After Celtic’s Decision Yesterday, The Calls For The End Of VAR Are Growing.

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Malky Mackay is the first manager to state the obvious, and he did it yesterday in a perfect bit of deflection after we’d beaten them.

Clubs are paying for VAR and VAR is having a negative impact on games. Clubs will not continue to pay for a technology that is dragging the game down. That’s the line, and he is the first to publicly say it.

This blog predicted this a couple of weeks back. This is the critical stage of the season, and the fury of the clubs is growing in direct proportion to that. The SFA is an incompetent organisation.

Those who sensed that this would be a disaster were right, Ange Postecoglou amongst them. The minute Ian Maxwell started talking about “teething troubles” was the moment the antennae started to twitch at the clubs and especially at ours.

Getting rid of VAR does nothing to tackle the actual problems.

They lie with officials who are absolutely hopeless and who cannot help proving it. The words “open to interpretation” are the worst in the football lexicon up here.

Open to bias. Open to being corrupted.

Those who complain about the rulebook are as bad as those complaining about VAR.

The problem is with the refs. The problem is with the whole refereeing system in Scotland, run by the SFA, with the same old faces behind the scenes. We have created the perfect conditions for chaos because we allow refs to make mistakes consequence free, and that should be obvious even to the stupidest person in the power structure.

Now there are open debates in the media and amongst managers about ditching the very technology that was supposed to raise standards.

Very little thought is being given to how absolutely devastating that will be to Scottish football’s reputation. Imagine being the first nation to adopt VAR and then ditch it within half a season because our officials aren’t up to the job. Our game will look amateurish at best, and it will be made worse by the reaction to it; sighs of relief and the odd celebration.

We will look like a football banana republic.

Nations with a fraction of our resources have been using VAR for years, and all ditching it will do is continue protecting the people who are the real cause of the problem. They have been hiding from scrutiny for too long, and instead of clubs debating the end of VAR they should be discussing rooting this thing out at the source.

I fear we are about to make a huge and unpardonable mistake instead.

The technology itself works. We’ve seen it work.

It’s those working the controls who we should be seeking to get rid of.

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  • Bob (original) says:

    The only group to benefit from a withdrawal of VAR,
    is the Scottish Referees’ Association.

    They might never get a gig at a WC or Euros ever again,
    but they can continue to operate in their own wee vacuum,
    without having to address the long overdue need for change and improvement.

    The more controversy there is with VAR,
    the more public annoyance and frustration from managers and fans,
    the quicker we will get to the root cause: the Scottish Referees’ Association.

    The SFA can’t manage an acceptable pitch surface at their national athletics stadium,
    so implementing VAR was always going to be a shambles from the Hampden blazers! 🙁

  • Jorge says:

    I agree that people are blaming ‘VAR’ for failures of referees, and I suspect deliberately in many cases to deflect from their failings. However, the incident which prompted McKays rant wasn’t a failure on the part of the referee (it wouldn’t have been visible to him) and in fact proved that VAR can be effective. McKay’s claim the penalty wouldn’t have been given in the EPL does not stand up to scrutiny.

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ Jorge. It does provide an example how it would work, IF we could trust alll our officials tae be professional and show impartiality when makin decisions. Unfortunately it’s no how it works here.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Only way tae rectify it, is tae bring in carefully selected officials from outside and there’s no way ah can see the SFA goin there. The whole systems far too entrenched wi bias and dont think ahm far wrong in sayin, masonic influence. They’ll get rid of it altogether before they let that happen.

  • Bhoy4life says:

    Let the refs ref.
    Just take ALL VAR decisions out of their hands and have them remotely done South of the border….professional and unbiased and also would be much quicker.

  • Eire goCeltic F says:

    Malky’s own player said it hit his arm. Celtic fans on social media said it would have been
    a spot penalty in the EPL. Football Scotland declared, an ex-ref said it was a penalty. I’m with Malky…NO Penalty. Play On. It was a badly timed header. His eyes were closed.
    100,000 pounds/year to fund VAR is a fair amount of money for Ross County.
    Why can’t Sky TV pay the VAR costs for all Premiership games. They can transmit the replays and put on adverts to a captive, excited, suspended audience, just like other football codes do. They don’t cover all games. Doesn’t matter.

    • Jimmy says:

      Well written Eire go Celtic. The most balanced I have seen written. For me it wasn’t a penalty but nothing surprises me any longer with referees, and that’s all over Epl and Europe as well.

      • Woodyiom says:

        Under the current laws of the game (and their interpretations therein with regards to hand ball) it was a penalty so the VAR and Willie Collum were correct to award it but for me that’s not what the handball law should be trying to penalise – I really struggle to see why it seems to be beyond the wit of the lawmakers to simplify the law so INTENTIONAL handballs in the box are penalised with penalties and ACCIDENTAL ones are either play-on ignored or if people prefer they are penalised with indirect free-kicks. Yesterday’s handball was clearly accidental.

        • Kevan McKeown says:

          The ‘arguable’ part bein, about where his arm was in relation tae his body and his was full out. So where dae ye go from there ? It’s a legit penalty.

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ EGC. So in your opinion, because he timed his header badly and his eyes were shut, it’s part of a reason no tae award a penalty ?!! Whit’s that got tae dae with it, thats his problem ?! Pure nonsense. It was given because his arm was well outstretched and he’s contacted the ball with it. No as if his backs turned, he’s facin the ball. Arguably a bit harsh, tho perfectly legit within the rules, whether he meant it or no.

  • Martin says:

    Ref radio (like in rugby) is an easy way to solve most of these problems. Why ifab is so vehemently against it I do not know. It reduces the chance of conspiratorial decision making, and educates the listener in the laws of the game as we go. Even if was only turned on during var discussions it would be a real benefit for everyone.

    That penalty yesterday was absolutely 100% correct and a great example of var done well.

  • Jim The Tim says:

    Definite penalty, Mckay talking shit. If he got the decision the other end he would be praising VAR.

  • Paul Mac says:

    If you look at the position of the arm .. was he trying to grab a hold of CCVs top to prevent him from getting to the ball?? Whatever, it still doesn´t beat the Bernabei one earlier in the season as the most ridiculous decision.
    One thing we know for certain though.. Goldson would have got away with it !!

    • Martin says:

      The Bernabei one, as unfair as it seems because he was looking the other way, was correct. And was a shot at goal so booking warranted too.

      The O’Riley one where it bounced up off his leg onto his arm (enough to not make it a foul) and a penalty was given, even though it was OUTSIDE the box, is by a million miles the worst handball decision we’ve seen in Scotland this season.

  • Tam says:

    Are we sure or are we supposing the penalty was given for handball. It could have been given for the defender impeading CCV ..As the referees DON’T tell anyone publicly why they have given a decision… either way it’s 100% a penalty

  • Plastic Paddy says:

    Correct. VAR is not the problem, it’s the incompetence of the people operating it and crap referees. Would not be sorry to see it scrapped and better training and more accountability for referees. Don’t see either happening sadly.

  • Peter Campbell says:

    The calls of the likes of Malky Mackay will be taken much more seriously if they call out the crazy decisions made against all clubs who have to put up with them. But they won’t, they only care when it’s a decision against their own side.

  • Bjm says:

    The penalty awarded to us yesterday would probably been given against 11 of the 12 clubs in the SPFL (not saying it’s not harsh) we all know sevco would not have been penalised.
    There lies the problem right there.
    Example Matt O,Riley penalised against ross county.
    Goldston handball save against us.
    Major refereeing reforms required and SFA relieved of their duties.

  • Johnno says:

    VAR is not the problem, the problem still remains interpretation of the rules of the game.
    Human error can always play a huge part within any sport, yet technology was designed to help the officials to get the right decision, even if not totally fool proof either, but a huge improvement on some of the scandalous decision making in day’s gone by.
    This approach still can’t be applied within Scottish football to the total shame of the SFA.
    Became to think years ago that when there is an obvious problem, seek the solution more so than staying within the problem, why the SFA still choose to stay in the problem has to be the main questionable issue here upon the subject.
    A simple solution would be for all officials to sign contracts stating there intentions to carry out there duties without prejudice, bias and a higher level of common sense for the good of Scottish football.
    Failure to do so can result in fines and suspension and needs to be made public knowledge if any cases should arrive.
    Allowing officials within the game not having to answer to anyone has bought the Scottish game to the disgraceful state it current remains and without any change within sight either.
    The league cup final proved that it can be done within Scottish football, yet can’t be done on a weekly basis still.
    Only 6 games within the SPFL weekly and yet so much nonsense exists still

  • Tam says:

    The people operating the technology we all call “VAR” could be (anyone) as long as they know the rules and laws of the game.
    Why on earth do the SFA/SPFL think it has to be a referee. The referees in Scotland before we had this technology were cheats and incompidents. If the SFA/SPFL don’t want the technology to be used for cheating and incompetence they could easily bring in people who are compident and “won’t” cheat using the technology…. BUT……as the SFA/SPFL are part of the cheating I don’t see that happening

  • John S says:

    Take responsibility, Crawford Allen.

  • Tenaka Khan says:

    Whatever you think of VAR and it’s poor implementation, I’m willing to bet that it’s keeping the refs a wee bit more honest than they were before we had it. I don’t think they have quite so much free rein to corrupt games with “VAR watch” being a thing now.

  • John says:

    VAR not the problem. Incompetent refs and their interpretation is killing our game.

    Bringing in Refs or VAR operators will solve but not all.

    English fans moaning about VAR but at least a step in the correct direction.

    European games seem to run smoothly, why not here?

    Watched a few german games yesterday. VAR decision over in seconds. And correct.

    Watched Fenerbache v Besiktas. Fener first pen was a dive. VAR declared it a pen. This is in a league as corrupt as Scotland.

    So other leagues have problems with Refs and VAR. Not just the back water of Scotland.

  • Eire goCeltic says:

    VAR DOES assist the Ref and improve his decisions but not always. CCV never kept his eyes on the ball. His aim was to get his body in a space to put the RC captain off his jumping line.
    The Ref blows half-time and Steve Kirkland says NO, look at this. Then Malky blows-up. there must be a timed-out period for reviews.
    VAR must stay. The Bernabei late GOAL, meant Celtic would have won anyway. I accept my opinion
    could be wrong. Looks like when jumping for a header in a crowded box, keep your arms to your sides like an Irish dancer. Being bumped or pushed off your line doesn’t count, even when it’s slight.
    I would like to see the gutsy RC team avoid relegation. They tested Rangers for 60 minutes.

  • Paul Walker says:

    The cynical amongst us will be thinking that the SFA are making VAR look really bad, the worse they make it look, the more fans and clubs will want rid of it.

    VAR was brought in to help fix the “honest mistakes” that our shockingly bad refs made week in week out.

    By making VAR look hopelessly useless, it’s makes the case to get rid of it and go back to the way things were and still are.

    The SFA know that the refs in Scotland are biased to the extent of being as corrupt as their bosses.

    Scotland seems to be the only country that doesn’t make their refs to declare which team they support, because if they did then they would have to bring in refs from other countries who would be neutral and not have any problems in dealing with things on the field of play, rather than dealing with not wanting to punish the team they support when it came to penalty kicks or red cards being handed out.

    In Scotland this is a huge problem as the vast majority of the refs have their allegiances with one certain club, the club that has gone nearly 2 full seasons without conceding a single penalty, not because there haven’t been any cases where 1 would or could’ve been awarded against them, because there have been numerous cases where there should’ve been penalties awarded against them, but the rescind those officials handling the VAR decisions have made it their soke purpose to help their club they support and punish any club that they come up against.

    The game of football in Scotland is corrupt to the core, from the refs on and off the field, to the officials who run the game who do not want to upset the 1 club who would and are doing so attack anyone who dares to say or do anything that could cost them the game, or lose them points and the race or fight for the titlevm or cup competitions.

    VAR will never work fairly in this country because those in charge of it are the very same people who caused the need for change to stop the corruption in our game, but this will never work until there are massive changes in the way the game is run and handled fairly for EVERY CLUB AND NOT JUST THE ONE SINGLE CLUB!!!

  • Eire goCeltic says:

    Today, saw video replay that Willie saw. Ball came off (glanced?) CCV head to Lacovitti’s extended arm. Definite penalty. Everything I said was totally wrong. Watched livestream of game (poor picture) but missed incident. Only saw grainy still photo from media outlet. Should not have commented.
    Not even a harsh penalty, because Lacovitti rushed to CCV and put his hand on Cameron’s shoulder,
    locked arm, attempting to make him mistime his connection. Mal Mackay wrong. Everyone got it right. James, VAR working as intended.

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