Why Do High Scoring Celtic Games End With So Little Injury Time Played?

Image for Why Do High Scoring Celtic Games End With So Little Injury Time Played?

For the past year or so, a lot of my guys have been frustrated by the tendency by officials not to add on the regulation injury time for Celtic games.

When we have teams on the rack you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a solitary one minute no matter how many stoppages there have been in the game. It’s tantamount to cheating.

That’s a big word, isn’t it? A strong word. But I think it’s a valid one.

Ask anyone in the media if they think this title race will be close; all of them will say that it could come down to a single point, or even a single goal. Goal difference has decided titles before up here.

It will definitely do so again at some point in time.

So when the fourth official raises that board and it has a single minute on it, you have to ask yourself if that is justified. At the weekend we made a rash of substitutions and scored nine goals. The first half was extended because of an injury. Are you really telling me that there was only one minute of legitimate stoppages in the second half?

What nonsense that is. Three minutes would have been a more realistic assessment, and yet I was not surprised when I saw that board with the one on it. The fourth official and those around him seem to think they have some duty to enact a mercy killing when a team is being pulverised by an opponent, but that’s most assuredly not part of their job.

Their job is to calculate the number of stoppages and make an assessment based on what is in the rules. They aren’t there to make sure that a team on the end of a hiding gets spared further misery or embarrassment, and yet you see this time and time again.

If they aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing then yes, they are cheating and I don’t have any difficulty using that word.

We could have been on for a tenth goal at the weekend.

Records could have been set to tumble, and the fourth official shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of that because he wants to go easy on the home team.

To some it will be a minor matter, but these things can have an impact even if it’s not immediately obvious.

This isn’t something we should be making a song and dance about, but it’s something we should be asking about behind the scenes.

Share this article


  • Benjamin says:

    You’re right on principle of course. But I for one was relieved when the final whistle blew on Sunday. The way this team is playing I’m not at all worried about the league hanging in the balance of a potential injury time goal. Celtic will win the league comfortably and may set a record for most goals ever scored. My concern on Sunday was getting out of Dundee with 3 points (mission accomplished! LOL) and no injuries.

  • Neil Smith says:

    And the 30 secs per substitution??? Ignored too.

    • Damian says:

      It’s an advisory 30 seconds per round of substitutions, which is important to note in the five substitutes context, where you can only have three stoppages for changes. In the second half on Sunday, Celtic had two stoppages, as did United. There were very few fouls in the in the second half (which this site previously commented on as a criticism of United’s approach). So, had the ref followed that, there would have been two minutes. That said, it is advisory. The only rule the ref has to follow is that the time posted by the assistant is the minimum addition adhered to. I’m not sure how much over the minute the time went on Sunday, but complaining about refereeing in that game is beyond pathetic. Utterly ridiculous.

  • Damian says:

    Only an interesting question if it’s being asked comparatively. Do other high scoring matches (with most or all goals being scored by one side against the other, i.e. discounting 3-3 on 90 minutes type games, which are obviously not comparable with Sunday) in the league tend to get more stoppage time? How much stoppage time was added at the end of Aberdeen’s huge victory on Saturday, say?

    Also, I haven’t seen anyone, at all, suggest that the league could come down to goal difference. If Celtic and Rangers are level on points after 38 fixture rounds, Celtic will win the league. I’ll stick my neck out that far.

  • John says:

    What would you say if the ref added on 4 or 5 mins on Sunday and one of our players was seriously injured? I would guess the ref would be getting it on the neck for allowing so much stoppage time when the game was done and dusted by half time??? Not one of your best articles IMHO.

  • Andý says:

    Could have been waiting on 9-1,10-0 or over 9 goals, corner counts, card counts and tons of other bets.


    “… something we should be asking about behind the scenes “.

    Are you serious?

    When has anything in Scotland that’s done ‘ behind the scenes’, ‘ in private’ or ‘using channels’ been advantageous for Celtic?

    That’s a mealy mouthed ‘back of the bus’ course of submission.
    We exist at their sufferance because the Scottish Game would be broke without Celtic.
    And ‘They’ know it and it sticks in their craw like porcupine quills in their collective anus.

    Our Board should be vocal about the true extent of cheating within our game. For everyone’s benefit.

  • Tam says:

    It is a trivial issue and the people who are happy we scored 9 with no injuries are correct, but so are the people saying bookmakers lines could and probably were affected, But as the article points out that the referee did “NOT” apply the laws of the game . Why … And why have the SMSM not asked the same question.

    • Damian says:

      Because it’s not a ‘law’ of the game that time is added for every stoppage and substitution. Nobody has taken the time to ask whether the guidance on these matters was more pedantically enforced in Aberdeen’s high scoring victory. Goal difference, if anything, could prove far more significant to them. But no one here seems to care.

  • Stevie says:

    This has happened before

  • Johnny Green says:

    No injury time should mean that there were no injuries and I will accept it willingly in those circumstances. Yes, I know there is more to it than that, but nevertheless no injury time is a sort of good thing.

    • Bigmick says:

      It’s not injury time…it’s stoppage time. ANY stoppage, ANY reason…and that is a MINIMUM amount of time.
      Yes, there are bigger issues than this, but it needs pointing out. These corrupt bastards who conspire against us have enough licence to kill us. Fuck ’em…rules are rules.

  • Peterbrady says:

    How much cheating by Walsh and his fellow zombies will we bespewing at come 3pm Saturday

  • sparks says:

    Also being overlooked is they stopped the stoppage time after 54 seconds , just as we were about to play a cross into the box

  • J.C. says:

    Agree 100%. Remember when we beat Aberdeen 9-0? The referee blew on 90 minutes exactly. At the time it was said he’d taken pity on them. That’s not his job. His job is to implement the rules.

  • Rob Catterson says:

    Said the same at the weekend and went back and actually timed how long play was stopped after each 2nd half goal and for the substitutions. 6 mins added on would still have been conservative. It’s disgraceful and I hope the club are asking questions.

  • John says:

    That the onfield official should keep time is nonsense, he has enough to do. His contribution to time lost should be reduced to an indication to an off the field recorder who stops the match clock. The clock would be restarted as soon as the first touch of the ball by an onfield player of either team after the ref has given players an instruction to restart play. This would result in 90 minutes of playing time.

Comments are closed.