Celtic Must Make It Clear To The SFA That This Is Their Last Warning On VAR.

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The news last night that Celtic has demanded a sit-down with the SFA over VAR is obviously very positive and it’s exactly what we all wanted them to do. The other side were setting the terms of the debate, and getting their pitiful excuses into the mainstream media. They had hoped to twist the whole discussion their own way.

Then Celtic made it known that they aren’t buying any of it. We are going to demand answers. We are going to ask for detailed explanations as to what the Hell is actually going on here. The club knows this reeks. The club watches what we do.

Celtic has weapons in this which aren’t being utilised to their fullest advantage, and this is where my first criticism comes in. This is another version of doing things quietly behind the scenes. We should, in my view, have done more than leak our demand to some tame hacks. We should have made it public ourselves, on our own website.

Secondly, we should have put, front and centre, a list of the things we are explicitly concerned about. Details. Specific events and decisions. Let these people try and justify them when we actually confront them with our own view on what really concerns us.

Third, we could go further than just demand a meeting.

We know some of the major points which have to be tackled, included the need for refs to declare their allegiances as they do in England. As I pointed out earlier, Andy Walker flapped and flopped like a fish on a line when challenged on this specific subject. It’s time the debate was had properly, and in public, and Celtic has the power to put it there and for reasons passing understanding we haven’t.

But our biggest weapon is in relation to VAR itself. VAR is not a cheap bit of tech.

It has to be paid for, and if our club is unhappy with the way it has been implemented we should tell the SFA that we’re considering withdrawing our support in the form of our money. Right now we’re being screwed over by a technology we’re paying for, and if we tell them we’ve lost confidence in the whole project we can probably end this farce early.

For the record, I remain in favour of VAR and in some ways it has created exactly the sort of debate that a lot of us wanted it to. We might allow our rivals and enemies to get their excuses out for these decisions, but we’re also forcing them to come up with them and you cannot have failed to notice that they are becoming ever more preposterous.

These people are making the game in Scotland a laughing stock. Some of the explanations being offered up for these decisions defy belief. This latest nonsense, this IFAB garbage, this barmy interpretation which is being offered for why it’s not a penalty, is transparent guff and everyone watching knows it full well.

These people can bend the meaning of words until the elastic snaps, but in the end they aren’t fooling anybody who has ever watched the game and knows that there is no league in Europe where that is not a penalty kick.

Celtic knows it too, and whatever the reluctance inside our club to take this on in a more aggressive manner is, those inside Parkhead are also aware that if we don’t act one of these decisions is going to cost us big time and so I do believe that we’ve made our anger clear behind the scenes, and that we’re about to do so again.

But we do need to consider going much, much further. We have cards to play and we should leave the SFA in no doubt that this is the last time we’ll handle this in a low-key way. We should make it clear that if we have to do this again that it’ll be very public and very embarrassing for them and designed to ram through the changes they don’t want to make.

Obviously, we should be pushing for those changes anyway, but that’s another story.

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  • John Copeland says:

    Allow referees to explain their decisions to the Media ,just as manager’s ,players and other football staff do after each game ! Let the journos grill the officials on the why’s and wherefore’s of their match decisions … Contentious or not …

    • Jae Walker says:

      Whoever attends from Parkhead will feebly put a whining point across, and be put to the back of the bus as usual – nothing to see here Timmy. Just a stunt to try and appease the fans. Our board are gutless to the core. Which is inconceivable when you consider the clout we have. We should not be going to a meeting to get patronised and told the reasons how the refs decisions have been correct. We should be going there to state we will withdraw from the league cup, request our fans not to attend away games, that we will object to conflicted refs such as Walsh or Beaton officiating over either the team they support or us, and we should withdraw from all SFA promotional.activities outwith the scope of the contacted agreement. And give them notice to quit this stinking league if the rot continues

  • Scud Missile says:

    Lol we should be used to decisions going against it’s been happening for years.
    The only time anything will be done is when the fans take control of the matter, that being after sevco have gone top of the table and pull away.
    At which point the fans protest outside the stadium to the club and try and force their hand on the matter by which time sevco will be home and dry sitting waiting on the champions league draw.

    • Ricky says:

      Totally agree , sadly our club will do nothing and to be honest am getting pissed off with these articles making out that wee will .

      Mibby the fans will wake up when we get done out of a treble this season .
      Hopefully the manager disny take the nip at the lack of a level playing field and move on .

    • michael mccormack says:

      Why don’t you fuck off back under your slimy rock outside Ibrox ya fuckin imposter, you’re fooling nobody Hun bastard

  • john mc guire says:

    years ago the refs and the s.f.a. made it clear that they were ready to go on strike if the brothers where going to be exposed [pay for better refs ] why cant our club let them know that either the refs and the var guys use the stuff right or the club should start walking off and holding them more accountable ,and just maybe we will get a level playing field .

  • Malc says:

    Fuck them. Pull our contribution to the cost of VAR if neutral refs and VAR refs can’t be brought in.

  • Lubo's Boots says:

    We all know that specific decisions will be “explained away”, in previous years simply by a distainful wave of the arms, nowadays by a hand to the earpiece and a brass necked chastening of “its not my decision”. But in this frame of reference James, I agree with you insofar as it must be made imperative that refs explain each call. They are mic’d up in Rugby and need to audibly explain calls to the players, and in the NFL (although more technical rules may apply and 7 officials are on the field) the ref explains to the letter of the law, to the players, crowd and watching tv millions, why a decision was made. We should, at the very least, canvas for our referees to be held to that level of live scrutiny. Will it change the bias toward our club? Not a chance.

    But it would immediately make each of these officiating failings very public and irrevocably recorded for posterity.

    The statistics will then bear out the truth (as they must already do) that referees and the SFA in Scotland are predominantly biased at every turn toward giving favour and advantage to “Rangers”, as everybody else has known since antiquity.

  • Stevie Bhoy says:

    Yeah like Celtic demand answers over the jota incident, the Tynecastle incidents, the glass in joe hats box incident the staff member injured by a missile at Ibrox incident, the cheating Beaton incident and all the others you mentioned in your earlier Andy Walker blog.
    As of January 1 2023 Celtic have a new chairman
    Let that sink in
    Celtic will demand nothing and the pets in the media will spin that we’re furious etc etc
    Welcome to life under Lawell pt2
    Utterly utterly shameful

    • Benjamin says:

      True story bro!

      But seriously, the SFA is not scared of us even a little bit. Even if we issue an ultimatum, the SFA will respond by asking “or else what?”. And there will be crickets from Celtic’s end of the phone, because that’s all they know how to do. The people at the SFA are not our friends, and it’s been shown numerous times over the years that they have no qualms about screwing us over. Asking them nicely behind closed doors to reconsider their stance is a fool’s errand, and nothing will change unless & until there is pressure applied to them publicly in a way that they can’t ignore and are forced to act. Failure by us to apply that pressure, or at least attempt to do so, and we might as well accept our seat at the back of the bus because that’s all the SFA will ever concede right now. This board has shown zero appetite for such a fight ever since Desmond became the controlling shareholder and his minions and yes-men have been running the show. Expecting that to change after 20 years is a Sisyphean task.

  • Nick66 says:

    James, as much as I agree with you re-Celtic coming out all guns blazing I proffer this as the best option. To announce publicly our grievances is to give all and sundry the time to collate their defence. In recent weeks the more public decisions/ indecisions are highlighted, inso much that all the upsets and replies are laid bare. In not going public our board may have other examples of ‘odd decisions’ that require proper analysis.
    I enjoy many sports, Celtic being my longest love, and rugby being a close second. Scottish rugby has had their TMO in place for several years now and whenever there is a call to the Ref it is open and honest and shown on the big screen. Every word of discussion is heard and when the resulting outcome is made all in the stadium and all in telly land have a full and Frank explanation for the final decision. So my main question would be; why the effin he’ll can Football not do likewise.
    Let’s hope for some kind of levelling out.
    The thing I find is more pressing is the decisions that keep Sevco in second position. The ones that make sure they can at least contend for CL via playoffs.

  • Roonsa says:

    The SFA aren’t going to entertain Celtic. There are enough pro Sevco crawlers out there prepaped to toe the “nothing to see here line”. Open letter sounds very Sevco like to me. But … what they did obviously works as it’s not them moaning about decisions. It’s us and we are the ones top of the League!


    James, your assertion that ‘ we have cards to play ´ is disingenuous best
    and pure cobblers in the light of reality.
    There is SFA(couldn’t resist it) that the Celtic Board can do.
    Celtic’s complicity in allowing a ‘Phoenix’ club to crawl out of the burning embers
    of DeidCo means our Football Administrators have free pass over any flash points.
    All Petrie & Co have to do is dangle the 5 Way Agreement and threaten to leak it to the Press and Pistol Pete and his protege will bend the knee and doff their caps as they shuffle their way to the ‘back of the bus’.
    It would be dynamite.
    Remember the vast majority of our support are either completely unaware of the background to 2012 or don’t care as long as we’re winning.
    It’s us Auld Foggies that are carrying the torch over Res12 and the collusion between the SFA and whoever operates out of the DebtDome.
    We’re the ones that have witnessed the institutionalised corruption of the game, in my case for over 50 years, and we’re the ones that are dying off with no one else being prepared to carry the standard.
    It took a group of shareholders to get a partial result over the EUFA Licensing issue, not the Club despite their attempts to piggyback on the Res12 Guys result.
    The new Chairman’s appointment shows only too well the Board’s direction of travel.
    Steady the boat, a safe pair of hands etc and don’t ask questions.
    We are being shafted by our own Club.

    Off topic ,or maybe not , as much as I think Scud is a complete tosser what he says about
    us contributing to the corruption by repeatedly financing the Club knowing that the game is bent is 100% accurate. We’re addicts and Celtic is our opiate.
    Pl returns and his ‘Golden Bhoy’ pops up on Celtic sites saying how he wants another shot at Managing Celtic. Coincidence, maybe or maybe not. Ange is too good for the Scottish game. Celtic look set to leave Sevco far behind in the rear view mirror and that can’t be allowed to happen. Ange could well be offski. He’s too straight for this poisonous environment. His 12 month rolling contract makes sense.

  • king murdy says:

    be interesting to know, what actions, legally, can the club take…
    withdraw finance/co-operation from VAR ?…i guess the club could make it v awkward for the implementation of VAR at celtic park…ie video facilities/positions etc…if the huns can withdraw league sponsor advertising….then why can’t we totally withdraw from a procedure that is being used against us ?
    hit them celtic…and hit them hard…

  • Tim Buffy says:

    Why not tell the SFA to f*ck the f*ck off and we’re leaving to join the Irish league? They’d welcome us with open arms, we’d qualify for Europe every year and leave a huge dent in the finances of every Scottish club in terms of attendances, sponsorship, television money etc. Hit the b*st*rds where it hurts and they’d soon come begging with their tails between their legs.

  • John S says:

    The club’s solicitors need to let the SFA know that its customers are being cheated.

  • Stephen says:

    As I’ve said many times if anyone thinks we’ve not signed upto a secret 5 way agreement your deluded.
    Our board are hamstrung.
    Blue pound is king, because the green pound is guaranteed.

  • LadyGreybush says:

    Celtic should tell them to get their house in order, or we’ll not be taking any tickets to any away grounds, nor for either Cup. No other club’s fans will be allowed into Celtic Park, and we’ll do no advertising for any sponsors but our own. We’ll negotiate our own TV contract, and will not be allowing any SPFL negotiated cameras inside our building for any reason. If they want to alienate our club, then they can do without our club. Then get up and leave the room.

  • Jackson says:

    Does the SFA or anyone else for that matter think that Column OR Beaton
    were aware of some obscure rule popping in to their head so they could deny us a penalty….it was cheating as simple as that
    Or Foster or Conroy etc etc

  • John Lyon says:

    You are so right to point out that these decisions are going to hurt us eventually and it is not just the major decisions, I will give you an example of this. Andrew Shinnie ( Livingston) spend an entire game on his A*** resulting in an unprecedented amount of free kicks so they can fill our penalty area with players that otherwise never leave their own box and wave play on when our players are clearly brought down. At this point we have managed to ride these particular storms but what DIRTY tricks will we face next? Playing with 10/9 men .

  • Michael McCann says:

    Bring them to court Celtic have the stats and video evidence. Litigation only answer

  • anthony keicher says:

    celtic better head to that mob the sfa, its fecking terrible and embarassin whats been going on in this country for decades now. 1 good thing that var has done, is prove that celtic supporters arent paranoid at all

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