Consequences of Crawford Allan re-refereeing Celtic games


You can set your watch by it.  On Saturday, when discussing the reaction to Celtic’s goal against Hearts, I wrote, “Celtic will face the consequences of Thursday’s decision.”  And how.  They faced a litany of incorrectly flagged offsides at Tannadice yesterday.  The appropriately named Calum Butcher’s studs-first assault on David Turnbull did not received the red card it clearly deserved.  Referees have clearly been cowed by the coordinated reaction since Thursday evening.

Despite one over-eager pundit on Sky Sports, TV pictures of the goal on Thursday were inconclusive.  Celtic were denied a good goal when they met Hearts earlier in the season in a game they would go on to lose.  Clearly wrong decisions happen every week, commonly at some grounds.

However, the outrage over this particular incident tells you all you need to know about how Scotland works.  The assistant referee who judged the goal good has had his religion and heritage explored online, the media have had a feeding frenzy and SFA Head of Referee Operations (HoRO), Crawford Allan, chose to depart from protocol to say that in his opinion, Celtic were advantaged.

Allan’s intervention in this incident is without precedent.  He was not running the line, nor on the Review Panel, therefore he is not competent to comment on the incident.  When asked, a passive response is all that he is entitled to give.

Instead, he ramped up the pressure on his officials when refereeing Celtic, permitting the officiating we witnessed at Tannadice yesterday.  Perceived injustice rattling about a media echo chamber that drew in the SFA HoRO created a false impression that Celtic unfairly benefit from referee mistakes.

Crawford Allan’s job is not to re-referee Celtic games.  His position gives him a responsibility to comment on specifics with propriety.  I have no prior beef with him, he may otherwise be an excellent HoRO, but you knew, and I knew, there would be severe consequences for Celtic for some in the media deciding they ‘got away with one’.  He should have known the result of stepping outside this remit to pour some petrol on the flames.

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  1. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Yup. Predictable.



    Yet Celtic have now power in this context? Perhaps because we have a wimp for a chairman? Or because big Pistol sold the knickers on the 5 way agreement and this is retained by the SFA as permanent leverage to pursue their pro-hun agenda?

  2. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Indeed. Crawford’s dog whistle influenced the officiating of yesterday’s game.



    I’ll be generous and say the officials were subconsciously cheating. However, that still makes them cheats.

  3. I agree with your assessment Paul, but surely the issue is what should Celtic do about it.


    I don’t want us to become a Statement a day Club but I really think that this incident deserves a Statement.


    If Celtic were to issue a concise version of todays Leader then I would be happy.

  4. Jocks Immortal Lions on

    Good article Paul.



    So what are Celtic going to do about it? Will we continue to work behind the scenes (from the back of the bus) or will someone from the Board go on record and make a common sense factual statement covering the above points? If we really are the biggest club in Scotland we need to start flinging our weight about publicly. Seems to be working for the new club.! Every time I see that Turnbull tackle the worse it looks.

  5. Pingback: Consequences of Crawford Allan re-refereeing Celtic games | Celtic FC News Now

  6. Spot on leader.



    This is what I posted on another forum before Crawford’s intervention – SC; December 3, @ 6:52 am



    “The Kyogo goal was interesting, didn’t see anything wrong with it initially, in fact it was a bit of a sublime blur.



    The commentators thought it was a goal also.



    For me, if it was a VAR analysis, it would be marginally off-side but the pace and accuracy of Ralston’s cross and the speed of thought action and execution by Kyogo made it impossible to call in real time.



    A fantastic goal.



    Yet consider this.



    All the complaining, belly aching and finger pointing that we do about being cheated by officials and “not being paranoid enough” can be easily displaced by a few decisions going our way.



    A soft penalty in the last five minutes when we are two up – likewise an off-side goal, analysed to death.



    Folk like Neilsen and his “impossible to get a result in Glasgow” playing to the crowd comment.



    Two cheeks… we know in many ways that’s exactly what we are.



    So, we belly ache or we can improve…



    Jock Stein, Martin O’Neil and Brendan Rodgers had the antidote to Scottish Football Officialdom.



    My view has been hardened by Mr Allen of the SFA’s intervention.



    The fact is we see Globally top quality referees get things wrong and being corrected by VAR.



    We see even VAR decisions being questioned due to the “thickness” of the line.



    We are talking here minuscule margins of error.



    Yet when Rangers get a advantaged by a (wrong) decision, it is brushed away, when Celtic do a Heath Robinson amateur, biased VAR is used to judge the decision.



    Word to the SFA – you want to comment on pseudo VAR analysis – get VAR.



    Hail Hail

  7. The Ludge MIB / the TFOD2.1 booster club / the hired hands in the broadcast media are so stupid they have to be stopped from drinking puddle water.



    CA — common name structure in many local golf clubs — has made a huge boo boo to keep the troops happy.



    He has now commented on one incident and guess what there will be many more over the rest of the season which now cannot be passed over without his comment.



    Silence on his part going forward would only give the game away to their not so hidden agenda — they are rattled / they are running scared / they are having involuntary bowel movements on a regular basis — and we now have to be refereed differently from the rest of the SPL in a negative fashion.



    We need to keep the pressure up.



    Can we have an apology for all the wrong offside decisions yesterday?


    Can DT have an apology over huis own personal safety on the park?


    Can KF have an apology of his medieval treatment at the hand of JS?



    They have opened the door — we need to run through it in strength.

  8. Disappointed the away support are hell bent on dishing out old dusted off songs probably on Gordon Smith’s ( mind him ? ) banned songs, wish list.



    ‘Cringeworthy’ a good CQN word quoted again, they were half a century ago, but just not on, in 2021. Oh how we laughed when the head of the SFA wrote Catholic schools were ‘ the enemy ‘ and was happy to tell everyone so, but at the same time had to ask how to be coached in what was acceptable, no wonder he jumped ship.



    Why the bru ha now?…. can’t be the loss of the ten although it still rankles, as Sevco and the SFA Roundheads meticulously hand in hand, tip toe their way to the CL proper. It might or might not keep the lights on when all their ‘stars’ run out of contract just in time for the marching season. Celtic’s new Cavalier side might chase them all the way, aided by our away support, who’s money and dues are paid regardless, but they surely need to re focus quickly.



    Plastic bottles ain’t no bullets, but it’s still hunnish behaviour IMO caused by disillusionment at Celtic direction, the board are again throwing another manager ( a very able one ) under the bus to defend the club against no questions asked cheating, hiding in a bunker, is just so last millennium.



    If you can say that Bernard Higgin’s intended ‘stewardship’ of the Celtic support and recent behaviour is not linked, think again about a catastrophic move, putting it mildly. Incumbents who should have fallen on their swords, after boardroom impotence last year, are now ‘untenable’ its time for change at Celtic and Policeman Bernard retired, may now just be Bernard, but supporters public enemy number one, nonetheless.



    The better AP’s side become the more cheating ramps up, there is more than one way to cheat and Scotland tuped them all over from Rainjurz to Sevco.



    M.O.M Calum MacGregor

  9. With regard to us “ever being accepted in Scotland” to be honest I can’t give a fig or a jot. My wife bought the Ancestry pack for my 70th birthday and when it came back it declared that I was 72% Irish and 28% Scottish and that’s kind of how I feel to be honest. If I’m being absolutely truthful, I feel even more Irish than 72%.



    Celtic we’re unbelievably good yesterday and thinking back on the match over the last 24 hours it has been the performance that has occupied my mind and kept a smile on my face. The songbook was just wrong though and Roamin’ is an execrable song in a modern context.

  10. No great surprise but such a pity that masonic refs dominate the story on a Monday. I thought we were terrific yesterday and with better decision-making and accuracy some team is getting a real cricket score one of these weeks.



    Betis is for helping the defence gel, giving Mccarthy, Mikey, Ajeti, Forrest and Bitton more minutes and saving Kyogo, Callum and big Tam Rogic for the Well on Sunday.




  11. Great to see LS come on and get fully involved.


    Good goal well taken plus the cross put in across the goal.



    He seems to have a fresh attitude compared to a lot of the team.


    Every chance / every opportunity has to be maximised.



    He obviously has played a lot of football for teams that don’t get many chances.


    Everyone to him has to be treated like gold dust.



    Too many in the squad — old and new — appear to not have this focus / hunger hard wired into their football. We are far too profligate when it comes to converting chances and opportunities.



    Penalties — very haphazard.


    Corners — getting better but still poor.


    Free kicks — conversion rate is woeful.


    Throw ins — when we get one we put ourselves under pressure.


    Chances — we seem to work at the Hollywood level and miss all the rest.



    We have become wasted by the SPL — we are too used to getting chances.


    If we miss one then another will be along soon enough — until they don’t.



    Consequently big area to work on.



    We had fewer chances earlier in the season and scored 6 goals.


    Now even the new players have picked up our bad habits.



    That is why we need LS’s attitude more than ever.



    We have been here before.


    BR1 — we had the hunger and the focus.


    BR2 — we had lost the edge to some extent.

  12. Jocks Immortal Lions on

    Looks to me like we are all pretty much saying the same thing.


    Over to you Celtic….

  13. Has CA — with his comments about the Hertz game — not brought the SPL into disrepute?


    Would it not be worth asking the question?

  14. SAINT STIVS on 6TH DECEMBER 2021 12:35 PM


    Sunday Mail, 18 March 1973





















    Police protection had to be given to Airdrie referee Bobby Davidson after the Celtic – Aberdeen Scottish Cup quarter-final at Parkhead yesterday.





    He was escorted to his car through a crowd of almost 200 some 30 minutes after the game by six policemen. A police car followed him to the Glasgow boundary.





    The 40,000 crowd at the game had exploded in fury in the 61st minute when the 44-year-old FIFA referee ordered off Jimmy Johnstone following an incident with Aberdeen left-back Jim Hermiston –WHICH HE DIDN’T SEE.





    Beer cans rained down on to the field from two sides of the ground, fans spilled on to the track, and the police made a number of arrests as they charged into the trouble spots.







    Ambulancemen were busy treating fans injured in the heat of the moment, many struck by flying objects. The game was held up for three minutes.







    The remarkable scenes were sparked off by linesman Jim Renton of Dunfermline who indicated an infringement by raising his flag.





    The referee spoke to the linesman, then called the two players before him. He booked Hermiston and then told Johnstone to go off.












    Johnstone hesitated for several moments, then ran from the field, leaving a mini-riot behind him.





    It is the fifth time in his mercurial career that Johnstone has been sent off. Last time was six years ago—against Racing Club, Buenos Aires, November 1967.





    Hermiston and Johnstone were clearly seen pushing at each other with the ball away. Hermiston was seen to pull at Johnstone’s jersey, then the little winger retaliated.





    I understand that the referee’s report will show that Johnstone was sent off for deliberately kicking an opponent, though there was a veil of silence on all fronts last night.







    The Glasgow Herald – Monday, March 19, 1973





    Week of intense excitement is in prospect





    By Ian Archer







    Scottish football follows a Saturday of controversy with a week of constant animation. A little glory awaits some one at the end of a period when the excitement will be continuous.







    On the pitches at Airdrie, Aberdeen and Ibrox, even at normally sedate meetings in Glasgow, important and tense issues will be decided. Celtic, Hibernian, and Rangers all take the strain and public interest will be awakened almost by the hour. Duty compels me to rise early and unwillingly to fly to Yugoslavia while honesty compels me to admit that this is rather like leaving the theatre just before the villain is going to be denounced.







    Celtic will occupy our minds. They go to Aberdeen to replay their Scottish Cup quarter-final and again Bobby Davidson will referee the match and again, most likely, Jimmy Johnstone will play. Pittodrie is certain to be the most intense arena of all this week.







    Johnstone, I understand, was sent off at Parkhead not for any spoken word but for an action seen by the linesman and construed by the referee to fall into the category of violent play. Jock Stein yesterday covered the incident with a grand display of non-communication and so no further fuels were added to an already explosive situation.







    The Celtic manager has another worry. Kenny Dalglish, that important cog in the team, hurt his ankle on Saturday and already appears to be doubtful for the replay, a match that would well decide if any of those major trophies are to stay in the Parkhead boardroom at the end of the season. Dalglish’s absence could be noticeable although the other injured players – Hay, Connolly, and Hunter – are all likely to be fit.







    One will hope from a distance that this replay can be conducted in the spirit of the Scottish Cup rather than in another overcharged atmosphere. In the debate over Davidson’s decision and Johnstone’s attitude, I would add only one fact – the Celtic winger has not been sent off in Scotland since 1965.



    SAINT STIVS on 6TH DECEMBER 2021 12:40 PM


    One for the billy collection, a headed goal not as well known or maybe as celebrated.














    1973-03-21: Aberdeen 0-1 Celtic, Scottish Cup Replay





    Match Pictures | Matches: 1972 – 1973 | 1972-73 Pictures | Forum










    And so onto Pittodrie on the Wednesday night for the replay; Johnstone despite his sending off, played (the rules were different then – you had to appear before the Referees Disciplinary Committee) but Dalglish missing with calf injury. McGrain, Connelly and Hunter had also picked up knocks but recovered.





    In the draw for the semi-final the winners would go on to meet Dundee at Hampden.





    Celtic stayed overnight before the game in a hotel in Carnoustie in order to prepare.





    One of big Billy’s glorious headed goals.





    Attendance: 33,465. Receipts £8862





    Hibs lose 3-0 on the night against Hadjuk Split in the UEFA cup quarter finals.





    On the previous night Celtic Reserves played a challenge match against Stirling Albion at Annfiled and the game finished 2-2. The Celtic team was Connaghan, J. Davidson, Watt, McNamara, McDonald, Callaghan, McCool, Franchetti, Hancock, White, Lynch. The Celtic scorer was Franchetti with two goals.



    SAINT STIVS on 6TH DECEMBER 2021 12:41 PM


  15. From previous thread…








    Given all the above, and knowing DU had beaten them earlier this season, I feared a long day.



    Dundee United didn’t beat Celtic this season. They drew at Celtic Park but haven’t beaten us.




    To clarify….my use of the word “them” was in reference to Sevco. Apologies for ambiguity.




  16. Garngad to Croy on

    We are still awaiting comment/ action for the “Big Sissy Nicompoop” Soutar’s playground attack (whistle !) on Kyogo from Thursday, maybe when the SFA realise a suspension will keep him out of the upcoming Huns game action will be taken.

  17. Great article Paul67.



    Remember who the enemy is, and concentrate our energies on the people who seek to damage us

  18. TOSB you should check what Ancestry mean by Scottish, a big slice of the 6 counties is included and I may be wrong but think Brittany is also there.

  19. Nice article P67.



    Instinctively I believe – as Paul Larkin’s doco explored in depth – there’s an anti-Celtic bias among officials. Fugginell; a ref celebrating in a DOB boozer after reffing against us in 2019 was proof writ large.


    It’s been a matter of concern for yonks:




    However, fans of other clubs see it – again – as an OF phenomenon, saying that West of Scotland refs dominate officialdom and, so, give us the benefit of decisions as much as they do the currants.




    Yet the truth is most of us suspect the Scottish game and all its governance is seriously compromised.


    It turns our stomach yet it seems something the club is all-too-prepared to live with.



    It was big Jock that said: “If you’re good enough, the referee doesn’t matter.” Mibby it is Ange’s mantra also?

  20. Good afternoon all,


    Still buzzing about our performance yesterday.


    Mibbery aside we were fantastic.

  21. Subconscious bias was ramped up two seasons ago when Gerrard started calling out decisions v morelos



    He has hardly been booked since



    On top of the Subconscious bias being thrust upon porteous and now kyogo Crawfords atomic bomb at weekend was a massive blow to our club and will serve ramifications until the end of the season unless our club starts fighting… and fighting publicly by first calling for the resignation of Crawford Allan.



    Even his statement was a contradiction saying ‘probably’ offside.



    Beaton and madden must be rubbing their hands with glee

  22. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Excellent stuff Paul.



    All that is missing is the statement from Celtic FC on the matter.



    Even a cheeky tweet will do for me.



    “Celtic FC awaits with eager anticipation, the SFA’s Head of Refeereing’s appearance on a national broadcasting platform to review the key incident at yesterday’s game”



    “We’re not holding our breath until it happens because, if we do, we’ll die.



    And too many Scottish football clubs have died already. We need stability and consistency in our treasured national game”

  23. Andy Patons Mullet on

    heard on a podcast earlier, celtics average offside in a game is 1.75, at DU yesterday there were 7 offsides against us….



    Crawford Allan has set the tone for the period ahead esp against the huns (version2) in January

  24. glendalystonsils on

    Rather than Crawford Allan coming out and commenting on incidents involving other teams in an attempt to create some kind of phoney equivalence , his SFA bosses should implement a policy of the HoRo not commenting publicly on individual referee decisions .


    As for Neilson , it’s a pity James Forrest’s effort hit the 4 inches of the post instead of the several empty feet of the goal inside it , as we should have won the game far more comfortably .

  25. Have Simon and Garfunkel been co-opted onto the Board yet? Safer Ground for the Board Fearties would be the studs up assaults our players have faced without the relevant protection or sanction from referees. I suspect that still won’t be enough to drag them out from behind their PLC sofa to protect the team players if nothing else…

  26. If the Club had a credible Media/ PR Spokesman, something we have badly lacked for years IMO,we could contest interventions like ones from ‘the fraternity ‘.

  27. DUMBHOY on 6TH DECEMBER 2021 1:31 PM



    ‘Have Simon and Garfunkel been co-opted onto the Board yet?’






    I reckon Art Garfunkel might be up for that, going by this.





    Ironically Garfunkel has walked, alone, across Japan, Europe and the USA.

  28. Paul67


    Why make comment then ignore the solution to the problem?



    What’s the point of that?


    The solution is calling it out, and our board have the power to do that.



    That should be the focal point of your blog.


    But of course you won’t as your are a board sycophant.


    So your whole blog today was as helpful as a fart in a spacesuit.



    Totally and utterly pointless.


    Our board had the power in 2012 to completely reform refereeing and done nothing.


    Not a thing.



    It’s like an ill person the opportunity to make themself better with medicine but refusing it, then months later when their condition worsens asking for the same medicine but being told it would no longer work.



    That was the situation we had in 2012, when clubs and those running the organisations were so desperate that they had to get Lawwell to go to London to rescue the tv deal.


    That was our chance to completely reform the refereeing set up.


    Instead your man Lawwell sat back and done nothing.


    Well, except collect his millions in bonuses.



  29. What would the club getting into a public spat with the referees actually achieve?



    Who’s going to pay attention? The SFA, Uefa?



    Do you think they’ll be shamed into changing their ways?



    Will things get better for Celtic on the pitch after a public row? 2010 suggests things will get worse. We lost the league that season by a point. Who would want a repeat of that?.



    We dont need the distractions right now. Do our work in private and keep winning on the pitch, box clever.



    Balls out public statements make everyone feel good for about 5 minutes until we get another goal disallowed for a marginal decision

  30. Had Allan commented on an incident in a Sevco match saying that they probably got an offside goal, the same Allan would have been fired, he warrants firing and Celtic must make sure this happens now, however no doubt there will be a few well known faces withing refereeing admin who are anti Celtic and always have been, I seem to remember Dougie MacDonald has a development role within the structure so no shortage of formers ready to step up.

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