Celtic’s Worst Fears Are Confirmed As VAR Chaos Engulfs The Scottish Game.

Image for Celtic’s Worst Fears Are Confirmed As VAR Chaos Engulfs The Scottish Game.

During the early weeks of VAR in Scotland, Celtic went to the SFA for the first time with their concerns.

What they said is largely shrouded in secrecy, but we do know – because they briefed it to the media – that they were concerned that the way it was being used risked turning the game here into a laughing stock.

I’m sure that the powers-that-be ignored that concern.

Because they are arrogant and insular and probably believe themselves to be largely infallible.

Don’t forget how it works here.

You can’t even get onto the SFA executive ladder unless you’ve put time in on their other committees lower down in the structure.

It’s not an environment that rewards or values individuality or original thinking.

By the time you reach the top you’ve been captured by the system; Hell you are the system.

We’re as far here from the meritocracy as it’s possible to get.

The whole thing is like a bad joke, and for a long time the joke has been on us. But now Celtic has been vindicated and that concern has now blown up into something much bigger.

Because this game is a laughing stock now.

The implementation of VAR in Scotland has been a disaster on a scale nowhere else has suffered.

It wasn’t just that this weekend saw yet more dodgy decisions in favour of one club, it’s that every game in the top flight was in some way or another blighted by this thing, which is now being widely seen as a scourge.

If you polled the managers of every club in the SPFL right now, VAR would be gone by the close of business today.

One club’s boss has publicly said he has faith in the technology and, most critically, those operating it; it just so happens, of course, that he’s the only manager who has not been on the wrong end of a truly contentious decision.

What a coincidence, right?

When this technology was introduced and the SFA defended early “errors” by saying that they had expected “teething troubles” Ange scorned the very idea of it, pointing out that there are leagues all over the world, some much smaller the SPFL, which have adopted this thing virtually pain free. Australian football has had it for years, he said.

“It was the talk of the town as if it was brand new,” he said. “Australia, which everyone seems to think is a backwater, had VAR four years ago. It’s not new. Referees in our league who referee in Europe have used it. We made it out to be a really big thing with big expectations. Now we are saying ‘expect teething problems’. I don’t know why there would be teething problems for something that’s been around for four or five years.”

VAR was supposed to be a progressive move.

How come its ended up being a regression instead? I’ll tell you why, and it gets us to the heart of the problem, which is that it’s not the technology because the tech itself is just a tool to be used.

The problem is with those operating and running it, with those making the decisions and those are the same serial incompetents – or serial cheats; it amounts to the same thing when the consequences are the same – who were refereeing games before it.

The standard of Scottish officiating was in the toilet already and because there’s no mechanism for making refs accountable for mistakes all this has done is give them new and interesting ways to screw up and heap shame and scorn on our national sport.

The clubs are very soon going to have to make a decision as to whether this technology will be used next season, but they’ve actually got a bigger decision than that, and it’s about how long we continue to ignore the real problem which is that our referees are a bog-standard disgrace to the game and that this is a problem which the use of technology only to serves to highlight to a wider audience?

Celtic was right, and Celtic knew what the problem was and where it lay, and what the danger was in letting the current crop of officials run this show.

I know we fought hard for this technology, and we believe in its utility.

But we do not trust the people behind the cameras, and we never did.

Our worst fears have been confirmed, and the message our club should be sending out now to the rest is that getting rid of VAR will only make us look worse; the league which dumped it because it proved how bad its officiating actually is.

Sort that problem out instead and everything else will click into place.

Share this article


  • Jimmy R says:

    One of the bugbears of VAR (and refereeing in general) is the secrecy which surrounds every decision. In rugby, when the TMO is called into action, the tv and radio audiences can hear the dialogue between the officials as they review the contentious issue. Fans in the ground can hire a “refmic” earpiece, which allows them to hear what’s being said.
    You know what they are looking at. You know what they are considering and mostly, you can see where they are coming from.
    The masonic secrecy approach in football leaves everybody guessing (including the refs.)
    The rugby refs have improved the TMO process massively since its inception. Nowadays the match ref (the person in charge) leads the discussion by asking for clarity on something about which they are unclear. If it is a subjective matter, they will talk through what they are seeing and what action they propose to take. If any of the other officials see it differently, they will say, the ref might have another look before making their decision. The crucial point is that the decision is made by the match ref, on the pitch. We know how and why the decision has been reached. We might not always agree but the whole process is much less contentious than the boorach we have in Scottish football.

  • John Copeland says:

    There are 24 cameras covering the Premier league games in England! We In Scotland have 6 ! That tells me that the game here is being treated by the governing bodies as a second class sport . Not only that , but we don’t have every conceivable angle covered by the 6 cameras to cover every contentious decision ! Now I know that it is costly to implement VAR ,but the governing bodies have been sleepwalking into this debacle for ages ,knowing that it was inevitable it would be introduced sooner rather than later . Maybe the proceeds from the new Scotland strip can help pay for the other 18 cameras to bring our game into line with the rest of Europe ….

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Nothin’s goin tae change, unless we get carefully chosen officials from outside Scotland. We know whats happenin here and that includes the ibrox club and their support, better believe it. Been that way for decades. Fact is, it’s almost impossible tae ‘prove’ these bent officials are bein biased, unless they somehow came out and actually SAID it tae somebody and even wi VAR, they’ll still utilize that fact. The stats that are buildin week by week, that suit one particular club are ridiculous and an insult tae anybody’s intelligence.

  • Bhoy4life says:

    Have always maintained its the best thing to ever happen to Scottish football, it has put the spotlight on the serial cheating done by Scottish referees all to aid one club, they were never gonna have the brains or integrity to mask their biases, no wonder none of them get near Euro or World games, prepared to sacrifice their own careers to aid the blue cause.
    The worst officials in the game…at least cheating refs abroad take money, this lot do it for free.

  • Eire goCeltic says:

    With most football codes (other than Scottish, English Football), VAR has been accepted as a tremendous benefit to all. The officiating VAR decisions are mostly well accepted by all, but sometimes there are mistakes made by VAR decision makers. In the two rugby codes, Union and League, fans love it, and in test matches captains get one or two opportunities to ask for a VAR ruling on perceived wrong rulings (if allowed in the rules of asking). In Union, VAR cannot be ruled on forward passes. There is too many short forward passes that the ref cannot see and they are marginally forward. The All Blacks have been experts at these passes.
    These Codes do not have Refs going to the sidelines to look at the incident on a Screen. The VAR officials’ ruling is Final.
    The most contentious issue with VAR in Scotland, is the claim by Fans that the grid lines are not parallel to the Bye-Lines, mid-line or 16 yard line (recent Motherwell game). The GPS Guidance Technology developed by the Irish Company Trimble, is renowned for its high accuracy and quality everywhere in the world. That can be integrated into the picture on a Screen. Get them to audit what is presently used.
    There would be stacks of Tech-Heads in Scotland that could do this as well.
    If there is a proven bias among VAR officials bring in Welsh VAR FIFA accredited Referees for games of the top 4 or 5 teams in the last 10 games of the season and for games that decide relegation.

  • Johnno says:

    Actually glad to hear that other clubs are now up in arms about the farcical use of VAR since it’s introduction, especially as it’s taken them all long enough, yet weren’t to many complaints from them when they benifited with ridiculous decisions in there favour and awarded against ourselves.
    The stats prove just how much we have been impacted against and how favourable they have been towards the scum, no longer able to hide the fact and VAR now only confirms the completely different standards of officiating that is being used between ourselves and the scum, and now all the other clubs are just getting caught in the crossfire.
    Desperate attempt to try and hide the favouritism being shown towards the scum, yet only has increased there overall incompetence and again raises the question of whether such cheats are really fit for purpose?
    Even more so when there incompetence/cheating has bought the Scottish game to even higher farcical levels.
    We have been blessed that we play such a brand of football where we create far more big moments during a game than VAR have been able to impact upon ourselves and that has to continue, especially as we all know what awaits still.
    Still an approach to the Scottish game that other Scottish team’s can’t do, so very little chance of that approach catching on still.
    Even though the cheating use of VAR hasn’t been successful in impacting our results YET it is still totally right for us to be calling out it’s use in the manner it is currently being used.

  • Yada Ya says:

    True the organisation and structures of SFA need to be replaced by professionals and meritocracy. It is basically still an amateur organisation. Disconcerting is that the amount of secrecy which pervades the place, dreadful communication, and an invisible Head of Refereeing who cannot discipline his officials and only ever comments when he has something bad to say about Celtic. It is a worry that today’s hopeless officials when they retire will be in charge of training and corrupting the next generation.

  • Thomas Daly says:

    Boys from the establishment will continue as they always do biast,cheats,all of them get rid of them and bring in a team of a neutral denomination

  • Martin says:

    I can’t fully agree. The people running it are obviously a big part of the problem, but we also have smart price VAR on tick. What we have put in place is a cheap, substandard pretence of VAR, especially at places like Fir Park.

    The introduction was rushed forward, clearly before the users or the tech were ready. The SFA have created their own problems with this. Although let’s not pretend it runs as smoothly as you claim in the article, there are still plenty of terrible decisions in the EPL with professional refs and 12 millions cameras per game.

  • Voice of Reason says:

    Just get it tae Fuk! 5 mins fur every decision especially oor goals! Aye we’ve had a cpl ae pens we wid NEVER normally get but in NO WAY duz that offset the SHITE AWARDS against us!! Without it the FILTH wid be 20 pts behind!!

  • John S says:

    Straight to the problem: corrupt officiating from vetted officials.

  • lordmac says:

    if you allow biased refs, you will get biased results as one mans meat, is one mans poison.

  • SSMPM says:

    What an absolute farce. The refs, VAR, VAR officials, the rankers, the SFA, the SPFL, even Celtic PLC are not the problem, but they are all part of it.
    @ Sam Fran is closest to saying it. It’s a masonic controlled country run at all institutional levels by Cronyism for those of a particular Order the main benefactors. All the meek follow. To have their so-called meritocratic level of acceptance, of being allowed to take part, even the smallest part. Celtic have known and accepted this, we all have to some degree or other. To not abide by the Order is exclusion, the accepted position. Gollum, for example, is incompetent but allowed to continue to take part as long his incompetence is guided in the ‘correct’ direction and he kisses the ring. Now he’s learned how to do that, he’s allowed to ref the rankers games again. You can simply comply or fight for right and not just accept the scraps.
    Fear is the weapon and compliance the only tool of opportunity. Meritocracy in football alone isn’t the goal. Egalitarianism is the only way and you won’t find that in the SNP either. Independence has been a huge distraction; another case of out of the frying pan into another frying pan that fuels your acceptance of the fat controller.
    Everything doesn’t simply fall into place even if football could find a way to. Society will still be based on Cronyism; for them of the Order at least.

  • Stevie Fisher says:

    VAR or to use its full form (virtually assisting rangers)
    Is a Scottish attempt to bring celtic down, its not working, last time I looked, Celtic were still top of the league

Comments are closed.