We Know Who Caused This Latest Chaos. All Involved Better Leave Celtic Out Of It.

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When referees meet up with the SFA next week to discuss Willie Collum, the fury will be turned up to nine against the Ibrox club. That’s deserved.

They are the architects of this situation and their attempt to force a Grade One official out of his role is both obvious and shameful.

The demand that Collum be removed from the rotation is without precedent.

Other clubs, including Celtic, have raised issues about referees.

None has ever, through an “official club partner” publicised a demand that he gets no more of their games. The club that cannot give Celtic satisfactory assurances that its supporters are safe, the club which told a broadcast journalist that it could not assure that he would not be harmed in their ground, has placed an SFA ref in a truly invidious position here.

Which I believe was their intention.

They were never going to get Collum sacked.

But they were willing to roll the dice. All this sound and fury has been directed at him personally and I believe for the purpose of forcing him to resign.

A club with some sense of responsibility would never have behaved like this, and when those refs meet with the SFA I’m fairly certain they’ll point out that in many ways the damage is done. The next time Collum is at Ibrox he will face the unwavering hatred of virtually the whole of the home support … that bell cannot be un-rung. It is now a fact of football life.

The SFA should be sending Collum to Ibrox as soon as he feels ready to go there. According to the media the other refs will pledge their support for him. That’s as it should be, but ultimately they all know that when he steps out for his next game refereeing them that he will be on his own on that field, and completely isolated.

The media has helped Ibrox to do this. They can slither on the hook all they want, but that’s a fact and a lot of them know it full well.

Part of the problem here is that they have an entire cadre of ex-Ibrox players mouthing off every other week and some of their comments have been scandalous. Others, like Bill Leckie, have fanned the flames in a manner that has been even more grotesque and they cannot simply wash their hands of this and blame someone else.

And I know already who some of them are going to blame; us. Celtic. And maybe they’ll even attack some of the bloggers. I hope they try, I really do.

Because I would love to go ten rounds with these halfwits on the subject.

This website is in favour of reform, for the good of the game.

Do I believe there is an anti-Celtic culture at the SFA? Yes, of course I do, and I believe that our club has proved that more than once over the years.

Do I believe that certain officials are compromised, by biases whether conscious or unconscious? Yes, because I believe the culture can’t but have an effect on how people react in certain situations.

We already know that a corrupt culture can taint an entire institution whether everyone is singing from the same hymn-sheet or not; The Met has been branded “institutionally racist.” That doesn’t mean that everyone who works for the Met is a bigot.

Tackle the real problems – a lack of transparency, a lack of professional standards, having refs declare their footballing allegiances as they have to do in England and elsewhere and, in the final extreme, remove refereeing from the SFA’s control entirely and break up the old boys network which underpins the whole structure – and there will be no need to go through this psychodrama again.

We aren’t seeking favouritism; I said in my first article on this crisis that if Ibrox has evidence that something untoward happened I want Collum gone because I don’t want cheats doing us favours any more than I want them doing favours for their club.

But of course, no such evidence existed and Ibrox knew that full well.

So, I’m happy to have the debate with whoever wants it.

But The Village Idiot yesterday attempted to drag Celtic, as a club, into this sordid episode and managed to reel off a string of allegations which were plainly and simply false. Others want to compare this to Dougiegate, where our club was able to prove that officials lied to us … that’s a documented fact.

We were not responsible for the last referees strike, although that is the spin that the media has tried to put on this over and over again.

Refs were already at loggerheads with Hampden on the subject of money and they used that incident as a pretext to withdraw their labour to get paid, and under normal circumstances I would have been the first guy to say “you go for it guys, get your wage increase.”

But they slandered our club to do it.

Some people are going to point to the Celtic AGM, as that wretched embarrassment on Sky tried to in his hastily scribbled column for his gutter rag.

But far from stoking conspiracy theories, our club did the officials a favour by treating the queries on it as a joke and everybody knows that’s what Celtic did, and I have the grievance filled articles from myself, Joe McHugh and others calling Celtic out for making light of a shareholder’s question to prove it.

Celtic did not suggest corruption at the SFA.

Celtic did not push conspiracy theories or anything else.

Celtic officials laughed it off and waived the questions away, and if anyone wants to spin this against our club they better have their lawyers on speed-dial because I am convinced that any effort to drag Celtic into this will be met with a robust response.

It seems clear that the Ibrox club has seized on a minor piece of miscommunication to forment a crisis in order to remove a referee they don’t particularly like. When that failed they made sure their fans were aware that they consider him biased.

That man is now under serious pressure as a result of that. It is the most blatant act of gross intimidation of an official, by a club, that I can ever recall.

That’s what’s happened here, that’s the story and everything else is smoke and mirrors. One club is responsible for that. One club made that happen.

And that club was not Celtic, and not a single one of us should be willing to tolerate any outlet or any “pundit” who once played in a blue jersey or – and this is the important one – anybody at Hampden to attempt to drag us into their gutter.

For once, the media and the governing bodies need to direct their attention on the problem at hand and not attempt to turn this on us.

What’s that old maxim when you go shopping in certain stores?

You broke it, you own it.

Whatever comes next, it’s on them.

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  • Stevie65 says:

    Mr Collum should be contacting a lawyer, Sevco should be taken to task.

    • Dinger says:

      The sfa should hand sevco a points deduction for bringing the game into disresput and told any reacurrance they will be removed from the league

  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    Don’t ban Boyd from Celtic park, just give him a very uncomfortable silence and the Boycott treatment. With no open hospitality.

  • Brian says:

    If the sfa had any balls at all they would be charging them with bringing the game into disrepute. Cowards.

  • Dando says:

    Let Mr Desmond’s lawyers deal with them, after all they’re on retainer !!!!!!


  • John Small says:

    If we look at the meaning of deflection in the English dictionary or even on line then that completely sums up the route the Rangers have taken. It’s a strategy they apply on a regular basis to try and pacify the angry mob.Has anyone really thought through what might going through Willie Collums mind – just trying to do his job.
    My old man who first went to see the Hoops in 1952 always maintained there was bias towards them – selection for the national side was clear evidence of this decades ago .
    They just hate being second best as much as we love being number one.
    Really enjoy your articles – keeping everyone on their toes in a thought provoking way

    • Gerry says:

      Very true John! My dad is 93 and regularly went to the games when he was younger! Even he admits he has never read or heard so much ?from their corner as he has done now! Granted it’s a new club, that has brought its own fresh bitterness… but the same old cheating, bitterness and bile, is as evident now, as it was then!!!

  • Roonsa says:

    Brilliant. Every word a knock out blow. Thank you.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    The media and the ‘governing’ bodies might direct their attention on the problem at hand and not attempt to turn this on us…

    Probably the ‘governing’ bodies will sling it out with them and end their statement with a warning for ‘every’ club –

    But the media – Not a snowballs chance in Hell – They will absolutely drag Celtic into this whether Liebrox orders them to or not…

    And still an ‘odd’ Celtic supporter will still financially support them !

  • Captain Swing says:

    Remember in the TV dramatisation of the Red Riding stories the repeated use of the threat

    “this is the North, where we do what we want!”?

    Well all this baring of teeth by the tribute act and its arms-length mouthpieces is very reminiscent of that, but the sort of thinly veiled intimidation that worked in the 70s ain’t guaranteed to work now. This manufactured controversy, which was only ever intended to be a smokescreen to cover up yet another poor performance by a bang average football team, is taking on a life of its own now, which in the era of cancel culture and obsessive government regulation is not A Good Thing for those who caused it. Watching this play out is getting more interesting by the day!

  • Gerry says:

    As Celtic fans continue to enjoy and reflect our great win last Saturday, it is the deflection tactics, dishonesty and hypocrisy of Sevco that continues to dominate.( no surprises there!!!)
    Their cheerleading ex players have necks, that could not be marked with a blow torch, and as per usual, give their own biased opinion on events. The insincerity and pretence is staggering, even by their standards, and is endorsed by our pro Sevco media.
    I sincerely hope that Collum can be given a Sevco game asap, but only time will tell.
    Will the SFA take action against them or will they escape any form of punishment, as is the norm in Scotland?( we won’t hold our breath!)
    As said by many, the ultimate wish is for our game, and those who have ran/governed it ( badly,) for many years, to be completely and honestly reformed.

  • Tully says:

    Just blow the final whistle Bobby we are never going to score

  • Bob (original) says:

    Well played sevco.

    There has been minimal talk about sevco’s loss, it’s poor squad,

    it’s inability to buy any players, it’s bleak financial outloook, etc.

    And no action will be taken – just spin in the SMSM.

    The SFA will do nothing.

    The Scottish Referees’ Association will do nothing.

    Collum might just quit in disgust.

    And that’s about it. 🙁

  • Lordmac says:

    WILLIE COLLUM , CAN HOLD THE SFAs FEET TO THE FIRE in getting a large pay off if rangers get their way collum must by now know were all the body parts lie in messenger and in text over the years. the all seeing eyes know it.

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