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Celtic Should Not Be Fobbed Off By The SFA’s “Independent VAR Review” Findings.

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If you’ve been following the news today you’ll know that the SFA is hailing VAR a tremendous success, and claiming that an “independent review panel” – which the SFA itself set up and filled with its own placemen – has concluded that it is working and that of over 400 incidents which were looked at only three were actually judged to have been wrong.

For a start, that’s a deeply suspect claim. Less than 1% of decisions?

Let me tell you why that sounds suspect, alright? VAR, in the EPL, brought match decisions from being 82% correct to being 94% correct.

That still leaves 6% of decisions that are wrong. Are we saying that we have a better standard of officiating here than in the English top flight? Where they have professional refs, declared allegiances and an outside organisation running VAR itself?

Absolute nonsense. I don’t believe that for two seconds.

Look at the three decisions; one involving Aberdeen and two involving Dundee.

But we don’t even have to cast our minds back that far, to the games before the split, to see how ridiculous that claim actually is; are we being asked to believe that VAR got the Ross McCausland decision against Livingston right?

Nobody who has watched that incident believes that’s a penalty kick, nobody except maybe Kris Boyd. That decision is lamentable, it’s an obvious dive and VAR should have over-turned it.

So why’s it not on the list of wrong calls?

This stat is defended by the claim that they have brought in “experts” to show them how each decision is in accordance with the laws of the games.

But I’ve done a crazy and radical thing at various times over the last ten or so years and it’s this; I’ve actually studied what the laws of the game say, and in many circumstances, they are subjective and open to interpretation. They have to be, or every challenge could constitute a foul and every handball in the box would result in a penalty kick being awarded.

So “by the book” is a lot different, in practical terms, than saying that decisions are gotten right. This is the SFA’s way of mounting some defence of itself, and the reasons why are obvious when you understand that as far as they are concerned, VAR is here to stay.

They will defend it to the bitter end and you know why? In order to referee games in Europe, officials have to come from a country which uses the technology. The SFA is looking after its own.

Celtic has seen what “independent reviews” set up by the SFA come up with too many times in the past. There is no way that our club should be getting fobbed off with crap like this, and it’s not even the self-protection element of those stats or their obvious fraudulence which makes me think so.

It’s about what I wrote on this subject earlier in the month.

It’s about Warren Buffet’s famous statement about sticking a cop car behind a guy for 500 miles until he gets a ticket. That’s what VAR is being used like against us.

Officials in the VAR room can scrutinise every incident until they find something in the rule book that justifies them penalising us.

It’s also about how selective its use is, and that’s a huge problem as we’re all well aware. It’s not so much the decisions it does examine – which I’m sure are mostly right since you can bend the interpretation of the rules to suit any circumstance you want – but the ones that it doesn’t even bother to check out which have helped the Ibrox club steer clear of penalties since its introduction.

If you want some stats, I’ll give you some.

The Ibrox club has had Clement as manager for four league games.

They’ve had five penalties awarded to them in those matches.

They have only had four penalties awarded against them in league play in the last four years.

Every team in the SPFL conceded more penalty kicks than that during the last campaign.

James Tavernier has scored 58 times from the spot since he was signed by their club.

They have now gone 67 games without conceding a penalty kick in a Scottish Premier League fixture.

Try and wrap your brain around that.

VAR was introduced more than a year ago.

In that time, not even this technology, which watches everything, has seen a single incident in the Ibrox penalty area which its operators deemed a foul. That’s putting a cop on a guy’s taillight for 1000 miles and not even finding cause to hand out a speeding ticket. That does not add up at all.

But the VAR summit says its 99% effective. The SFA led “independent” review. Made up of ex-players, ex-managers and ex-officials.

The way our media is, I suppose, and we all know that you can’t turn your telly on without seeing some former Ibrox player sitting there looking uncomfortable as he tries to explain how Celtic won their latest game with help from bad officiating.

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  • Mottman67 says:

    Just like the ‘independent’ consultants that Celtic brought in to tell them to increase their directors pay and allowances by between 20% to 60% as the chairman told the AGM.

  • Peter mc laughlin says:

    The S.F.A . Is corrupt to the core as ref s in Scotland the var is not a problem it s the people behind watching the screen the problem with there three monkeys approach unlike in england were they are more professional

  • fitbawfan says:

    Yes an independent review panel likely made up entirely of placemen with outstanding character and integrity.

    such as

    Former Kilmarnock player Kris Boyd
    Former Dundee Manager Alex Rae
    Former Motherwell Manager Stuart McCall
    Former Hibernian player Kenny Miller
    Former Blackburn player Barry Ferguson

    If the SFA told me it was raining I’d check to see which of them was pissing on my shoes.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    An absolute fcukin joke so it is…

    And just a day too late for Nicholson to wheel out as praise for these officials at The Celtic AGM –

    At least they are semi honest about things in England…

    Which is why ma former Celtic FC season ticket cash now goes to a winter and a spring long weekend to England to watch ma favourite Championship team –

    Reading the above article absolutely justifies my decision to chuck it in paying money through the turnstiles to watch a farce of a competition…

    I still buy merchandise from the Celtic FC club shops all the same –

    But I sure as hell ain’t paying towards watching a corrupt and bent competition !

  • Scouse bhoy says:

    Been told on video celts nicholson was at this farce . He is neglecting his duty by not calling out the whole shambles be it incompetence.bias. corruption or a mix of all three.

  • Tam says:

    Maxwell (of the SFA/SPFL) explained why Jota was offside when he “received” the ball. Allan (the head of refereeing) slated referee “Madden” for allowing a CELTIC goal to stand..he wasn’t pleased and left Scottish football to officiate in England.
    It was pointed out by (expert pundits and kris Boyd) that Meada was onside when the ball was played. And even (SMSM) said and printed the Aberdeen player should have been sent off. Yes VAR is working…. NOT….. well maybe for one club from GOVAN….. the “independent” inquiry reminded me what lord nimmo said “after” the inquiry and he was paid….he could have given the same verdict before the inquiry started because (the information given and the scope was so narrow)

  • Martin says:

    Just from a maths/science point of view it’s a flawed conclusion. It only looks at things that VAR did intervene in. That’s incomplete.

    Pointless nonsense.

  • Paul Fitzpatrick says:

    Are teams compelled to pay for var at their grounds or can they opt out by saying enough is enough?

  • Ed says:

    Ofcourse the VAR has 99% correct. They didn’t show the incidents where no VAR intervention was used. Like the 7 Goldson handballs or the blatant McCausland/Kent dives.
    In the words of the SFA: Nothing to see here Timmy.

  • Nathaniel says:

    Dead simple, name the SFA panel and let supporters decide if is independent or not.
    Why is shirt pulling a VAR issue in only one game this season and ignored by VAR officials in all other games?.

  • Pau1888 says:

    The SFA ( Supine Feeble Aholes) trying so very hard to gaslight us all, but we see you. How I wish we had someone at Celtic that would take these incompetents to task. Scottish football needs a root and branch deep clean.

  • SSMPM says:

    Anyone that’s been involved in any commissioned research knows that that body or organisation that’s paid for it invariably gets the results or the majority of them that the body that commissioned it wanted. Particularly if the parameters are set by that body. Why else would they commission it.
    If you then load it with like minded individuals that aren’t directly in the payroll of that body or organisation you can then call it independent. You get what you pay for.
    If the Celtic board decide not to challenge its findings, not to rock the boat particularly when we’re winning, then as Lawwell alluded at the AGM when discussing their increase in wages you get what you paid for.
    It’s a rigged ballgame and Celtic gets what it pays for. HH

  • Eldraco says:

    You did hear about the performance art from the top table at the AGM did you not JF.

    Not only are they fobbed off but they could not give a fuck ,flying or otherwise and that’s if they had collectively any left to give.

  • robroy says:

    that stats are terrible. am sure morton got a penalty against rangers tho when dessers handled in the box or am i wrong

  • Celticfcman says:

    I guarantee you this stuff wouldn’t fly for one second in America. That freedom of speech thing protects us from that nonsense, yet the world continues to tell us that we should be more like them. I’ve listened to Tom Boyd countless times biting his tongue and barely saying anything, and then being “charged” with a crime because he dared intimate that the ref is not on the level. My wife and I cannot believe that countries of the world are so backward in this day and age, where people are not allowed the simple freedom to call out refs cheating. I notice how careful you have to be in what you write and say, to the point of absurdity. It sickens us and we feel for you not being allowed something so basic that we take for granted every day. I’m not saying that the United States is corruption free, far from it. Nor am I stating that we can absolutely say anything we want to, there are limits. But to not be allowed to state the blatantly obvious fact that the entire Scottish football system is rigged because of something so foul as racism, is ludicrous. It’s like a great conspiracy theory movie, except that it’s plainly true. I liken these scumbags to the extreme diehard faction of Trump supporters. In our country that group is in the vast minority, and our people do not tolerate their nonsense.
    The media, government, and military are overwhelming against them as well. Unfortunately for Celtic supporters in Scotland, it’s the opposite situation. Ruling bodies either ignore or encourage hateful racist behavior, a clear example being the SFA. Whereas Diego Simeone creates the illusion for his players that it’s “us against the world”, Celtic truly does have that fight. All the more enjoyable when we win those titles and rub it in their hateful faces.

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