Yesterday we were well beat, and there’s really no excuse for the performance. This article is not, in any way, an attempt to make one. Nor is it, as some of those across the city will suggest, a result of sour grapes or whingeing after a defeat.
Hey, this site and others have whinged plenty after Celtic victories on the subject I’m about to discuss; the inconsistency (if we’re calling it that) of VAR.
In the run up to the game there was some discussion that this might be the game in which Ibrox finally gave up a penalty kick. An essentially meaningless encounter. But I said prior to the match that, for them at least, there was too much at stake for that to happen. Look at the headlines today; this has got them all warm and happy for the first time in ages. They are looking to the summer with a lot more optimism and The Mooch has his “statement result.”
Later we’ll get into why we might be the ones who emerge from the day in a better place than they do – there are two reasons, both having to do with complacency – and in better shape for the weeks and months ahead. But for now let’s look at the officials.
That was a typically bad performance from them. For starters, how does Cantwell avoid a booking in that match, having kicked everything in a Celtic strip? There is always at least one darling of the fans and the media over there who is granted that kind of latitude and its clearly his turn at the moment. I thought the way the ref handled him was abysmal.
Worse, of course, by far, and confronting us with the bald facts about penalty kicks and our chances of getting one (in short, there was zero prospect of it, as I feared), was Connor Goldson once more proving that he, alone of every outfield player in Scotland, plays by a different set of rules when it comes to handling the ball.
That this wasn’t even considered good enough to go to a VAR review sums up the futility of us depending on that technology to deliver anything like even-handed justice. It is not going to happen. From the first, VAR has functioned as technology which seems as if it was implemented to find new and interesting ways of screwing us and assisting the Ibrox club. It works when it wants to … or rather when it’s operators want to. The rest of the time? Ha!
But we pay for this. In fact, I would not be surprised if our club’s wealth was being used in such a way as to subsidise the technology for others who couldn’t afford to make their own contribution. We just don’t know. What we do know is that there is already a groundswell of opinion against this technology out there and it’s gaining traction.
We also know that for our club to continue paying for a technology which is, at best, used very selectively and at worst is actually being weaponised against us would be utter folly.
Without serious reforms there is little point in pouring money into anything which at the end of the day is still within the purview of the SFA. We don’t have a choice about using their officials, but we have a choice in this and I would not be surprised if we were not moving towards a decision to withdraw our support for it. Because honestly, what is the point otherwise?
If those behind the cameras aren’t willing to use it in the proper fashion, then all we’re doing is funding them as they screw us over. I cannot see us doing that for much longer.