Neither Celtic Nor Other Clubs Should Accept Crawford Allan’s Claims On VAR.

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Last night I did a piece on Crawford Allan and his ridiculous praise for the Ibrox boss just because he had decided to say something nice about refs now that the dust has settled on that club trying to turn its hate mob against a ref and have him banned from their games.

But it was only one part of a pretty bad interview in which he praised himself and his officials, claimed that VAR is here to stay and at the same admitted that it is responsible for a lot of very high profile mistakes.

He badly overestimates his sway in this issue. VAR in some form may be here to stay in Scotland, but whether clubs want to pay for it is another question. The SFA needs VAR trained officials if they want to be eligible to take continental games, so in fact it’s the clubs who have the governing body over the barrel and not the other way about.

There are few countries out there which have made such a mess of using the technology. Over and over we hear that “VAR is a problem” or words to that effect; what these people actually mean – and they let the SFA off the hook by not saying it right – is that our officials are a problem. But as much as I agree that they are, it doesn’t start or stop with them. They are poorly trained. They are poorly supported. They are poorly paid.

All of these things create the potential for corruption. Poorly paid and poorly supported could easily bring them into the orbit of seriously bad people and make them consider corrupt behaviour. When people in any workplace feel underappreciated, they don’t feel the same need to play by the rules as someone who feels the love. It creates the perfect conditions for bias and worse.

The only reason we’ve never had a match-fixing scandal here is that we’ve never looked for one. How do we know the SFA hasn’t uncovered one and buried it? The buried the EBT issue for years although they had to know about it. They made sure that their cover-up extended to the “independent inquiry” by Lord Nimmo Smith.

I wouldn’t put anything past that organisation.

We now have two full time VAR officials, and this site and others have pointed out that both of them have highly controversial backgrounds. But what’s probably most important here, even leaving that aside, is the obvious fact, which he just confirmed, that things haven’t improved since they got hired but have manifestly got worse.

So what’s his excuse for that? He hasn’t even bothered to do us the courtesy of offering one. We pretend that these are normal teething problems; it’s been over a year now and the number of mistakes is going up instead of down.

As Ange Postecoglou said when they were trying to handwave the early difficulties, after that rocky start, this system has been tried in dozens of leagues and they somehow get it work without some of the controversies we have had to put up with here.

The people running this game are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. They honestly are. The level of delusion we’re dealing with here is extraordinary. From the SPFL marking their own homework to this joker swanning around admitting that we’re getting more wrong than ever whilst asking for a pat on the back, the need for better leadership has never been more clear.

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  • bertie basset says:

    lets say we’re all paranoid and the refs are being honest , but what if a ref on any given day is dishonest and decides to cheat celtic costing them points , or the league , what is his punishment ? what is to deter him ? nothing !! P l and co know this is happening all the time as do everyone in scotland , we need to clean this up now !!

  • Thomas says:

    Spot on our refs are amateurs we,have one who works,at rangers academy where else in the world do they have refs,working for a,football club we need a over haul and professional var refs

  • Wullie Tracey says:

    It is the very arbitrary way that any particular incident is selected for a VAR decision.

    In one game an incident will be pounced on and thoroughly reviewed by VAR while in the next game almost the same incident will be overlooked with no explanation ever given to the fans to help them understand why not.

    It all appears to be down to the personal choices of the people operating the VAR whether any incident should be given a VAR review whereas it should be down to set down criteria, that should not be ignored, that dictate whether any particular incident should or should not be reviewed.

    At the end of each game a log should be available for outside review showing how many times VAR was in use throughout the game and the reason why the review was considered necessary and, of course, what the outcome of each VAR review was.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    They will end out costing Celtic the title this season – Nothing is surer…

    Other than Sonny Lawwell, Nicholson and Daddy Lawwell (for his power struggle with Rodgers) will have been equally complicit in that loss but just in a very different way !

  • Tommy says:

    I found it quite amusing that when going through the mistakes that were made that they never mentioned the penalty kick that was missed with the foul on turnbull.

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