Celtic’s Lead Was Not Cut By The Home Team But By A Little Help From Their Friends.

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I try to apply two simple standard questions as to how I judge refereeing decisions in Scotland; if the decision affected Celtic, how would I have bet on it going, and if it had affected the club at Ibrox how would I have thought that it would shake out?

Celtic might have conceded that penalty at the end of the Ibrox game today, but we wouldn’t have got it that late in a match in a hundred years on the back of an incident as innocuous as that.

And just as I knew they would get it I knew that it would never have been given against them, and especially not in a competition where they haven’t conceded one in nearly two full campaigns worth of games.

I don’t know if I’d call that cheating, because, technically, it follows the rulebook and the guy had Goldson’s jersey … but I see that in penalty boxes every week and refs don’t care and VAR ignores it 99% of the time.

I feel like my views on VAR are well known by now … but we’d see spot kicks in every game if we were penalising for that every time.

I’m not here to sing the blues on behalf of Hearts; they are not even bang average, they are rank rotten and deserved to get beat. Which isn’t the same as suggesting that Ibrox’s team deserved to win because I thought they were stinking and could have played all day without a goal until VAR intervened on their behalf.

No, Hearts are like a bad comedy act and Naismith is a manager desperately in need of being put out of his misery.

But they’ll wait until they’ve lost the League Cup semi-final before Ann Budge even bothers to discuss it. When does the person at the top of that house take on an iota of responsibility for the dire state the club is in? In her case, never, but she’ll sack the managers she hired with abandon all the live long day.

No, this is another example of VAR’s officials scrutinising decisions involving Ibrox and us until the find the ones that suit their agenda.

Of course, their club was going to get that decision today, and they were scouring every 50/50 incident looking for an excuse to hand them something until Hearts provided one for them with a minute left.

And in a Scottish game where the decision has been taken not to add on all the time that’s been lost in a game, Ibrox got a penalty 30 seconds after the time added on ran out in the first half and they were given nine minutes to win the match. We got three at Easter Road yesterday. Three. And therein is the issue in a nutshell.

John Beaton, refereeing at Ibrox. I mean, what do you expect?

There isn’t a single person in Scottish football who doesn’t know what John Beaton is and we can go back and list the incidents in which he’s done his brethren favours beyond counting … his pals in the VAR box did the rest and they must have been pissing themselves laughing when they called him over to look at it. I wonder if they even gave him some joshing about maybe not awarding it?

I would say that a precedent had been set today by that, but what a ludicrous statement that would be.

You will watch incidents worse than that happen in penalty boxes all over Europe in the next seven days and beyond and neither refs nor VAR will intervene. It’s one of the rules which officials routinely discard in the rough and tumble of the game.

That could happen to us a hundred times and we’d never get that call. Hearts wouldn’t have got that today if their player had been wearing a “jersey-cam” which got torn off in the incident and the footage showed the Ibrox player throwing the thing away.

Naismith is moaning about it.

He thinks it changed the game and in this case he’s right being that the game was almost in injury time when it happened, but he’s only got himself to blame as well for sticking to a negative approach and inviting them on, a tactic which has surely been tested to destruction by now and which did his predecessor no favours.

No, the time for Naismith’s complaints was when he saw who the match officials were today and his club should have been objecting long before that.

Because they do this so consistently when they come up against Celtic and drop something late; they will always find something to blame refs for, but where’s the reform plan from these clubs?

They say they “expect” this treatment; what they actually mean is that they accept it, and their self-imposed lowly status and that’s why they’re in this mess.

But Ibrox is no better.

Their manager is happy with the performance today! If I was in his shoes I’d have thanked the officials and moved on. Because his team was awful and without a little help from their friends today his jacket would already be on a shaky nail.

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  • John Copeland says:

    Do you think that the Hearts player who caused the penalty is a the Rangers sympathiser? Maybe his attitude was that the Rangers need the points more than his own club …who knows ? There was no reason whatsoever to tug Goldson’s jersey and give away the penalty . If the silly stuff never happened ,the Rangers don’t win the game ..that I have no doubt !

  • Mark K says:

    Mate come on as much as I like to sling shite at the substandard reffereeing in this country we done ourselves no justice with that performance yesterday. We as a team rapidly need to strengthen the players which we can pull on from the bench. Forest Johnson even oh are nowhere near the quality they’re replacing now. Possibly harsh on jamesy there he’s been a great servant but his times done fee others there I’d like to see shifted on also.

  • Martin says:

    I mean, everything you say is right, but… In the 90th minute, against THEM of all teams, why would you pull that shirt, so far away from the cross? It’s lunacy. Teams need to a bit smarter against the team reffed to a different standard…

  • Gordon Raeburn says:

    James, we all know the game in Scotland is corrupt and nothing is ever going to change until we have someone on our board who is prepared to call it out. Unfortunately Liewwell and the other Tories are happy to cosy up to the SFA, SPFL and to Sevco. Bring back the Bunnet. He would have taken a stance and called out the corruption.

  • harold shand says:

    65 league games without giving away a penalty

    The incredible run of good fortune

    The media don’t dare mention

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Muir is a dangerous, dangerous card in the armoury of Sevco for sure…

    Just because he lives in Aberdeen doesn’t mean that he’s not as bad as a loyalist bigot of a referee from deepest darkest Ayrshire would be –

    Celtic can’t say much about today…

    But fear not they’ll be plenty chances no doubt to influence things in midweek at Parkhead and Dens Park…

    Cheats with whistles, flags and monitors will turn Dundee’s home ground into The (Lou)Dens Park on Wednesday evening for sure –

    PS – Well done to Naismith for speaking out against refs at Liebrox – not many opposition bosses do it – might watch the farce on Soprtscene later on tonight – but it’ll probably be rabid Huns all round on it !

  • Johnno says:

    This is the beauty of being a celtic supporter no matter how frustrating it can be at times.
    We continue to keep winning the trophies, against the cheating and corruption within the Scottish game, to keep it rotten to the core.
    Would we really be happy with depending upon cheating and lies, to keep our club relevant?
    Not a chance of it, and would be totally embarrassed to have to depend and rely upon cheating officials, just to gain a result?
    So thankfully we aren’t scum cheerleaders, and can continue to enjoy all our success, as we win so much against the blatant cheating and corruption, and will continue to do so regardless again this season

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      They did cost us in the first game of the season at Kilmarnock in The League Cup Johnno…

      Stonewall penalty not awarded –

      Taylor brutally assaulted by elbow thuggery – poleaxed on the touchline – Play on regardless Killie – And score – And not even a booking far less a red card –

      There again Alan Muir was involved…

      But, But, But – He’s no Lanarkshire or Ayrshire – He lives in Aberdeen…

      A great decoy for The SFA / SPFL that one is !

  • Peterbrady says:

    You knew it was absolutely certain today and the longer the better it took the cheating collusion corruption I got better odds to fill my boots the bookies knew it was only a matter of when. They had to give better odds it has paid for my rum and Heineken for the next month.

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    We where also poor yesterday against a very poor hib side not having we were tired after our home game in cl what are we a 45 minute team.We have players in our pool to beat most teams in the spl but no more excuses tired just not up to it yesterday also reminder “this league has long way to go and by what went on at sevco today you can’t trust the spl refs beaton will be having a few free pints tonight .

    • James Fullerton says:

      Agree James as you know over the years Rangers are the establishment favourite club ,for example they haven’t had a penalty against them for nearly ,if I’m correct 2years ,to me that tells it all how corrupt officials are in this country,James you highlighted the decisions yesterday at Ibrox and quite rightly so ,but for me the real culprits is the Celtic Board who never call out wrong decisions made by the referees in this country,I have said countless times on other blogs ,that our board needs to be replaced,but how do you replace them.

  • Paddybhoy67 says:

    If ever you needed more evidence that Scottish football is corrupt… watch those 2 incidents

  • king murdy says:

    ffs james… was a penalty all fukn day long….the prick of a defender had a grip of goldson’s shirt….
    if u wanna gripe about anyone’s performance this weekend – gripe about our totally inept, pedestrian performance against another shit team, hibs….
    i only saw the penalty incident on youtube tonight….it WAS a penalty…whatever hun was in the var box didn’t have to examine the incident too long….
    celtic fc KNOW that they can expect absolutely NO help from the huns in black…more so the reason to ensure we do not drop points – as per saturday.
    for me, saturday was more of a sickener than today’s result in govan….we have to expect that.

  • SSMPM says:

    A bit of anger free realism might be useful here.
    The Celtic 1st team squad contributed greatly yesterday to our lead being cut. The Celtic board contributed by lack of investment in the 1st team squad during the summer. While it’s gutting to see the rankers get 2 penalties by that ref, both were penalties. The first was clear as day and the second well you only have to check Haring’s mush, he knew exactly what it was for and what he had done.
    The argument that it would not go every other teams way if it happened against them is an argument worth having and carries more validity.
    Naismith and Budgie could have complained about the officials prior to the game but then so could our club regularly but don’t and to what end. Why? Well you gave the answer, it’s accepted. Why? What else can be done about it when you know the ones you’d be complaining to are part of IT, are too immersed in IT, too scared of IT and we all know what IT is.
    On how many occasions did we have so-called VAR decisions, particularly after its inception, go against us until we finally spoke out and we knew it wasn’t the rise of the machines doing it to us. We knew it was the officials and chose not to poke the bear too much in the hope it would balance out as it rarely does.
    I said the other day I still can’t believe Robertson and VAR officials gave that decision to chop off sevco’s goal at the midden and the foul could I’m sure have been interpreted differently in their favour.
    VAR didn’t throw away 4 points with 2 shitty draws nor put us out of the league cup.
    VAR didn’t do nothing wrong today, it’s a machine, it doesn’t do wrong. The officials do, those that police the system do. The phrase you should pick your battles carefully comes to mind and sorry to say what’s the point complaining based on those 2 penalties today.
    Realistically I’m not so sure the gap’s gonna be more than double figures after several shite shows from us this year but I do know we can’t have too many performances like it.
    We’ll need stronger board support, a decent January window, to fill those 1st team squad gaps, not projects, though we’ll probably be out of Europe completely by then. That’s not VAR’s fault but our own. We need to do better against pants like Hibs. C’mon a Hoops

    • MartinKennea says:

      Wee Fergus would NEVER have put up with this blatant corruption . For corruption is what it is . No one is going to convince me these fxckwits are’nt getting Brown envelopes ( or the equivalent ) How will Dermot feel when Celtic lose out on the champions league 40 MILLION ?

  • William Melvin says:

    James,you can write about these “decisions” until the cows come home,have a kip and go back out to pasture ad infinitum.
    When you say Nae Knees should have done his complaining when he found out who the ref was then in a perfect world l would agree but there’s the rub……It ain’t perfect !
    He is nothing more than a Hun who happens to be employed, albeit for the moment, by the diet huns.
    I was really expecting him to come out with something along the lines of “We dug in but just came up short against the best team in the league.”
    OK,it might have been a week late but l think you catch my drift.
    Just like his predecessor, he would rather jeopardise his own livlihood than hand that mob a bloody nose.
    We can expect NO help from ANYONE and that,it would seem,from our own boardroom either !
    Do yourself a favour and even if you’re not a betting man,get yer house on a Sevco win in next week’s semi final.

  • Hans says:

    Far softer penalty given at Old Trafford yesterday. Claiming that the incidents at Ibrox yesterday amounted to cheating (they didn’t…two clear cut penalties….Haring’s face after the incident is a dead give away) only makes it look like we can’t be objective. Save the outrage for when the REAL cheating takes place. As we know it will.

  • MartinKennea says:

    Wee Fergus would NEVER have put up with this blatant corruption . For corruption is what it is . No one is going to convince me these fxckwits are’nt getting Brown envelopes ( or the equivalent ) How will Dermot feel when Celtic lose out on the champions league 40 MILLION ?

  • Roonsa says:

    A good weekend, for me, is always Celtic winning. If that lot drop points then it’s a bonus but I don’t really care too much as I know Celtic are in charge of the situation. There is always going to be the odd kick in the balls that will sting for a while. That’s what we had to take this weekend.

    For me it’s all just the more fuel for the fire. 90 mins, 1-0 down, I know! It’s a penalty to Rangers. It’s so predictably boring. However, I am not in the slightest bit worried. That lot are an absolute shambles. They will get theirs.

    Mon the Hoops.

  • Frank says:

    the highlight for me was the way Lawrence Shankland celebrated his goal.

    He looked so annoyed with the Sevco defence

  • Michael Clark says:

    You know this, what took place at Ibrox yesterday afternoon was nothing sort of embarrassing. I was watching the Manchester derby and my neighbour who is a Ranger supporter went walking past my door putting the thumbs down shaking his head. I knew he must have been referring to Rangers. I proceeded to flip over to the Rangers game and it was 0-1 Hearts. I flip back to the derby and I received a txt from him stating Rangers had equalised through James Tavenier, he didn’t state it was a penalty but I knew, I just knew. I flipped back to the Rangers game and saw 10 minutes on the clock after the 90. Unbelievable, just unbelievable I knew what was coming next. It’s not that I think they’ll ever catch Celtic because no matter how much help they get, they won’t. But what took place at Ibrox yesterday was nothing sort of embarrassing. I would rather Celtic suffered a defeat ligit rather than get aid so blatant its there for all to see.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Our lead WAS cut by the home team, they got two penalties and they were both correct decisions, and then they scored a good winning goal. End of.

    No use crying over spilled milk, we just have to make sure we don’t drop any more daft points.

  • James McHugh says:

    Sick to the backteeth with var and cheating officials in the game that servo get am the breaks when they need them

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