren’t even playing in.”
I asked him if he thought that Ibrox would now vote against VAR’s implementation.
“Well what’s the point in having it if it doesn’t give you every decision?” he asked.
We reached out to someone at Celtic for comment, but when he heard who it was he gave our reporter short shrift on the phone.
“Mate, what do you keep calling me with this crap? Do you think I care whether Ibrox wants the bloody technology? With their seventeeth century ideology, I’m surprised they let women attend games. Have you seen who they have on the board over there? They’re a few cans of Fosters short of a six pack.”