Celtic Fans Have Already Written VAR Off. But Is That A Judgement Too Soon?

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Last week, standing with the other members of the supporter’s bus and waiting for it to arrive, the discussion turned, naturally, to VAR.

And I figured that it was time for a confession. So many of the readers of this blog and people I know in general told me that this would be a disaster for us. They predicted every one of the developments we’ve watched.

The only thing is, none of this has cost us points or anything significant.

But the fact is, I am surrounded by people who told me, very vocally, that VAR would not help us, and that in fact it would be something that would be used against us at every available opportunity. Furthermore, I was told that it would be used to benefit Ibrox.

Were they right? Was I wrong? So far, it looks that way.

So far I have no case for the defence. VAR looks like something that is being utilised as a weapon both against us and in favour of the club across the city. It’s hard to come to any other conclusion.

The news this weekend that VAR will only be used in two Scottish Cup matches further fuels the controversy.

What is the point of this technology if it’s to be used only selectively in the biggest games? As some have already pointed out, this is scandalous and if only two clubs are to be scrutinised by it (one helped, the other hindered) then where’s the level playing field? Where’s the sporting integrity? This is not how it was meant to be.

Yet I haven’t quite given up yet. Maybe that’s arrogant, maybe it’s stupid. But I still VAR can benefit the game, and benefit this club. For the first time in a long time the debate over referees and their standards is raging in the media and online.

And that, in part, is what Celtic were hoping for.

Look, this has enabled us to get in front of the governing body and take them to task on certain officials and the way decisions are made. It is hard to shake off the idea that in some way we wanted this fight.

Indeed, this is why I thought VAR would be a net gain for us, because decisions as egregious as those which we’ve been watching would no longer be dismissed as something done in a moment, a snap decision, covered by “people make mistakes.”

But Celtic can see the pattern of those “mistakes” and we’re now pursuing the matter. That means that to some extent VAR has done what it was meant to. VAR has started the discussion.

VAR has stirred up the status quo and there’s no going back.

I think there’s a distinct possibility that the VAR experiment will come to an end in Scotland at the end of the season. Clubs don’t like it. Managers hate it. And it is casting too much light on how bad – or how corrupt – our officials are here.

At this moment I won’t miss it. But it would be a missed opportunity.

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  • Scud Missile says:

    I see sevco shares going for 1p a share today and 4 million sold,you could say for Pennywise FC,a penny for a BENNY.

  • Benjamin says:

    VAR has been a huge help to Celtic’s cause. Not on the pitch, obviously, but off of it. If we’re ever going to get meaningful reform at the SFA regarding referees, it can’t be just Celtic pissing into the wind. There needs to be a consensus from ALL clubs that something needs to be done. VAR is taking away all the excuses and pretense that certain clubs and club officials have and who would like nothing more than to sweep this issue under the rug from whence it came. Somebody is going to be denied a European place this season, and at least one club is going to be relegated – that is a certainty. And given the number of highly dubious decisions awarded on the back of VAR, those clubs will feel victimized and will finally have an appetite to join in the call for genuine reform. Most of these clubs are probably willing to let it go if the consequence is one Glasgow club getting an advantage over the other Glasgow club – it’s another thing altogether when such shenanigans result in your own club being denied European football or even relegation. If I’m Michael Nicholson, I’m on the phone every week to my counterparts around the league asking if they’re okay with this shit show continuing and if they’re okay being sacrificial victims. Eventually there will be enough voices demanding changes that the SFA will have no choice. It may not happen this season or even next season, but that day is coming. The body count is slowly but surely adding up and it’s only a matter of time before enough Chairmen and CEO’s around the league say ‘enough is enough’.

    • Andy says:

      Nah, where were they in 2012 when industrial scale cheating was exposed? I include Celtic in that.
      Nothing to see here, move along now.
      Cvnts, the lot of them.

  • BJM says:

    You are correct james , we have to persevere with VAR . It is showing up the referees? For the corrupt cheats that they are .
    It is only a matter of time before almost identical incidents are called completely differently ( some have already ) the more this happens the closer we get to referee reforms the clock is ticking they are running out of excuses.
    If they persist with the ridiculously inconsistent decisions we may be closer to serious reforms than we think .
    The old excuses don’t wash as you can review the decisions in slow motion and every angle possible . No more at real speed honest mistakes?

  • Michael McCann says:

    Its not VAR thats at fault its the Ibrox supporters i.e the referees. They are cheating Celtic at an unprecedented level and nothing has been done. Nothing. If Celtic are partially financing this embarrassment they should stop immediately. The refereeing is corrupt to the core and VAR has highlighted this dramatically. Its the same clique each and every game and nothing is being done. If Celtic were a lesser side they would be in trouble. You can see the frustration in our manager each and every game, Celtic need to be very careful this man could walk and who can blame. He is developing an elite team and being cheated every game. Come on Celtic directors you have power show the manger, team and supporters that you are doing something about this

  • Joe Tannock says:

    It’s the same referees making the same decisions even after a second look.
    Keep VAR bring in neutral referees.

  • Adam Thomas says:

    Unfortunately other teams outwith the spfl cant afford or have the capability to host var But this is unfair on smaller clubs ,the Sheffield United v Wigan was proof of that last night.

  • Peterbrady says:

    When will sevco die this is what all fans and supportters of every club/team in Scotland want even dirty lie down farts aryshire scum die sevco die get whiteinch demo to knock down the auld hoor this is what we want.

  • Lions67 says:

    VAR won’t go away. It has been brought in at the behest of the referees. Without VAR experience, they will not be chosen by FIFA or UEFA for international tournaments. They want their trips abroad and the prestige it brings. VAR is going nowhere.

  • John S says:

    It’s another option to cheat, it creates its own ‘highlights’, some of which are concealed. Since we now know the score, the issue of Referee and VAR appointments to the jobs needs urgent reformation.

  • Eldraco says:

    You posed a question. It’s the latter

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