Celtic Fans Shouldn’t Count On The New Time Wasting Rules Coming To Scotland.

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Today another blog, 67 Hail Hail, has published a very interesting piece about how England is about to change the rules on time wasting.

I watched the England Women’s game in the World Cup today and was amazed to see eleven minutes added on at the end of the game, and it made me think about the men’s World Cup, and how those rules were used there.

As 67 Hail Hail points out, these rules would massively advantage us. How many times have you seen teams like Livingston come to Celtic Park and play for a 0-0 draw or something? Hibs – Hibs for God’s sake – did it last season, and more and more managers see it as a viable strategy. That’s one of the things that’s most wrong with our league, the rise of this anti-football.

I would dearly love to see a rule change rip this weapon out of the hands of our opponents.

It would elevate the whole of the league, with clubs no longer able to simply sit back and try and hold out. Those who say our league no longer presents a challenge cannot have it both ways; back in the days when teams had a go at us, and the club from Ibrox, there were no 90 point plus campaigns … have we really gotten that much better or are they just afraid of their own shadows?

For us, at least, I do think we’ve genuinely moved to another level and when the likes of Hibs are losing in Europe to sides from Andorra it’s not a great look for the league.

Nor is the stat published by 67 Hail Hail which shows our league near the bottom of a recent survey when it came to which top flights saw most of the “ball in play.”

That’s a mere 52% of the average game. 52%. A fan who attends for the full match in our league sees about 47 minutes’ worth of football. A lot of the rest is taken up by teams diving and squealing at every foul, and wasting as much time as they can. I’ve seen sides come to Celtic Park in the last couple of years attempting to do that from the kick-off.

What’s worse is that some of these teams get praise lavished on them for “frustrating” us. It should frustrate everyone who cares about football, having to watch that, and bringing in a rule change like this should benefit the whole of our national sport.

And yet, I believe that many of the clubs and the governing bodies would be highly resistant to it.

So it either comes in as a regulation brought in at the UEFA level, or it might never see the light of day in this country. We would not be its only beneficiaries – the game itself would benefit from properly punishing time wasting – but that we would definitely have an advantage is reason enough for some to kick and scream and not want to see it.

That’s why I won’t be holding my breath for it.

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