The Referees Statement Yesterday Was Damning. Scottish Football Is Already In The Next Crisis.

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Yesterday, Scottish referees released a statement following the weekend’s meeting with the SFA and I thought that even in pulling their punches they managed to say everything they needed to. It was damning.

They have demanded more protection and intimated that the governing bodies are not even willing to offer them the minimum of it which they feel they need.

There will almost certainly be no punishment handed out to Ibrox for its shocking behaviour since the start of the month, and I have no doubt refs asked for a punishment and have been shamefully let down.

The SFA is not prepared to take a stand.

You know what I think?

I think the SFA and the SPFL telegraphed their intentions on this front over the last few days when they helped the Ibrox club negotiate a concession on PPV games out of Sky. What was the public interest in putting that story in the public domain in the way they did it? It was a gesture to the Ibrox club and its fans from the governing bodies saying “Look! We’re partners after all!”

And you know, Ibrox will view that as contemptuously as I do.

Because appeasing these Peepul has been the standard since 2012 and as I wrote at length last week, it is a policy which has proved to be disastrous. This time it’s been done at the expense of the officials, and Ibrox will only feel emboldened to act against them again at the time of their choosing in the knowledge that nothing will be done about it.

At the same time, tonight you have Keith Jackson writing that the SPFL could yet intercede to force Celtic to give them tickets to our ground even if there’s no movement on the issues that matter to us in the long-running saga of the away fan allocations. That’s another message to get the Ibrox club and fans onside, another olive branch nod and wink to the wise.

So to me, it’s no wonder the refs feel completely abandoned and that, of course, will have consequences for the whole of the game. Not that they’ve done themselves any favours by tying this situation to demands for more money, which is both tactically and strategically stupid whilst they continue to insist on the protection of total secrecy around decision making.

These people are so badly advised. They took the threat of a strike off the table way too early in the day too, but that could just be that as I said before nobody at either Hampden or Ibrox wants this to escalate to a point beyond which anything might have to change.

Which is why everything has to change.

The whole culture at the SFA needs swamping out.

The leadership is a joke. Gutless, without vision and content to rule over a kingdom of ashes; these have to be the most pitiful “governors” of football in Europe.

But I think this time most of us expected there to be something. A player or a manager would be severely sanctioned if he questioned even the wisdom of a poor decision, and this club created an entire fortnight of sound and fury to target one guy and they weren’t even questioning his skillset, they were outright accusing him of cheating.

There is no way they should have gotten away with that, but when you read that referees statement it is clear that they have. Our game is on the brink of anarchy here. Ibrox continues to push as far as it thinks it can get away with, and its leaders meet no resistance at all. So they have no disincentive to push further next time.

So, this is not even the end of one crisis, this is the start of the next one.

And all the while, the fourth estate says nothing that will get them on the wrong side of the Peepul.

This is when a healthy media should be screaming at the SFA and the SPFL to act … that they aren’t is exactly why the conditions for anarchy exist and have multiplied in the past few years.

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  • Scouse bhoy says:

    They are above any laws . Going for a treble still in europe there is no crisis as far as they are concerned. All the other clubs ours as well are just as gutless as the media.

  • Charlie D says:

    And all the while the Celtic board sit there doing and saying nothing. They have a smoking arsenal and no appetite to use it. Therefore the assertion that I have had for the last 20 years is that we as a club are being deliberately reined back by our own board. Absolute bloody scandal !

  • Johnny Green says:

    The referees don’t give a Rafael. In the main, they don’t feel threatened and they won’t rock the boat too much. In fact they are using this situation to try and get an increase in their wages, for them every cloud has a silver lining……and the shitshow must go on.

  • SSMPM says:

    In 2012 the SFA were partners in crime with the old club. In doing so they left themselves open to future accusation for their collusive actions from the powers that be at the midden and have thus been paying for their silence ever since. It was the supporters of the other clubs, all bar Kilmarnock – shame on them, that determined that newco start in the bottom league, not the SFA/SPFL.
    Like a Mafia Supergrass the rankers are as low as you get and they will take them down with them if the SFA try inflicting punishment for law breaking on them. That is the SFA reward for creating a corrupt arrangement for their lodge brothers, for covering up about their debts to EUFA and allowing them to play in European competition, for allowing newco to keep league titles, cups and the midden to play in.
    Of course the fact that Rangers had gone bankrupt and would thus never be forced to pay their massive debts newco claim to be the same club. The SFA say they are too.
    The same lodge influences hang over them and can do it would seem what they like? HH

  • Bunter says:

    It’s a sad state when Celtic, the biggest club in the country, are being metaphorically punched all around the ring by the print press, Sky, BBC, Clyde, the SPFL and the SFA on a daily basis and our representatives – the Celtic board – do nothing, nada, ríen. They say nothing and don’t communicate with the fan base, including shareholders, of which I’m one of many.
    In Scotland, we have to rely on our excellent bloggers and sites like Phil MacGiolla Bhain’s for forensic analysis and news.
    Is there no Celtic minded journalists or neutral journalists left in Scotland? I despair.
    This board need to grow a pair pronto, take these guys on and own the debate and start wielding the big stick a bit. Or we will hand the tribute act the keys to the champions league kingdom.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    So they have gotten away with it Scot free once again…

    It’s not really Celtic’s issue yet it is Celtic’s issue –

    Where is Brendan and our board about the push in the box on Turnbull by Penalty Tav…

    Absolutely nowhere to be seen and heard about it – That’s where the spineless ones are –

    Sevco’s lot would shame our gutless, yellow, spineless and cowardly manager and board…

    The time to shout from the heavens about that was when we had won on Hogmanay and not like the last time we spoke out about Morelos and his ninety minutes of common assault from the corresponding date four years earlier…

    Despite the Sevco board being the charlatans that they are they actually truly CARE about their club and CARE about their rabid and nutcase fan base –

    D’ya know what I’ve actually got a grudging respect the size of ma 20 stone torso for them for that…

    I’ve got the respect of the size of my little toenail for our bloody spineless lot –

    Their wives must have played away from home to have children…

    Because our lot simply have absolutely No Fcukin Balls !

  • Tony Hand says:

    Here in Ireland we have a term to describe a guy who does you a bad turn. He’s known as a “cute hoor”, pronounced “whore”. In farming lingo a ” hoor” is a young male calf, castrated at birth and sent for slaughter when he’s a year old. Politicians would qualify as “cute hoors” any day of the week. In bonnie Scotland the football authorities, to a man, are all “cute hoors” particularly the referees. For many years Willie Collum has cheated his way through matches, always favouring the tribute club. He deserves all the “abuse and backlash” that has come his way these past few weeks. All “hoors” eventually end up on the butcher’s shop…. now it’s just his turn.

  • MartinKennea says:

    I think things will get a lot lot worse . No ref will want to give even a free kick against ibrox . Can the Celtic plc not see this coming ?

  • JimBhoy says:

    Collum should have taken the SFA to the cleaners for not backing him in his job and he and family facing threats and defamation. Undue stress and not for the first time. His employers do nothing.

    SFA will avoid putting him in charge at Ibrox without denying it is bowing to the wish of the Klan. So they win. The SFA/SPFL need a clearout top to bottom.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Our own club’s leadership is also looking increasingly

    weak and impotent.

    Our ‘Wise Monkeys’ sit on the Board,

    scratching their @rses, looking the other way

    whilst taking the money, trips and other perks.

    Just like 2012.

    12 years later, we are all witnessing a slow motion car crash of the Scottish game,


    with a drunk, drugged up, lunatic sevco at the wheel,

    again. 🙁

  • Stephen Docherty says:

    It’s time for the SFA and all there members to be held accountable and to be held responsible for the damage they have caused to football in Scotland

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