Motherwell’s Anger Shows That Whilst Celtic Are Targets Other Clubs Are Victims.

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Do you guys remember that some weeks ago I wrote an article about how Ibrox and allies, in targeting Celtic, consider every other club in this league to be collateral damage? I wrote that in response to some appalling decisions which fell their way, yet more in a long line of them. I said Hibs would be next and then it would be Motherwell’s turn.

Well, after Hibs had already been done over the Steelmen’s turn came yesterday and their manager, their players and even their directors were infuriated by what they saw. They have registered a formal complaint with the SPFL over it.

Whereas the Hibs boss made the preposterous suggestion that we make our bog-standard officials full time, basically handing them a huge pay increase, the Motherwell board are in no mood to listen to any of that. What they watched yesterday was either staggering incompetence or absolute corruption. At least one decision – the offside call for the third goal – is absolutely indefensible and especially as “VAR” ruled it onside when you can see it’s not.

There was always going to be a tipping point, and that it has come now should be no surprise. We’re at the business end of the season here, the point where top six places, relegation dogfights and European slots are up for grabs.

This isn’t early in a campaign where people at these clubs can still try to convince themselves that it will “even itself out” over the course of the season. A bad decision now can be the difference between making it and seeing everything you’ve worked for collapse. It can be the difference between clubs knowing next season’s budgets and crisis talks. This is where managers find that their jobs are under threat, and so these games matter.

Of course, for a club like ours – and we, after all, are what some of these grotesque decisions are about – every game does matter and we don’t kid ourselves on about that, and for too long other clubs in this country, who have suffered for this over the years, have been asleep at the wheel, seemingly oblivious to the damage it does to them.

VAR was supposed to finally level the playing field; the way it has been used is to make things lamentably worse and I didn’t even think that was possible. The technology is being used to find justifications for punishing clubs playing the one from Ibrox even as it scrutinises everything in a Celtic game to make our lives difficult.

But if you listen closely you can hear that the dissatisfaction runs deep.

Our referees and officials are one of two things, and it is important to remember that it really does not matter which they are, from the point of view of what we need to do.

They are either bent or they are too incompetent to be trusted.

The consequences are essentially the same, and because they are I would not be surprised if discussions were already taking place about whether or not to continue with the VAR experiment, as it now risks heaping ridicule on our game.

The thing is, right now, and in the absence of reform, we have to live with these diabolical standards because the SFA won’t allow the SPFL to use any other referees.

That power should be taken away from them and the league allowed to use any officials it wants, as long as they are accredited by UEFA.

But VAR is not just adding to the chaos but increasing it, and clubs are paying for it themselves and that’s where I suspect many will draw the line.

Clubs simply will not leave themselves out of pocket to pay for a technology that they have absolutely no faith in, and that faith is collapsing fast.

I think that we’re already approaching a crisis point, and I see no way that things will improve enough to stave it off. Motherwell are not the first club to complain to the SFA about this stuff – I suspect that was us – and they won’t be the last.

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  • Jimmy R says:

    Motherwell have every right to be angry after Saturday. The published pics show that the VAR line and the 18 yard line are not parallel which they should be if both are drawn (as they should be) at right angles to the touch lines. However, looking back to the furore over Jota’s disallowed “goal” earlier in the season, you have to ask the question. Is everything at Fir Park in full working order as it should be?
    If not, why not? Only if Motherwell can show that their set up is capable of functioning efficiently and correctly can the spotlight be focused on those who operate the system. Currently it is too easy to blame the way the technology is set up. I have even read a sevconut claim that the Motherwell 18 yard line is not parallel to the goal line. If they really want to go after the officials, they have to work hard to deny the apologists any easy ammunition.

  • Eldraco says:

    Var official at that game , Mr A Dallas.

    You decide.

    I have also asked if the sponsors of Scottish football especially Cinch would really want to continue to have their name attached to such a shonky ( see what I did there) product ruined and corrupted by the technology and interpretation of it. ?

    Methinks not.

  • BJM says:

    We have to continue with VAR . VAR is not the problem the referees are the problem it is however highlighting the very high number of honest mistakes!
    Our hope has to be the criticism is too much for the sfa and referees and they spit the dummy out as they have previously and walk out hopefully.
    Maybe then we can get some unbiased officials from out with Scotland permanently.
    Or push for even more serious referee reforms.

  • Martin says:

    The penalty for St Mirren vs Dundee United was equally ridiculous, even a VAR review didn’t stop it being given. I hate to be “anti conspiracy” but I think there genuinely is just a dearth of competence.

    The Motherwell VAR got it wrong twice and had spectacularly bad lines- one for each team getting a goal. It does beg the question if Fir Park might be the problem.

    The problems with VAR are 2 fold:

    The decisions are still wrong too often
    The time taken is ridiculous. 4/5 minutes for something that is obvious on a 5 second replay.

    I also think we NEED rugby TMO esque audio availability for these things.

  • Roonsa says:

    Even Kris Boyd was calling it out. I mean, if he is calling it out then there HAS to be something wrong. His exact words about the Jota thing was “I was sitting there watching it and it was clearly onside”.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    As long as we’re within arguable, touchin distance in the league, these incidents’ll continue in the hope that we slip up and throw the ibrox club a lifeline. Until we put it well out their reach (hopefully in a couple of weeks), we can expect more and more of it. And let’s no forget the up and comin cup semi either. Can we expect the same (unexpected) professionalism from whoever the officials are in this one, as we had for the Viaplay final, where this time, we could effectively end their season !?? Widnae bet on it. And ah don’t buy the ‘incompetent’ crap, it’s corrupt, end of.

  • Michael Mchale says:

    Brilliant article, couldn’t agree more.

  • Dinger says:

    Var video advantage rangers

  • Peterbrady says:

    What it is is corruption just like 2005 2003 after the fix happens in the next six weeks the truth will come out years from now they need it to survive FACT. They do not have enough income to pay all outstanding debts season books renewal match day income company sponsorships and all other revenue streams inadequate they need UEFA cash to survive . But you not hear any of this in corrupt media till after the administration insolvency event it is coming believe me. Either we get cheated out of another title or the new club/team dies.

  • Woodyiom says:

    “Our referees and officials are one of two things, and it is important to remember that it really does not matter which they are, from the point of view of what we need to do. They are either bent or they are too incompetent to be trusted.”

    WRONG James – it totally matters whether they are bent or incompetent. Being incompetent is a state of capability and the individual should be temporarily removed and given the resources, training, education and all tools available to see if they can reach the required standard. Being bent is a state of mind and the individual should be given their marching orders PERMANENTLY with no chance of being reinstated EVER.

    • Pan says:

      Which means that the SFA has to be bent, if they are not improving the competence of referees. I do believe some of the referees (not all) are bent rather than incompetent, as things are not improving.

  • larsson7 says:

    Son of Dallas,is permanently on VAR,I rest my case.
    Walsh has refereed 8 Rankers game this time job looking after the future Rankers superstars at Boclair Academy in Bearsden.
    How long can this state of affairs go’s called cheating

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      Have tae give credit where its due tho and Walsh did dae a professional job in the Viaplay final.

  • Pan says:

    Our wee country truly is a banana republic.
    Our government is corrupt and/or incompetent (not just the SNP and Greens, but the opposition too) and our football association and its officials are also corrupt and/or incompetent. We have become a laughing stock.

    You cannot and should not have referees that are compromised by their allegiances and almost all of our referees are, to the extent that the very few outwith the cabal, who are clean are tarred with the same brush. We need a clean out and a truly professional body who are capable of fairness in decisions. The smaller clubs only have themselves to blame as most of them leave the complaints to some respectable clubs, such as Celtic, St Johnstone, Motherwell, Raith Rovers and St Mirren.

    I am guessing that all sorts of evidence is being collected as proof of such corruption and incompetence. It is certainly all available and it is nonsense to think that it will not be compiled as evidence when when eventually have to take this to court, where this may have to play out in order to get justice.

    This may happen soon in the political arena and will also have to happen with football to achieve justice and fairness.

  • Davie says:

    VAR Lodge Disagree with all the statements, they say that remaining Loyal to the cause is fundamental to VAR being beneficial to the Scottish game, no matter where you play, the name of your team, VAR will deal with all decisions based on VAR Lodge rules & regulations, All in a fair manner.
    VAR LODGE RULES OKAY. Dam I’ve missplaced my orange top.

  • Robert Downey says:

    I agree with every word James.
    It has gone beyond ” teething problems” the solution is staring everyone in the face.
    Scrap VAR.
    I hate to say it but I think there could be REAL trouble at a match and soon.

  • Hugh says:

    As far as I can see, the only way VAR will work is, if the ref is unsure he and only he should call for a replay. The Ref should be the only person in charge and should not be at the beck and call of someone watching a monitor, Refs will still get things wrong but at least it will be all on them to be sure before blowing the whistle or ask to consult the screen. What is happening now is highlighting just how many times they were getting it wrong prior to VAR and makes them look foolish. VAR seems to miss a lot of things that would benefit Celtic, I suspect that during these passages of play the VAR person has been watching the adverts.

  • John S says:

    The manipulation of images in an official capacity i.e. during matchplay is fraud. This is quite different to interpretation.

  • Alexander Steele says:

    So true as all football fans have seen the officials either don’t know how to use var or are using to meet there own needs does stink to the high heavens I have no trust in our refs since var came in they look torrent to the core

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