There Is No Incentive Right Now For Celtic To Continue Paying For VAR.

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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.

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  • Allaboutceltic says:

    As I understand it, the further up the table you finish (or it could be based on annual revenues), the bigger percentage you pay towards VAR, so Celtic are by far the biggest contributors.

    I’ve been saying from early on in it’s introduction that we should withdraw our sponsorship of this farce as it’s been used against us.

    The only country in the world who cannot make VAR work as it should because of the incompetence and hatred towards our club.

  • Stephen Lochrie says:

    Cantwell should have be off in the 12min of game, jumped hoarding after he scored(bookable offence). Deliberately pulled back a celtic player in 12 min also a bookable offence fre kick awarded but no action taken. Different set of rules for one company. Don’t get me started with the two keepers situation.

    • Martin says:

      That’s a fair point, Stephen, I forgot about him going to the crowd. That indeed should have been a booking, I was just looking at his 20 or so fouls. But yeah, could’ve been 2 yellows. Well remembered

      • James Forrest says:

        Yep. As I said in the piece, Ibrox always has one player who the officials consider almost untouchable and this guy is the poster boy for them right now. We’ll see how long it lasts, but the referees protecting him could be something we need to consider next season.

  • Jimmy says:

    The ball hitting a supporting arm on the ground does not constitute a penalty. That’s the rule. The ref did fine and I have no issue with that so spare us the sour grapes James. Can’t think of a derby ianywhere where you try out fringe players.. They are our biggest foes. The manager has been unbelievable but on this occasion he got it wrong. Need to play our best eleven against them each time.

    • Tim Buffy says:

      I stated earlier on the week that a few players might be kept out of the firing line for their own good. Remember what Lundstram did to Kyogo in the first minute of the last game. Got away with it too.

  • Martin says:

    Sorry, but no. Your point about Cantwell is 100% on the money and he should’ve had a booking 1st half. But I’m not going to even pretend there was any controversy about the penalty at all. Never a penalty, ball hits supporting arm as Goldson’s goes to ground. It’s underneath the body and not trailing behind… No penalty. VAR will have done a silent check (and did, judging by the delay for the goal kick). All entirely appropriate. We can discuss his other goalkeeping heroics this season, by all means, but yesterday was not even a debatable one.

  • Johnno says:

    The technology of VAR isn’t the problem if set up properly, but as it isn’t then the problem remains.
    The issue was always about those using it and this was the issue before it was even introduced.
    Interpretation remains the issue and is highlighted even moreso when the same useless fucks within the playing field still hold so much control over it, off the field?
    Ridiculous situation that exists within Scottish football and has done nothing to actually help the game whatsoever.
    It still remains the responsibility of the SFA/SPFL and without any sign of actual improvement in standards then the farce will continue.
    Simple solution is holding cheating officials responsible instead of allowing to hide behind cheating corruption that exists so proudly within the powers to be of the Scottish game

  • Micahel McCann says:

    It’s the referees nothing else, corrupted under the umbrella of the SPL what else is there to say except, what is the very wealthy and powerful board of directors at Celtic doing about it? They could loose a fantastic manager when he gets fed up with the cheating and corruption. No point putting a brilliant team together to be cheated and kick all over the pitch without protection

  • Thomas Daly says:

    Stop paying for this useless piece of crap,better off without it

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