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Two More Incidents For Celtic To Ponder As The Need For Reform Gets Ever Clearer.

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For many, many months now it almost seems as if the reform agenda is strengthened with every round of matches which passes. Crawford Allan might be on the way out the door, but he was not the start of our issues with Hampden and nor will he be the end of them.

Last week Alan Morrison highlighted “the pattern of assistance”. At the weekend we saw it in action, and it ticked several of the boxes of things he had highlighted.

One of those things isn’t even the obvious one; a couple of years ago, I did a lengthy piece on refereeing where I said that big decisions – penalties, sending offs etc – aren’t the only way to change a match.

You can destroy a team by interrupting their flow every time they have the ball. You allow tackles on them to go unpunished. You stop the match at the least excuse. You penalise every 50/50 they win. Alan is the first person I’ve ever seen who has calculated this stuff for the purposes of highlighting patterns … I think that’s an amazing part of his analysis.

We saw that yesterday at Livingston. They were allowed to waste time too, ample amounts of it. The moment we scored they ceased with that nonsense, but they did it the whole first half. The officials allow this against us time after time.

But of course, the weekend was characterised by two ridiculous penalty decisions, one which was awarded and the other which was not. The one awarded was, of course, at Ibrox for the home club. The one rejected was for us. It was as if the officials wanted to put on a show which proved the Alan Morrison theorem over the course of two games.

Another of the things he highlighted was when these major decisions tend to come, and again this was a clear-cut example of his theory in action; the Ibrox club got theirs when they were struggling and still to register a shot on target. We were refused ours when we were struggling, and we had yet to register a shot on target. See how it works?

Both are terrible decisions. Sutton was right yesterday on Sky to highlight how ours is a clear penalty, even if the Village Idiot gibbered and ranted and foamed at the mouth denying it. Michael Stewart was right on Saturday to scorn the decision to give the one they got at Ibrox. Without a doubt, these two clubs are officiated in different ways.

Over on CQN, Paul Brennan has suggested that we will not be permitted to win this. Certainly, our lives are made incredibly more difficult with the way games are refereed, but it is up to us to start putting on some pressure. Not to get special treatment but to get equal treatment, and it’s going to come down to “let the best team win.”

We are the best team. I think this will be our year. I think we will be champions. But of all the obstacles in the road, this is the one that worries me most and not without good cause. You see this pattern come up over and over again, and this weekend is as blatant as it’s ever been, and especially when so many people are talking about this issue.

All eyes are on Hampden like never before, and this stuff still doesn’t let up. And it won’t let up, not ever, until we start pushing for changes. I don’t know how much worse it has to get, but this weekend was up there with the worst so far.

Celtic needs to send the message to Hampden loud and clear, and they need to do it immediately, whether in public or private doesn’t matter as long as it heard and understood; if this title is decided by a bad refereeing call then all Hell will be paid.

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  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    “If this title is decided by a bad refereeing call then all hell will be paid”

    This will only be the case if it costs Sevco which it evidently won’t james and never will…

    Our lot will of course just be ‘surprised an£ disappointed’ –

    The damage is coming for Celtic and it is coming big time on Sunday…

    And not one of us needs to be rocket scientists to work out what is coming down the pipe to us !

  • SARAH says:

    Sadly John Kennedy stayed mute yesterday. Golden opportunity missed to up pressure on sfa.

  • John Copeland says:

    In which way will Crawford Allen’s successor be installed ? Will it be the ‘ grip ‘ or will it be the Governing bodies’ choice of puppet in situ ? It would be nice if it was done democratically by involving the clubs in some fashion in the process ? I have a feeling that would be too complicated and unnecessary for the SFA / SPFL as it will still be their way or the highway …..

  • Stephen Glancy says:

    Throughout lockdown I watched every match I could out of sheer boredom. That included watching them in Govan and I’m sure my family thought that I had suffered a breakdown or something. Every game they played I could cite at least half a dozen wildly bias decisions for them or against their opposition. It happened that we were poor that season and so many factors were working against us. Even the Scottish government. On a level playing field we would still have won that league and made the ten. Now with the big money at stake next year we are in exactly the same position. Between average form and injuries we have had a poor season by our standards. The problem is that in seasons with so much at stake the cheating is ramped up. We need to be so much better than them every season. The ‘score enough goals’ to make the refs irrellevant stuff is a nice sentiment but not really a way to approach the league championship which determines whether the riches of the Champions League will be available the next year. When you think of it these chancers at the SFA, the referees and the The Rangers are simply involved in a huge conspiracy to defraud their domestic competitors from the money available in the champions league. I still believe we will win this league but not before more blood pressure raising, head scratching refereeing decisions. We shouldn’t need to be ten or fifteen points better than them every season. It is not a handicap system in our league but it feels like it. Hopefully when we get over the line it will feel all the sweeter!!

  • Magdalena’s Chestnut Gelding says:

    James, it won’t change in our lifetime.

    We have taken the SFA to court once and wiped the floor with them. Our biggest mistake there was only getting Farry and not the whole team who followed his instructions. Bryson survived to get his imperfectly registered excuse in some 15 years later.

    The vast majority of this country prefers a club playing out of Ibrox to beat the pesky Tims. Simple maths taken from any census points directly to this imbalance and allows their bias to go unchallenged and when they are challenged we are accused of being conspiracy nuts.

    Their bias is to think we are soft and they are “aye ready”. Look at the previous club and the player they voted as their best ever, John Greig! A hard man.

    Ours? Jimmy Johnstone! An entertainer extraordinaire!

    Vive la differance!

    We have two choices, the one we have adopted for the last 40 years or the one where Davie Hay came straight out and said we should move leagues due to the dreadful decisions. (1985 if my memory isn’t entirely too cloudy).

    I would suggest that refereeing decisions and the interference of VAR has already changed the course of the title. Last season was just practice for the in plain sight approach to socking it right to us.

    Until such times that we import referees then it will never change. It will get worse.

    To allow Crawford Allan to stay in charge till the end of the season is nothing but an outrage.

  • Tonydtic says:

    If the ongoing pattern of assistance doesn’t work they’ll find another way. Let’s see which grounds they make us visit for a 3rd time after the split

  • DixieD says:

    It seems as long as Lawwell is in the building, then the SFA and Crawford Allan can carry on unquestioned. Allan’s refereeing appointments this weekend screamed of arrogance and showing who’s in charge. Meanwhile Collumn doesn’t get anywhere near a league fixture involving the rangers. Celtic should be calling out every major wrong call like the Kyogo penalty at the wkend. Only then will the MSM be forced to report it. BR should mention it on Frid at his presser, he should be saying he thought it was a clear penalty and was surprised it wasn’t given and that if there’s a similar challenge against a Celtic player on Sunday that the VAR official will do his job.

  • Jim Devine says:

    Another point worth noting James was the appointment of Robertson to ref the game so soon after Tynecastle. I don’t remember ever having the same ref in 2 out of 3 games.

  • Johnny Green says:

    “if this title is decided by a bad refereeing call then all Hell will be paid.”

    James, do you really believe that bit about all Hell being paid, because I don’t, not in the least. They have been getting away with it for many, many decades and nothing has been done to change it. So, what is going to happen this time if it all goes tits up for us?

    Firstly, I don’t believe “the fix is in” as my buddy Scud Missile would have said. I do believe though that if the right opportunity arises that the officials will do whatever damage they think that they can get away with and, let’s face it, that is just about anything.

    I have heard though these same accusations of advance fixes from various of our own fans on here prior to the last two derbies…..and it didn’t happen. In my opinion as long as our players do their jobs properly, we can overcome any of the perceived shenanigans they might face. The players are obviously up for this one, they will sweat blood and tears to get this victory and I trust them to deliver. They will be well warned by our manager to give the referee no cause to thwart them, easier said than done I know, but nevertheless they are aware of the possible threats and consequences. I don’t know though who the officials are yet, and I pray that Beaton and Dallas are not in the mix, they wouldn’t dare, would they?

    James, you reckon that the best team will win and so do I, that is what it is all going to be about at the end of the day and it is what I am placing my trust in.

    Brendan and the Bhoys will deliver a result no matter what.

  • James McHugh says:

    Why should Celtic pay for var to be cheating at every opportunity to the sevco supporters in charge of this crap defund this at once

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    They would very much dare Johnny so your prayers might not be answered at all….

    But they might just really shock everyone by throwing COLLUM in as it’s a two fold benefit to Surname – Surname And Co….

    1) – It shut’s us and ever other club’s fans up about Collum not getting a Sevco League game…

    2) – Collum cannot and will not give us absolutely ANYTHING on the day for fear alone…

    Their violence pays and pays handsomely so it does !

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Agree wi that and there’s more tae come in the run in. Absolutely nae doubt about that. Our club should be takin note of what happens between now and the end of the season and be prepared tae take it on with full commitment. Thing is tho, the damage might even have already been done. If we lost this league by say 1 point, then i.e. beaton has done his job at tynecastle and can even retire if he wanted satisfied with himself, even tho in reality, he’s a disgrace tae his profession.

  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    Get UEFA involved.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    James if the team from Ibrox win the League by less than 6 points this season then one Scottish Referee has already done the job for them and we all know his name. On the 29th Oct Hearts were ahead 1-0 and had a reasonable penalty claim turned down during the 90 mins. Referee John Beaton found 10mins of added on time, from where? nobody knows .
    During the added on time The Rangers were awarded their usual dubious penalty to make it all square [coincidentally a saying that originated in Freemasonry, how very apt] . In the 100th minute of the game, The help from Beaton payed off big time when The Rangers managed to score the winner. Even Wee Naisy questioned the decisions during the game and where the 10 added mins had come from.
    Move on 126 days and we have the same referee covering the Hearts v Celtic game on the 3rd March at Tynecastle, we know what happened. That is a 6 point swing in just two games. I don’t know where we go from here, I’ll be 80 in a few months, I doubt if I’ll see any dramatic changes in Scottish football but change will come. Alan Morrison has proved that the statistical tools are there to push our case and this Celtic board should be taking this seriously by employing a statistician and sports legal expert to take on this corrupt cartel who are ruining our game.
    I know that this has been a transitional season for us and mistakes have been made, but even with that we are still the best team in Scotland and it would be a travesty if this very ordinary Ibrox team win this League by default.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      A pure fab post indeed Micheal…

      It would indeed be a travesty if Sevco win this most important of titles especially as it’ll in all likelihood mean a substantial period in their shadow given the history between our board and their board when it comes to working capital strategy…

      It’ll be a travesty for me and for you and every other Celtic supporter…

      But not for Pistol Pete and his cohorts as ‘O%D – F#RM’ (in their eyes, not ours) is back with a bang…

      But Pistol Pete ain’t very adept at poker and it looks like Bennett and Bisgrove are a step ahead of him at that game (only it’s not a game for us Celtic supporters) –

      But fear not as Mr Desmond has his arms race to play with once again and ‘Rangers’ (are a great club – his fuckin jargon and certainly not mine) are back…

      Enjoy the contest those who wanna fund it !

  • Adam Thomas says:

    Good article James, but did you watch the ibrox match they were not struggling when they got a penalty even if you look at the stats you’ll see that ,it’s printing things like that ,that stokes conspiracy theories, although I agree with everything you wrote hh.

  • SSMPM says:

    We let the necessary pressure slip on the SFA when we had a proper Celtic supporting owner and a proper Celtic supporting board.
    When we fans say Celtic need to do this, that and the other we mean the board. This board are neither Celtic supporters nor effective in anything other than making money to enlarge the bonuses that go into their bank accounts.
    A halt needs to come to their time at the helm of this club. I’ll be honest when we were doing well during the 9 IAR I didn’t really raise my voice in anger against them but how wrong I was with that strategy.
    We need to get rid of them at the earliest opportunity. We need to continually let them know we want them gone asap.
    No more supporting voices should be heard from any of us even when they do or say something half good.
    I listened to Trump say the other other week that Hitler wasn’t all bad and that he done some good things too and I thought that’s what we do with this board. That sort of talk only allows idiots to exist when they should be outed asap and save us all a whole load of shite ahead. HH

  • John L says:

    Everything that Allan Morriston wrote and explained was there in full view and, it is beyond a joke now.

    We need a near perfect game next weekend, no fouls in either box , no tackles that could be deemed reckless, and some of the cleanest goals possible.

    Everything is possible HH

  • Gerry says:

    As per usual, some great comments, and some disparity in the opinions.

    Our biggest fear is firstly, finding out who the ‘honest officials,’ are for Sunday. Once that is in the public domain, we have to wait for their performance(s) and see whether they impact the result.

    As someone opined, the only way to negate their ( officials,) influence, is to ensure our performance is five star and we win convincingly. Easier said than done, I know, but I’m confident we have the players and mindset to do so.

    Someone also correctly mentioned that we should NEVER have to be going into games, fearing these corrupt individuals, and their subsequent biased/dishonest decisions. It is shocking, and has been for the many decades of my Celtic supporting lifetime.

    Remembering Davie Hay’s 1986 post match rant, seems just like yesterday…yet nothing has changed, with VAR merely accentuating these ‘ honest,’ mistakes.

    I do agree that it is scandalous ( though unsurprising,) for C Allan to remain in the building and cause further damage to our title hopes. Though, a consistent and in form Celtic, would have won this title by now. The time to be hammering down their doors and removing these culprits, was when we were winning comfortably, and there was no sign of Sevco!

    However, I do disagree with a number of comments, that believe we won’t ever necessitate real and proper change at Fraudulent House.

    I believe that recent events, and the information/data out there, that our (disgraceful and predictable,) SMSM won’t touch, will eventually lead to some form of change. Whether it’s as far reaching as we want or need, remains to be seen!

    They are considered the ‘establishment club,’ in their second form and consequently, get an easy ride. Of that, there is no doubt.

    This Sunday, our beloved club can lay down another huge marker, by winning and taken a huge leap towards ANOTHER title. I believe we will do that !

    If we do, we can enjoy our summer, and see what changes may develop. Whilst then watching chaos unfold at Mordor.

  • John McGuigan says:

    Our 5 draws and 3 losses also our sometimes inept displays, players missing a big part of the season through injury ect are why we are where we are at the moment not the cheating refs in spite of them i hope we now have a bit of momentum and a bit of steely resolve to get this league done and dusted and over the line and stick it right up this bunch of cheating B——s! hail hail…

  • Jim(original) says:

    As has been shown time after time, Celtic have no interest in reform, they don’t even mention or comment on blatant cheating. The best we get is some jokey, move along, nothing to see here. Part of what makes you think the game is bent and Celtic part of, or at least happy with it, is their total refusal to push on an open door, spurning obvious chance after obvious chance to at least comment, and at best fight for reform. But no, nothing, time and again.

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