There was a little piece of breaking news today which, under normal circumstances, would cheer up the fans of this club. It was that VAR might be on the brink of being introduced, much faster than some people initially thought.
That would be good.
Sort of anyway.
But at the weekend we saw why it might not necessarily solve one of our biggest problems, which is the leniency of the officials when our players are getting kicked hither, thither and yon all over the football pitch.
That was a sterling example of it on Saturday, and I laughed out loud today when I was putting the stats together for the last article and I saw that the ref had awarded ten fouls against us to their nine.
They were more fouled against than we were?
It is hard to treat that kind of statistic seriously considering what those of us who saw the game watched.
We got well and truly rough-housed in that game.
Five of their players were booked, and that tends to suggest that the ref was not exactly shy about penalising them, but think on the apparent disconnect between their five bookings and us still having more fouls given against us. Anyone who watched it knows that they made many more challenges than the ones they were pulled up for.
And this is an issue which isn’t going to go away.
This is an issue which will come up over and over again, as it had come up repeatedly in times past.
We’ve talked about it enough times; major decisions are not the only way for officials to influence games.
The entire flow of an attacking team can be broken up simply by having the referee let their opponents away with anything they want, just as it can be broken up by officials who use any excuse to stop the match.
It will be good to get VAR introduced. The game here needs it.
It will change things in some very important ways.
The McGregor situation would have been looked at before the ref flashed the red card for one thing, and we’d have got that penalty everyone has been talking about … but the little things, the insidious moments involving cynical fouls where the ref allowed play to go and the players who are allowed three or four digs at your team before a card comes out, not to mention repeated time wasting and all the other stuff we saw … that’s not going to change as a result of technology.
For those things the changes have to start elsewhere; at the top of the rotten house that runs Scottish refereeing.
And that means the SFA.