Celtic’s VAR Experience Has Started To Feel Like Trolling. But It’s Just Cheating.

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VAR might not have been brought in to screw us, but it is being used to do precisely that.

When the ball hit the Livingston defender’s hand, as clear as you like tonight, VAR’s operators highlighted it to the ref because, frankly, they had no other option.

He didn’t even want to look at it.

This technology is for one thing only; to screw Celtic wherever possible and the rest of the time to assure business as usual.

That decision tonight was one of the most obvious penalty decisions you’ll ever see and the ref did not want a second look at it because he would have had no choice but to give it.

Or so I thought until the vastly worse decision which came later.

The goal we aren’t given is utterly disgraceful.

Officials are making it up as they go along in games against us.

Abada may well be offside when the ball is played, but he’s heading away from the goal, and the moment the Livingston player touches it that’s no longer an offside.

The rule on this is clear. It is very clear indeed. There is no ambiguity in it.

“A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save by any opponent) is not considered to have gained an advantage.”

That is as simple as it gets. There are decisions which are 50/50.

There are ones over which there is some debate.

This is not one of them. That’s straightforward.

There is no way any sentient person who witnessed that header can argue that it was anything other than a deliberate attempt to play the ball.

It’s horrendous defending but officials don’t give out charity for that.

Behind the scenes, we need to be – need to be – raising 99 kinds of Hell about this, or we deserve everything we get. And sooner or later there will be a major decision which costs us points. I would prefer we did not wait for it to happen.

Obviously I’m delighted at the result.

We were excellent except for that momentary lapse in concentration which led to us conceding the goal; we need to watch out for that happening more than once in a blue moon, and even then the “more than once” thing is aggravating. But overall, I thought we were great.

It is nights like these when it’s best to raise these matters, when they have not materially influenced the result, when we have endured and soldiered on in spite of them.

When we cannot be accused of deflecting from a poor performance or score-line.

I’ll write more on this subject tomorrow, but there is an obvious pattern here and everyone can see it.

A club in this league is being disenfranchised time and time again, either by the use of this technology or by the refusal to use it. Another club has been the beneficiary of some truly extraordinary decisions.

It is not hard to spot.

Anybody still trying to claim that they think the rules are being applied fairly or in an even handed fashion should be asked to defend that point of view. The onus is no longer on those of us who claim that they are not.

Occam’s Razor states that when you are faced with two competing explanations – in this case, corruption or mere incompetence – the simplest one is the most likely.

If these decisions were spread evenly, which is to say if we were getting as many bad decisions as go against us and if an equal number of bad decisions were falling against the Ibrox club, then you would call this incompetence.

But that’s not the pattern we see.

Something stinks. It stinks very badly.

It is high time a lot of people stop holding their noses and pretending that the smell isn’t there.

That includes people in senior roles at Celtic Park.

The time is now. No more excuses. No more of this.

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  • Scouse bhoy says:

    A message to nicholson walk down from the back of the bus please do your job.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Was actually thinkin wi the goal, they were takin all that time, more tae find a way tae disallow it, than tae award it. That’s where my head is wi all this now. How can so many VAR examples go against one team and at the same time, so many similar VAR decisions benefit another team, its ridiculous. We were easily the better team tonight, tho wisnae happy how easy they got through our defence for their goal and once again, we had good balls put right across, or in that opposition 6 yd area, beggin tae be put away and we didn’t. Gonnae have tae start takin these or it’ll eventually cost us. At least we got the deserved win, which is the most important.

    • Michael Collins says:

      What is happening now with all these VAR decision going against us should remind every football person in Scotland what Jock Stein once said. “to win games went don’t just have to be better than the opposition, we have to be much better” That is the way things are working out with this VAR nonsense now.

  • Gordon Ashley says:

    I am utterly raging here.. we already knew without doubt we were being cheated. But to say the defender did not mean to touch that ball when he lunged at it is clear evidence and if Celtic don’t take this latest farce to the very top they are going to face a massive backlash from supporters, ffs Celtic stand up for our club !

  • BJM says:

    I think the sfa/ officials are taking the piss with these ludicrous decisions. Will some of the suits at Celtic grow a pair before this gets even worse.
    First suggestion use var officials from other countries ,after all you don’t have to be a certain distance from the actual match your looking at a monitor it could literally be anywhere. Refuse to accept the referees / officials with past form of cheating period ( I know that limits us to honest referees only so we will be using a smaller pool probably around 10%to 20% of what’s available at the moment.
    We have to sort this out now not when it actually costs us points and earnings ie champions league 30-40 million that would constitute pure negligence on our boards part

  • Dan Dwan says:

    The sad reality is this cheating against us has been going on as long as I have followed Celtic Football Club and that is over 65 years. Majority of the time the Celtic teams on the park were so much better than their rivals that the cheating didn’t have the desired effect, as jock stein said “if your good enough the referee doesn’t matter”- there is no doubt however on occasions it cost us league titles & cups. Many hoped that VAR would put an end to this but it’s just highlighted what we all knew already—what a rotten bigoted mob are administering Scottish football.

  • BJM says:

    Cheatin Beaton on the 2nd .

  • JimBhoy says:

    Like the manager I couldnt give a flying fek. Ange knows whatever challenges are put in front of us we will have the answers and over the piece no rangers can compete with our quality.

    And guess what we are building on our squad.

  • Katana67 says:

    So…..Has any Lip-Reader viewed the footage of the extended conversations “Oor Wullie” had with the VAR Official (McLean), at Pittodrie last night ????

    “Oor Wullie” forgot to hold his hand over his mouth,to hide his lip movements…..

    Mebbies he was wee bit distracted, with all the drama going on…….??

    I don’t think MI5 are going to help you out…..

    Don’t give up the Day-Job, Willie….

    Or try a new career as a stand-up comedian….I’m sure you will be welcomed in certain esshhstablishments the length and breadth of Sooth Lanarkshire….

    Ask the VAR Boss(and Hugely Popular After-Dinner Speaker)for some advice….

    All this week, Matthew…..

    “Oor Wullie” will be dining on succulent lamb, washed down with vintage wine….. from the Vineyards of Sean Canary’s Bestest Buddy,with BFFs Tam English & [Keevins-In-Da-Box]….


    It’s not ‘Cheating’. It’s blatant corruption.
    And Sky are aiding and abetting it it by not calling it out.
    As for our Board, apart from allowing their ‘customers ‘ to be cheated, they are failing in their fiduciary duty to protect the interests of the Club and it’s shareholders.
    It’s got to stop or god forbid that one of our fans decide to take the law into their own hand the fist time it affects the outcome of one of our games.

  • Benjamin says:

    The problem isn’t with the VAR; the problem is with the referees applying the rules consistently and fairly.

    When I first saw the handball, I actually agreed with the decision based on the inadvertent handball rule and the arm not making the body unnaturally bigger. If his arm was behind his back like VVD plays in the box, that ball bounces off his hip, and to me that means the arm contact is incidental and not making his body bigger. HOWEVER after another look and reflection, I think it should have been a penalty and yellow card due to DELIBERATE handball. As a reminder, deliberate handball is everywhere and always an offense regardless of other circumstances. In this case, the defender had time to move his arm away, and instead appears to move his body and arm into the path of the ball. The distance the ball flew before impact in conjunction with the movement of the defender is what makes this a deliberate handball offense to me.

  • MM says:

    It could not be more clear, it is also extremely exasperating as a Celtic and football fan, I have the greatest admiration for all Celtic players and managerial staff who have to endure the blatant cheating and just keep going, their resilience is truly incredible. Data now shows, and the longer we let this run without intervention the more embarrassing any review will be to the clearly very corrupt SFA officiating of SPL matches in Scotland. When it comes to data and observations, unfortunately for the SFA there is no hiding place this is cheating plane and simple. We all have a responsibility to speak out, it dispels the well trampled myth that the “old firm” get all the decisions, we the victims have always known the truth with regard to this over pedalled narrative, it’s utter nonsense Rangers and now The Rangers have always got all of the important game changing decisions,Celtic for as long back as I can remember have always been on the receiving end of very bad decisions. This corrupt implementation of VAR is just an extension of the corrupt refereeing now they get two bites at every cherry. Time for the truth to be shouted out loud before as a nation we lose all credibility. This data since VAR was introduced exposes what’s going on and let’s be very clear without a sea change this will only get much worse – time for all to act is now facts are stubborn things

  • Danny Black says:

    You were one of the cheerleaders for the introduction of VAR. At the very front of the queue, in fact.

    It was always going to be used to shaft Celtic and aid Deadco.

    And it will continue to do so.

    And, don’t hold your breath waiting for any complaints from the Celtic hierarchy especially not now that the Liewell’s returning.

  • Martin says:

    Nah I don’t think it’s handball. Not a ref in the game who will give a handball when the arm is firmly planted against the side. He’s clearly expecting it to hit him in the body and misjudged it.

    The goal though, I suppose they’re thinking because Abada moves towards the ball he’s interfering with an opponent, but he doesn’t exactly challenge, more he moves into a position to take advantage of any mistake (and succeeds). Never an offside offence for me.

  • IGM70 says:

    It’s time the betting sites started offering odds on VAR decisions. This would immediately show the the disparity in where the favourable decisions are going. This would also open up officials to criminal investigation based on their obvious attempts to affect the outcome of games.

    • Martin says:

      That’s actually fairly sensible as we are so sure of the scam that the betting on VAR decisions might show up as “unusual activity” on the monitoring companies trackers and cause independent investigation.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I agree with your conclusions on the VAR decisions James but your comment “we were excellent” tells me you were watching the game with blinkers on. We had a very good first half, of that there is no doubt, but we were mediocre in the second half and once again overall it was a far from convincing result. I know that the three points is all that matters but some individual performances were badly lacking and if we continue in this vein we are going to come unstuck somewhere along the line.

  • anthony keicher says:

    only one good thing to come out of these decisions is, now everyone will know we celtic fans is that we are not paranoid after all

  • peter cassidy says:

    the cheating has been going for decades so fuck them just score more goals still sad way how scottish football is run corruption by sfa and refs blue media no better.and now he is back liewell nothing going to change the man who’ wrote up the bent 5 way agreement.

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