Celtic Needs To Send A Message To Maxwell: VAR Works, But The Officials Are A Joke.

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Ian Maxwell was in the media this morning defending VAR. In fact, he wasn’t defending VAR as much as he was defending his referees. As an example of deflection is it a good one.

He wants the debate to be on “teething troubles” – he has repeated this again – instead of on the fundamental issues. He thinks time will sort this, but it won’t.

The reason many of us supported VAR in the first place is because we simply do not trust our officials to get decisions right.

But the same officials who consistently make mistakes are now sitting behind the screens where they have the opportunity to make even more of them. It’s like watching someone mess up the simple act of making a tray of sandwiches and instead of bringing in someone else you put them in charge of the whole buffet.

These people are thoroughly incompetent. Their judgement is either corrupted or otherwise impaired; either way, the results are the utter chaos we see around us.

It’s not a magical item from a fantasy story, something whose full parameters and uses have to be learned as a go … VAR is straightforward stuff, allowing officials to spot things that they might otherwise have missed.

But if you think any handball of any description in the box is a penalty you’ll act accordingly. If you have some weird conception of what a handball is and isn’t, depending on any number of other variables, including the colour of the jersey involved, then your interpretation of what you see on those screens will be altered accordingly.

The debate over “VAR” is the smokescreen to end them all. Ange Postecoglou is well aware of that and he scorned this whole narrative about “teething trouble” back at the start.

The officials aren’t being asked to take control of nuclear reactors here; competent officials would not be making some of these “mistakes” if indeed that’s what they are.

The debate is now raging over whether to dispense with VAR altogether and my view is still that clubs are leaning in the direction of refusing to pay for it and thus consigning it to the bin.

Maxwell at least is determined not to bow to that. He is urging patience, but patience isn’t going to do it. We wanted this in the first place as a solution to the problem of dire refereeing in Scotland … until that’s fixed everything else is pointless.

Maxwell doesn’t want the discussion anywhere near that subject, but that’s what we must force him and others back towards over and over and over again and Celtic should be making their own position on it clear; the problem is not with the technology.

It’s the people with their hands on the controls.

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  • Finbar muldoon says:

    We have to keep VAR. It shows this little pisspot country up, for what it is. HH

  • Bob (original) says:

    We all know that neither the SFA nor The Scottish Referees’ Association is
    interested in change and improvement to match officiating standards.

    They have ‘managed’ the Scottish game – to their own satisfaction anyway – until now, when VAR has been forced upon them.

    If Cyprus, Malta, etc. can have VAR for their domestic leagues,
    then Scottish football had no choice but join the crowd – eventually.

    Maybe unintended consequences, resulting directly from Maxwell’s “VAR teething problems”, will finally force the issue about poor match officiating?

    Perhaps a shocking, blatantly dodgy referee/VAR decision will cause unruly behaviour amongst players on the pitch, or amongst headbutting coaching staff on the sidelines, or amongst bottle-throwing supporters in the stands, or worse, invading the pitch?

    Regardless, with all the suspicions, resistance to change, inconsistencies of match officials and the confusing operation of VAR: there has to come an end point – somehow, you would think?

    It probably won’t be pretty,
    but it definitely would have been anticipated and avoided,
    by a competent governing body.

  • John S says:

    Maxwell himself is responsible for the debacle under his watch. Corruption has become blatant, unanswerable, contemptuous. The clubs need to take a serious look at the state of the game in Scotland with Maxwell in charge at the SFA.

    • Benjamin says:

      I’m pretty certain the problem with officials predates Maxwell, but that’s just me.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I’m convinced that we are the only group of fans that sees what is really going on with VAR. We are on our own though, for the rest of the clubs don’t give a monkies. As long as that is the case we are fighting a losing battle here, we can only wait and see what transpires and hope for the best. However, I will not get my hopes up over a favourable outcome.

  • Jimmy R says:

    Spot on James. The Scottish version of VAR could be technically better if there were more cameras. The downside to that is that they would probably take even longer to reach a decision because they have more angles to consider. It is the human (being generous there) element of VAR which is causing all the controversy, especially those idiotic early weeks where if the ball came anywhere near the arm of a hooped jersey it was a pen, but even when contacting both arms / hands of a blue jersey it was, play on. There is plenty of greetin about getting that pen on Sunday, but few, if any questions as to why we didn’t get pens against Hearts (Michael Smith) and sevco (Goldson)
    I forecast that the VAR era will be similar to the pre VAR era. Decisions will be somewhat erratic but in the end they will generally fall in favour of a team from the South side of the river.

  • Michael Clark says:

    We’re stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea in this scenario. For what it’s worth VAR offers Celtic a little more protection than an official soley in charge of a game. We don’t get much our way from VAR, going back to a referee’s in charge….. well let’s just say James Tavenier would be the leading goalscorer in Scotland . Technology is only as good as the personal using it, look at the NFL, there is so much going on in a game but it’s cleared up in seconds. Could you imagine our lot attempting that

  • John L says:

    Without var we were getting screwed and With it we can at least see who is screwing us . You are so right we need to keep it and punish the people who so blatantly fuck a simple thing up

  • SSMPM says:

    Keep Var. It’s not mistakes most of the time, as you know it’s more sinister with some, maybe not all. I don’t think Collum’s corrupt for example, just out and out incompetent so he defo needs an honest VAR official to get to the right decision. Agree It’s honest objective VAR officials that’s required so keep banging the drum.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Now that we have VAR to try and help [force] our match officials do their job in a competent, honest manner…

    Maybe we could also have something similar at the Hampden offices, to help the SFA blazers do their jobs?

    Like classroom assistants: have a relevant professional assigned to each blazer, to teach them how to do their job and operate in a competent manner.

    Maxwell could get 2 assistants…?


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