Foreign refs and pointless volleys at the BBC


Calls for foreign referees are not new in the Scottish game, but refs have successfully resisted the idea.  It is in their economic interests to have only Scottish referees take charge of Scottish games, and, most of all, they want control of the country’s biggest games.  The argument has been that if a referee works his way through the system for years, he should not be denied the opportunity to take control of the biggest games in the land.

The SFA have been sympathetic to this argument for decades but are now confronted by the country’s major clubs telling them standards are not good enough to support the game at the level it is being played at in Scotland.  A window of unanimity opened when the rent-a-statements across the city were twice hit by extended bans in a week, making it difficult for them to avoid the follow on question, “If things are not good enough, why not ask for change?”

Behind this issue lies a longstanding desire for Scottish Premiership clubs to see the SFA focus more on administering youth and amateur football, and the international team, leaving the professional game to the SPFL, where appropriate performance standards across a range of issues can be set.

Those who want a fair and open game have nothing to fear from foreign referees.  Arguments against this proposal amount to little more than an expression of self-interest.  I suggest we move quickly before some realise that decades old affinities are at risk.

I see Newco are reinforcing their 8 point deficit bunker with volleys at the BBC.  It is comforting to preach to the choir but it is also pointless.  The BBC is a broadcasting mammoth.  It employs over 20,000 staff and churns out an enormous volume of material.  Its power bases are geographically, culturally, politically and ethnically diverse.  Try conspiring in an organisation with 20 people and you’ll see why.

It will get things wrong.  It will employ people whose views you do not like and its protocols will infuriate you – after all, they must search for hours trying to find some loon to ‘balance’ all the sense coming from a prevailing opinion (a personal gripe).  But in the history of broadcasting and media, no organisation has been subject to as vigorous and accessible oversight. It is not intellectually honest to suggest otherwise.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. replying to Vale bhoy



    Yes I can confirm I need four seats for the bus on Sunday.


    I was on the bus recently for the St Mirren midweek game


    let me know if you need any contact details



  2. Scottish football is rapidly self destructing. Everything about it at the moment is poisonous. The refereeing organisation is crooked from top to bottom. Any criticism of them by managers or clubs is likely to be met by retribution on the pitch. Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock got their’s last night via a red card and the non-award of a penalty. The SFA, SPFL, the media, the clubs are all complicit. I don’t think in my lifetime I can remember a period as poisonous as the current time we live in.



    It’s likely to continue too, unless someone says, “Enough is enough.” Chairman Mao said that a journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single step. I’ve been following the hullabaloo on social media this morning. Steve Clarke is right and very brave to condemn it the way he did. He deserves everybody’s support. Lots of our fans are rallying to condemn the Rangers support but our fans did it to Kris Boyd on Saturday. It’s also no use condemning their support for hitting the linesman at LIvingston with a coin if one of ours does the same to Boyd. We know everything that any negative action by the Celtic support or by a Celtic player will be headline news and the subject of much condemnation and prolonged debate in the media and that any similar behaviour from the other side will not be held up to similar scrutiny. It’s the way things work in a society when you are part of a minority. Especially an uppity, noisy minority. Most right minded people would like it to stop, I would imagine, but who is going to take that first step? It won’t be the politicians, that’s for sure. We are currently seen as part of the problem, ‘the other side of the coin’ by most people in Scotland and UK. Saturday’s behaviour gave them evidence that we are.



    If the situation is to change, it has to come from us. We have to make the first move. It won’t come from Rangers or their acolytes in the organisations mentioned above. Celtic have to put our house in order. Celtic have to introduce a zero tolerance policy towards those elements of our support that embarrass the club and the rest of the support. Fergus introduced a policy making it clear that any form of discrimination would be unacceptable and not tolerated. That needs to be revisited, highlighted and promoted with vigour so that everyone gets the picture. Negative chanting needs to be called out and dealt with by the club. Refuse to handle tickets for away games if fans embarrass the club. Issue a code of conduct for home games stating what is not permissible: sectarian chanting, flares, smoke bombs. We were doing well for so long but have become complacent and we are now part of the problem. We can’t occupy the moral high ground if we do the same things as the people we complain about.



    Our Celtic Board need to show an example by providing leadership. If we put our own house in order and show zero tolerance to behaviour unbecoming of Celtic fans then pressure will build on others to do the same.



    Sorry for the long post. My iPad crashed 5 times and Some of my post got lost and I had to try to remember what I had said. Nightmare.




    Our Celtic Board need to show an example by providing leadership. If we put our own house in order and show zero tolerance to behaviour unbecoming of Celtic fans then pressure will build on others to do the same.



    The Celtic board and leadership?


    The same board had no problem giving police Scotland innocent Celtic supporters addresses.


    The same board who have facilitated with police Scotland a cover up of both their failings when Celtic fans were crushed due to their poor planning and the usual rescponse of police Scotland against our fans.


    Your above statement is optimistic and naive.


    When was any action by Celtic deemed as leadership by the mssm ,authorities and the best wee country?


    I agar we should cut out what happened on Sunday but even if we did the mss would make something up as a stick to beat us with.


    Until the best wee country faces up to it’s own problems we will always remain a convenient scapegoat so they don’t have to deal with their ingrained bias.

  4. One thing that was clear from Kamara’s dive and conning of ref last night was how quickly players become adept at such upon joining sevco.


    Can’t remember ever reading about his theatrics or cheating while at Dundee .


    Likewise Defoe who has developed a heightened sense of theatrics.


    Is there a diving coach at Ibrox as a full time employee or are they taught the that any form of simulation has a high chance of success in a sevco jersey ?