I really do not understand what the fuss is about over Bobby Madden’s interview on the BBC.
Not the fuss the media made of it, nor the fuss some Celtic fans have made of it, but the fuss Madden himself made of it, in his hilariously bad answer to a straightforward and simple question.
The question he was asked – about whether or not he was a “Rangers fans” – was not ambiguous, so quite why he chose to answer it with a lot of fluff and fiddle-dee-dee and obfuscation, raising straw men just to bat them down I don’t know.
The answer was bollocks because most Celtic fans have never alleged that Madden had a season ticket for Ibrox and I have never heard the allegation that he was a share-holder there, both of which he raised to dismiss them.
Stripped right down to the basics, these were never serious propositions because it would have been the height of insanity for someone climbing the SFA refereeing ladder to appear at Ibrox every week that he wasn’t on the pitch doing games, and even more ridiculous to have been on what would have been easily obtainable share-holder lists at the club.
We have accused people in the refereeing fraternity of many things on this site, including suspicions of outright corruption. But we’ve never said these people were stupid.
The issue, as it’s always been, is where his allegiances lie.
Madden grew up supporting Rangers. He freely admitted that.
His pitiful “and then I started following St Mirren” spiel is not even thinly disguised. It’s a classic nod and wink to the wise, an excuse which has been heard in Scottish refereeing circles for years.
“My Glasgow team? Well technically, they play in Paisley.”
It’s like a bad end of pier joke long past its use by date.
He grew up following Rangers.
It doesn’t matter whether he’s paid money to attend a Sevco match at home or abroad.
We know what Madden is.
We know where his allegiances lie, and they do not lie at The SMiSA Stadium.
He sounded ridiculous pushing that line, a line which everybody is well aware is utterly bogus.
Even his questioners must have been sniggering over it, but all he’s done is draw attention, once again, to the issue we keep on talking about … officials should be made to declare their allegiances the way they do in England and elsewhere.
And yeah, some of them will try this pitiful line … but they do so at their own risk, on pain of termination should the truth ever out and this is a small country and it nearly always does.
Growing up in a staunch pro-Ibrox household and being taken there regularly growing up should be an automatic disqualifier from ever officiating one of their games … it’s not harsh, it’s a common sense measure which is considered routine everywhere but here.
Frankly, I’d have more respect for these people if they simply admitted what we already know.
There are officials in this country who shouldn’t be near, or should have never have been near, games involving our club, and I know of at least two retired officials who are Celtic fans and I’d include them in that number, especially as one of them freely admits to having been harder on us than other clubs … in the service of appearing “balanced.”
A bit like Andy Walker and Mark Wilson try to be.
With “friends” like these, who needs corrupt geezers leaning the other way?