Dermot Gallagher On Celtic Penalty Call: “In The Premiership That Would Be Given.”

Image for Dermot Gallagher On Celtic Penalty Call: “In The Premiership That Would Be Given.”

You all know that I study language and how it is used, and there is a classic example of that today on Sky Sports News, as veteran English official Dermot Gallagher studies the incidents from the weekend and gives his view on the penalty we never got.

After talking first about the teething issues which Scotland will have – as refs “get used to the system” – the very first incident he discusses is the handball which we didn’t get. I found the use of language highly interesting here.

“In the Premier League that’s a penalty,” he said.

And then he repeated the point as if it wasn’t clear enough. In Scotland, he says, there is more “tolerance” for these handball incidents.

Yeah, but only for certain clubs and in certain circumstances … because we have seen these given, this season, but just not to us. Nor to sides going to Ibrox.

But it’s clear enough from Gallagher’s comments that he knows what goes on up here. In the EPL I don’t think there’s the slightest doubt that’s a penalty. Indeed, I cannot imagine any league in Europe where a decision like that doesn’t result in a spot kick.

Look, we’ve all seen tight decisions and close decisions and that was neither of those things.

That is a scandalous decision, and that’s the only word that adequately describes it. Unless you want to lean into words such as “corrupt” which I think is probably equally applicable.

As I said in my first piece, it will soon be 200 days since we got a penalty in the SPFL. If we don’t get one as clear-cut and stonewall as that it makes you wonder how much longer it might be before we get the next one.

Those making excuses for Walsh’s decision are frankly taking the piss. When even Willie Collum says it was a penalty that removes the last shred of doubt, and the last fig-leaf that these people can hide behind.

Now one of the most eminent officials in the recent history of the game has weighed in, and he’s made it clear that this is a decision which could only have been made in this league.

We know it and we know why he thinks so. It is outrageous that there is even a debate on this. Walsh should be made to defend that decision … but he won’t be and that’s the real problem.

Share this article


  • Frankie says:

    Even if smith caught it with both hands it would not be a penalty, it is about time or directors took these things to task, these decisions could outline who wins the league and receive the big money , it all needs nailed before it has gone to far.

    • Stevie Bhoy says:

      I’ve watched the Abada disallowed goal again and again and in the freeze frame I’m convinced he’s onside.
      At the time I thought he was off and after the first replay I hadn’t changed my mind.
      However the fact that no VAR replay was shown was suspicious and the more you look the defenders back leg plays him on.

      Not incompetent just plain corrupt

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Clearly he’s put his arm out tae stop the ball. Walsh obviously had a quick word wi McLean and played on. How he never went over and checked the monitor, when about half the Celtic team were round him claimin hand ball, is beyond me. Tae me, awardin us a penalty right on HT and had we scored, it would’ve knocked the stuffin out that hearts mob. Especially right after they’d equalized. We were never gettin that decision.

    • Martin says:

      Correct. Had we been 4 nil up that’s given. But when it matters we’re held to a different standard.

      For what it’s worth as a referee (not working in Scotland but admitted bias here) myself my take is it’s probably not really deliberate handball given the distance. But his hand is in an unnatural position to make himself bigger and as he turns that makes it look like he’s brought the hand down to hit the ball. I don’t think that was his intention, but it’s a definite penalty. People saying it isn’t are really working very hard to not see things.

      Had it not been given just in real time I might actually have some sympathy there, but for the VAR operator to look at it and decide no need for review is staggering. I don’t actually blame Walsh here as if the guy watching the slow mo says nothing happened you’re not going to be holding the game up to check. But McLean really needs to be asked about what made him say it didn’t even need review. I think if the ref watches that back he gives the penalty. The VAR coordinator has, in fact, removed the opportunity for him.

  • harold shand says:

    If a ref on the pitch and another one sitting in var headquarters don’t give that as a penalty

    Forget about teething problems

    It’s cheating , it’s as simple as that

    • Martin says:

      Walsh saw it once, at speed and felt unsure enough to speak to the VAR person. My issue is that person saw the footage and deemed it not worthy of even letting Walsh see it himself. Which is ludicrous, as there’s no way that’s a “absolutely not a penalty, nothing even questionable, no need to waste game time reviewing” incident.

      VAR is a wonderful tool. Unfortunately like most systems its weakest link is the user.

  • Roonsa says:

    Forget Wullie Collum. Even Bobby Madden said it was a penalty. I think the DR will now have to start asking Alex Rae or the like to get an answer they want.

    As a matter of interest. What did Kris Boyd have to say about it?

  • Tony B says:

    As long as this goes on the more damage is done to the game in this country.

    We need transparency in everything, not just VAR. We need to start with the officials themselves and their connections/allegiances. Both McLean and Walsh are seriously compromised when it comes to officiating at Celtic and sevco matches, due to family and business connections.

    Beaton fraternises with the Bellshill Loyal and Madden was a regular attender at the old rangers games as a fan.
    I’ve no doubt there are other examples, but the point is that none of this would be tolerated anywhere else but Scotland, but nothing ever happens due to vested interests in sport and the media.

    Huns abound at BBC Scotland Sport and in the press, so no light is shone on what is a national scandal involving corruption and cheating on an industrial scale.

    The Celtic board says and does nothing, so it is left to us to do so, not just for the sake of our club but for the future of the game in this country.

    We must highlight this corruption at every opportunity.

    Save Scottish football.

    Expose the cheats.

  • John S says:

    How and why referees are appointed to the top tier is the crux of the matter.

  • S J Turnbull says:

    This has been going on for years, remember the 1970 Cup Final, says it all really.

    • Michael McCartney says:

      Mr R Davidson the 60’s and 70’s equivalent of Beaton. Gave a penalty that day to Aberdeen when the ball struck Bobby Murdoch’s shoulder on the edge of the box. Then gave a free kick against Bobby Lennox after he scored a perfectly good goal.
      We should be proud of the Celtic Football Club who have been successful for 134 years despite the people who run Scottish Football and the Scottish Sports Media having an agenda against them throughout their history.

      • Michael Collins says:

        I have already said this, but please allow me to say it again. R H Davidson from Airdrie refereed 8 old firm games back in Jock Steins time. 5 Rangers wins and 3 draws. Say’s it all really.

  • Rob says:

    Why not start a crowed funded legal action against the SFA, SPFL and referees association. Drive this home, it would go global. Scotland would have to face the obvious cheating and even if the case failed what a statement it would put out. There must be a lawyer out there in the Paul McBride mold.

  • BJM says:

    Rob totally agree if someone can get crowd funding sorted out and a solicitor/QC in place to take the case on I would quite happily give whatever I can to expose the whole corrupt system .
    While we are at it Celtic FC should charge 95% of the Scottish media ( the ones that continually lie and bad mouth us )
    £25,0000. Per annum minimum each.and ban them if they keep lying.

  • SSMPM says:

    It’s a shame Dermot added, ‘there was more tolerance for this in Scotland’ as that can give an interpretation that it happens across the board. Maybe he just gave an out for himself as he expected verbal for daring to say such a thing given, he’s a Celtic man.
    Also been thinking on what Neilson said about play being stopped straight away and the pen VAR check getting done. If the check shows no pen then all sort of potential outcomes has been prevented from taking place for a non-foul, for example, 1/ we could have run up and scored after hearts 1st pen claim. 2/ Smith’s clear handball. We could have gone on and scored from the move after it hit Smith’s hand. Wait until the ball goes out of play seems better like with the 2nd Hearts pen.

  • Geoff says:

    He never said more tolerance.
    He said maybe it was viewed differently.

  • SSMPM says:

    I didn’t used quotation marks Geoff for that reason, so same difference even in a pedantic world- though James’ article also states more tolerance.
    Point is ‘more tolerance’ or ‘viewed differently’ can give the impression as viewed differently across the game, not viewed differently when it comes to Celtic or specific to Celtic or this specific incident.

  • Stephen McAdam says:

    As I stated on another forum that idiot miller was on bbc sunday show saying ” I was told by a ref it wasnt a penaly”! ( I bet you were)Oh that clears that up then eh Not!!And Gallagher’s summation was weird ! The laws are the laws are they not! Or is he referring to so ” but against Celtic metric”! I also feel these clowns here are scared to give decisions against pals like neilson and have the ” aww well well nearly ht best no give it and they winning anyway no need to check abada”! I really believe that how unprofessional they are not just bigoted ! You see it with the 1 minute added most weeks if we are few goals to the good and we saw how mclean made sure we would not give 7 last week with the phantom foul given for wee bernabie as he jinked past 2 players! Unbelievable and should be made explain that regardless if it 10-1!

Comments are closed.