Another weekend of lamentable refereeing in Scotland has just come to a close.
Once again, it’s pro-Ibrox and anti-Celtic decisions under the microscope.
Even those who cannot join the dots – and they are obvious to anyone looking – can see that our game cannot stand much more of this. VAR has been an unmitigated disaster for the SFA.
All of Europe is watching us with incredulity. Down south they must snigger every single time the Scottish highlights come up for review. We knew that VAR would highlight what goes on up here; what we didn’t suspect is that it would not stop refs from thinking they could continue with business as usual. It has become an utter embarrassment to our game.
How much longer must we endure this? Even if you don’t accept that refs are biased the sheer number of these decisions which are now under the microscope outside of this country are making us into a laughing stock. Celtic highlighted this possibility some months ago, and surely now we’ve arrived at a place where enough is enough?
Sky’s resident ex-official described the weekend’s calls up here as “farcical.” That’s one way to put it. It is a flat-out disgrace that these people can make these kinds of calls week after week after week without consequence. No other league would tolerate these sub-par standards and the longer it goes on the more questions will be asked outside Scotland.
The era of SFA run refereeing has to be coming to an end.
A national referee’s service entirely separate from the governing body is an idea whose time has come. Grade them, promote the best and demote the worst. Make all declare their allegiances in order to even be registered. Pay the going rate for officials; clubs have shown they want higher standards. I am sure they could pick up the slack for that.
But we’re relying on a system right now that is simply not fit for purpose and whether that’s because of bias or incompetence frankly becomes an inconsequential side-issue next to the obvious need to admit that a serious problem exists and needs to be dealt with.