No Celtic Fan Or Official Should Be Fooled By The End Of Ibrox’s Penalty Free Run.

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All things shall pass. Even Ibrox’s run without conceding a spot kick. But let’s not be conned here. This run would have continued, it would be continuing now, except that it was no longer Scottish football’s grubby little secret.

We, all of us, made sure of it.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Speirs did his podcast on this.

He was inspired by the BBC journalist Richard Gordon who had stated, in an article, the bald fact that officials are biased in favour of the Ibrox club.

Gordon himself was only saying what Andrew Smith of The Scotsman had hinted at when this run was only 40 games through.

And Smith’s bringing that into light, and the 40 plus game run which had preceded it, gave many of us our cue to hammer the point again and again and again. Speirs and his podcast turbocharged the debate because suddenly it was the story on everyone’s lips with even people in the mainstream media being forced to talk about it.

The moment he put Matt Lindsay on the spot over it, in spite of Lindsay’s denials that there was anything untoward going on, I knew that run was heading towards its end. They both openly acknowledged that real questions would be getting asked if it continued much longer, and so something that was really only being talked about on the Celtic fan media sites had become one of the most debated issues in Scottish football.

Once this was no longer under the rug, once sunlight was shining in, there was no way that run could be sustained. So, take a bow, all of you, because it was all of us – the bloggers, the readers, those who post comments and share this stuff, everyone who ever asked a journalist to comment on it or simply kept up the score, this great social media army of Celtic cyberspace – working hard which brought us here.

The objective was not to change this thing ourselves – we have no power within Hampden after all. It was to make it mainstream.

When you expose something like this to genuine scrutiny it withers and dies. I’ve always told you guys that my issues with the Scottish media aren’t so much the jobs they do as they are about the jobs they don’t and won’t do … we can move the needle though. It just takes work. It just takes effort. It just takes sustained chipping away.

There is something called tensile strength. It’s a measure of how much a material can take before it begins to crack.

If you know just the right pressure points you can bring down a building. Otherwise, you chip away with your chisel and hammer until something breaks. Eventually, everything will. It takes perseverance and the knowledge that nothing withstands forever … given time and enough pressure, you can force open anything.

The real problem those who would have kept this run going for far, far longer had is that people outside Scotland were taking note as well.

I am not convinced the Ibrox club were ever close to a record – Barcelona went 48 games and there are probably other examples out there for those who want to look – but just the mere fact some here, including in the press, were talking in those terms, and that the media was constantly having to deny that something is wrong, had gotten attention.

One of the things that finally tipped the balance was the presence of VAR.

Oh yes, VAR has had its first positive impact; curiously, it has had it by not doing anything. And that’s the point.

This has to be the only league where the introduction of VAR has resulted in more penalties being given against every team in the league whilst one club continued to evade them. The European record of spot kicks counted against them too.

It’s where VAR met the stats that the anomaly stood out a mile. That’s where it was starting to become a major talking point outside of Scotland.

When you look at this situation, it’s no big mystery why this week has gone as it did. When you put eyeballs on something as dodgy as what we had here those presiding over it need to do some fast deflecting.

It works too. Look at the response of people like The Village Idiot, like Tom English, like those at The Record and elsewhere who are now telling us that the run’s over there was nothing to see in the first place. And that we should stop whingeing.

I got an inbox full of bile between full time Saturday and going to bed last night asking me if I was satisfied now with the final toll from the last two games as we go into the break; Ibrox has conceded a penalty and been refused a stonewall one (nice rewrite of reality that), we’ve dodged several sending offs and had two given against us. Are we happy now?

And my answer is, of course we are.

Because those were the correct decisions, and all we’ve done is shone enough light that it has forced the association to play it straight.

We’ve gotten basic fairness, and it doesn’t matter that getting it took cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer; that was the method they left us with.

Basic fairness is all we ever wanted. Not special treatment. Fairness.

I don’t care how much Sevconia wails and whines. I don’t care how scornful gutless wonders like English are, because as far as I’m concerned it is Mission: Accomplished and we did that, all of us did that.

And all of us are going to have to keep our eyes on what happens next, because a lot of folks inside the Association and elsewhere might just get the idea that now we’re back to zero again they can start another lengthy run of dreadful decisions.

Remember what I wrote this morning; it is not in anyone at Hampden or Ibrox’s interests to see anything change … and that’s why the furore over this weekend’s events will die down quickly and be forgotten about.

Because then people can get back to business as usual, and that’s where we have to be ever more vigilant, ever more determined and ever more set to this task.

Alan Morrison was right; do not let anyone fob you off.

One decision doesn’t change the “pattern of assistance.” The penalty run might be over, but the culture remains and it’s not changing willingly.

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  • BroxburnBhoy says:

    Agreed. When fairness is applied to situations that were ridiculously unfair and lopsided to begin with, those who benefitted from the culture of systematic assistance feel discriminated against. Their privilege has been countered and that makes them mad and bitter. Yet it is well overdue and i agree one cuckoo does not make a summer. Best to keep an eye on the VAR penalty for penalty against numbers for the Basket of Assets. If it’s working well they should come back to the average. Let’s see if that happens.

  • Mick says:

    It was only one instance, albeit prolonged, ‘basic fairness’ was achieved in the game where the penalty was awarded. The people and structures that caused that anomaly are ALL still in place, it’s only a matter of time until a new run starts. It won’t be as long as the run we’ve All just witnessed, however, it will recommence along with many referee and (VAR) assistants cheating instances.
    It could be said we won ‘the battle of the penalties’ but ‘the level playing field war’ is still raging and that is the one we should never forget needs winning…
    Institutional change is FOREVER THE GOAL.

  • Jas says:

    It isn’t finished, the fact they had none from 73 games and now is one from 74 games is still not a unbiased story.
    The upside from Killie’s penalty goal when they lost 3-1 anyway, well, it could be that Celtic win the SPFL by one goal and that “meaningless” goal doesn’t turn out that way.

  • Johnno says:

    Just another smokescreen created by the scums cheerleaders James?
    The scum didn’t actually want the longest run without conceding a penalty, to go alongside the worst team ever to take part in the CL?
    2 records, even if 1 shared, that have very little chance of actually ever been broken either?
    Of course it remains nothing more than a con regarding the scum, as only really managed to deflect the unwanted attention upon them, but certainly won’t change matters for the remainder of the season now imo?
    The officials within Scottish football are corrupt and rotten to the core, and that won’t change anytime soon either, when the agenda remains, that the scum have to be assisted in every way possible in order to try and stop ourselves?
    Exactly correct James, it will remain a time to remain even more vigilant now, as the cheating remains to be cranked up even further before the end of the season now imo

    • Adam Thomas says:

      could you refrain from using the “scum word ,every post every time ,the sites are being monitored and all you need to do is replace it with sevco .

    • Hunbasher says:

      Hi Johnno, I do believe, had the huns broken that penalty world record, that it would be broken again! By “The Rainjurz”!

  • Tam says:

    Great piece of writing….if the punishment for cheating is NO punishment why stop cheating…. Dallas, Beaton,etc etc , Crawford Allan,SFA/SPFL SMSM….

  • Martin says:

    Wise words James , my guess is that we will see the “yellow card to foul”ratio for us increase in order to cause suspensions in the second half of the season – their forums are pushing this narrative again since we beat them
    Eyes open as you say

  • James Love says:

    Flowing now , that’s great ?.

    • Sean templeton says:

      I don’t think the penalty would have been given had they been losing or drawing or even 1 in front but when they were 2 up the powers that be seen a good opportunity.. sevco were not hurt at all by that pen and maybe that also tells a story in itself
      .. keep up the great work…

  • James Ferguson says:

    So now we have a new penalty bingo game going for sevco how many games will they go before conceding their next penalty in a league match. We know that they’ll still get their dubious penalties when needed to turn a losing match into a draw or the penalty to get a win, nothing will change until there’s a clear out at hampden and new people are in place to run the SFA for all Scottish clubs and not just 1.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Keep at the bastards James and we Hoops supporters will as well…

    The whole bloody thing is SHAMEFUL and disgusting and equally SHAMEFUL and disgusting is the filthy silence of our ‘custodians’ !

  • John Mc Grath says:

    Now they start another run. If pressure works then keep it up but expand it 2 how tav pen could end up being the top goal scorer in the history – worldwide – of football. 90% penalties. What about all the different officials with their dodgy connections. Celtic have no problem lossing matches but they have a massive one being cheated. Dermot are you willing to be robbed.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    So – I had a look on Swallow Swallow there and they got their meeting with The SFA today and are not 100% happy but they got some ‘clarity’ on their penalty gate…

    And have demanded audio tapes going forward for them and ‘every’ other club like it is ‘in England’ –

    Thank You Sevco – That’s awful kind of you even though I don’t really think that yous really mean the every club bit…

    Their fans are going insane on that forum and saying that Statement (3 o’clock) is ‘not enough nor near enough’ –

    Jeez – Just how would The Sevco fans cope with our spineless and cowardly lot ??

    They’d run them outta town in a day for sure…

    Bennett and Bisgrove have more balls in their foreskin than Lawwell and the rest of our lot do in their fat and thin old bodies –

    They never quite got what they wanted but they have controlled the narrative from minute one on this and Bloody Well FAIR PLAY to them for sticking up for their club even if it is so very very wrong, They are in their first and I’ve not hears a peep from Yellow Brendan, Yellow Nicholson or Yellow Lawwell (Daddy) about this !

    Celtic have acted appallingly by doing nothing for their fans – YET AGAIN !!!

  • Tam says:

    The village idiot stated after Kilmarnock got a penalty.. well that’s the conspiracy theory put to bed…. well village idiot no it does not so they have started already…….. I’ll remind the village idiot what he said after the very first VAR call at tynecastle “it wasn’t a deliberate handball” and the one against Dundee utd when barnabi who wasn’t even looking at the ball and was”booked” he prevented a “goal scoring opportunity” with all the VAR decisions the village idiots team have been given he couldn’t spell hypocrisy never mind understand what it means ….if a decision goes against CELTIC it’s an honest mistake…..if a decision goes against the Huns …a statement will be sent to the SFA/SPFL for clarification… and the SFA/SPFL WILL oblige…as they have done here… helped by their friends in The SMSM

  • Stephen says:

    I have lived with hun Scotland for 60 year scum from the top to the bottom

  • brian cavanagh says:

    Light is the best disenfectant – if there was only one reason for signing up to this site – it has been your continued writing and promoting this -a masterclass in campaigning by you and other celtic bloggers. Thanks

  • Gerry says:

    Another good article! Their wailing and gnashing of teeth is pitiful but is probably also intended for more ‘patterns of assistance,’ after the winter break.
    I don’t think any of us will be fooled by this supposed cat fight between Sevco and the SFA.
    There certainly appears to be a staged element to their SFA protests…an organisation that has always historically favoured them !
    Celtic have to ensure that our results and form negate any ‘ honest ref mistakes,’ that may occur, when we return ! ?

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    More than a few Celtic ‘fans’ on Celtic Quick News financially ‘Supporting’ The Rancid Record, The Evening Times, and The Glasgow Times (whatever that is) online to see a Sevco story about Collum…

    No wonder these rags are clinging on at the mortuary door…

    I’m sure their editor will be onto it tomorrow –

    A fan has put it up but others are offering click links to these rancid rags…

    Well it’s a NO from me – Not now and not ever –

    I’m sure it’ll be on here on this excellent blog amongst others tomorrow (actually today now)…

    I’d rather get it on Swallow Swallow which gives a true barometer of their mentalist mindset –

    And as a bonus it’s very entertaining when Sevco lose to The Hoops like on Saturday !

  • Hunbasher says:

    The only reason their run came to an end is because, if it didn’t, then it would have been a world record, and that’s a record even that vile lot don,t want, because of the embarrassment that would bring! Beaton only gave the penalty after the huns went two goals up. He must have breathed a sigh of relief when sevco got their third? And speaking of penalties…. the furore surrounding sevco not getting their penalty at Parkhead last saturday? How many penalties do they actually want? One every three games? Every two games? Every game? Ffs! Didn’t see the same uproar when Goldson (their sweeper keeper) done a deliberate two handed save in the penalty box which was net bound, when Ange was manager? Answers on a postcard please?

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