Kenny Clark missing the point on human bias


Former referee, Kenny Clark, spoke to the BBC on the subject of bias in referees last night: “For anyone to suggest that a referee would work for 10 or 15 years to get to the top level of refereeing in Scotland and would then cheat the fans simply in order to give ‘his team’ an advantage is just nonsensical.”

Putting aside for one moment all recent issues in our game, everyone is prone to bias, conscious or otherwise.  It is part of the human condition. If referees insist they are immune, they are contributing to the problem.  Instead, they should be aware of the potential.  Former referees should encourage them to be vigilant.

Clark explains how much work goes into getting to the top in refereeing and that it would ridiculous to jeopardise a career to help your football team, but he is missing the point.  No wonder refereeing is in such a mess if they go around telling each other they are not affected by the human condition.  They are human, they make mistakes and are as subject to bias as any other group of professionals.

Clark was happy to cite the new SFA procedures as being sourced from English football, but omitted the add that English football addresses this very question of unintended bias by asking referees which team they support.

Celtic Charity Football Talk, Xavier Centre, Carfin
Saturday 19 January, 8pm

I am joining Tom Boyd and George McCluskey for a question and answer in Carfin this Saturday.  There will be plenty to talk about, as always, while Tom and George will add the wisdom from their years of experience in and around the game.

Tickets are £7 each, call Mick on 07827 975271 to book.  Beneficiary is Vision of a Blind Golfer.  See you there.

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  1. “Chick White can exkloosively reveal that today at some point somebody at Celtic Park will potentially have a discussion and mention possible transfers during that discussion…………at that potential meeting, potential transfer targets include, a guy from Aberdeen, Andres Iniesta, John McCarthy, Jim McCarthy, Jenny McCarthy and a guy potentaily called ” Randy” from America…….”







    What is certain that given the provenance of this guff, one two or all of the above are sure to at some point SNUB Celtic following these unlikely discussions while over at ranjurz anither Carlos Fandango jets in………to seal his dream move.








  2. A few of us chatting yesterday spotted that flaw in Kenny’s patter. Bias hardwired in our DNA is a well accepted fact. How we can allevaite that is what we try and do in other professional domains – technology, culture, checks and balances, diversity, etc.



    To deny it exists is just another nail in the credibility of these so-called administrators. The fact that it went unopposed was even more bloody frustrating.

  3. The Hands-White said an hour ago,we are in for McCarthy,and the RB from Olympiacos,meetings ongoing just now…..

  4. Paul wrote: “Tickets are £7 each, call Mick on 07827 975271 to book. Beneficiary is Vision of a Blind Golfer. See you there.”



    Did he mean the pun????

  5. In ither News



    Kris Boyd confirms he will definitely have a kebab and a pint of Lager at some point today or in the next few days, potentially.

  6. The ayes to the right – Right back and Centre Half


    The no’s to the left – Scott McKenna and Ya Ya Toure

  7. Clark was happy to cite the new SFA procedures as being sourced from English football, but omitted the add that English football addresses this very question of unintended bias by asking referees which team they support







    When asked about the English referees declaring, he said it was not relevant and a matter for them.



    As an aside I had to laugh recently at Man City fans moaning about referee Anthony Taylor who has I believe declared as a supporter of Altrincham, refereeing the Manchester Derby. Apparently the fact that he lives in a Manchester Untited supporting town and lives 6 miles from Old Trafford is questionable.



    Keith Hackett is the former head of PGMOL and he explained how the organisation go about making sure officials aren’t appointed to games where they may have a vested interest.



    “At the beginning of every season the referees’ background information is audited,” he said.



    “They complete a form that includes who they support, the history of if they’ve played the game and with the addresses where they are residing. That gives you a picture that comes into use when you’re appointing.”

  8. when i frequently travelled I get to use the lounges.



    Often I have seen a group of SFA Referees in transit somewhere. Usually to European matches or Internationals. I cant help but watch at their shear posturing, pompousness and absurdity. Body language experts would have a field day. They seriously have a common behavioural trait, an invincibility while wearing those SFA Blazers. The big I AMs and look at me’s. Also in the party will be a junior SFA assistant, often a girl, and the daftness of them running after the refs. It really is like going back in time.



    Untouchable these people, they really are narcisists (spelling)



    i wish i could find the comments from when celtic hired someone to analyse Dallas senior bigots behavior at that past game.



    shower of cheats the lot of them.

  9. James Mccarthy has played about 15 games in the past 2 seasons.



    He lacked pace before he broke his leg.



    Only saying.

  10. ps,



    another frequent traveller and similar charachter is craigan.


    He will put out a set of notes, different coloured pens, and do that dictaphone shit to himself talking into his phone.




  11. Of course the real problem is that they wouldn’t be able to find a ref for sevco games and by default ours

  12. Klark and Co graciously facilitated by, sleekit dead-sheep questioning by that ither hun Kenny on Shortie……..


    ….when the questions are so horribly skewed where in hell’s name is any objectivity going to enter these discussion and provide reasonable enlightenment?………..Klark’s whole premise was horribly slanted to be as unrecognisble from basic human logic as could be.



    The scoddish, knuckle-shufflers have it sewn up, yet Celtic are still expected to effortlessly cast aside and overthrow these bigoted barnacles.



    60 % .

  13. What is the Stars on

    James McCarthy is a very under rated player


    I would love to see him in the hoops..He would give us a bit of dig and he is “one of our own” but more importantly he is a very good footballer

  14. etims has posted up the list of referees, unfortunatley without their towns.



    i am going to guess that if they declared the teams they supported growing up, none of them will be celtic fans. but also none will declare an honesty of supporting the original rangers, or the 2nd rangers. They wpuld all decalre for lower league clubs, or even the juniors.



    i really do wonder how many are masons.




  15. South Of Tunis on

    .” Student me was taught that the success of the British system of Government could be attributed to the Men In The Grey Suits -ie -The Civil Service – watching last night’s farce and this afternoon’s Theatre of the Absurd from the House of Commons , I’m forced to conclude that it isn’t Men in Grey Suits that is currently required , it’s Men in White Coats ”



    Blogger -La Repubblica 16 1 2919



    Today’s lunchtime choon -unfortunately the A side doesn’t seem to be online -.



  16. Kenny Clark missing the point on human bias.


    I think the word intentionally, would fit well in your sentence Paul.



    Kenny Clark after dinner speaker, who freely admitted not giving John Hartson a foul because of a grudge from the previous season.


    The same Kenny Clark who denied giving Celtic a blatant penalty at Ibrox for a foul on Neil Lennon because it would have caused a riot.


    The same Kenny Clark , who despite having a clear view, didn’t even book Duncan Ferguson for head butting John McStay. An assault he would end up in prison for.

  17. kenny isn’t missing the point at all.


    he knows exactly what he is doing and that is giving his 100% support to liars and cheats.


    this cheating has been going on as long as i have been a celtic supporter and that started in the early 60’s.


    the cheating will continue as long as celtic do nothing.


    i would rather we walked away from scottish football than continue with this farce. we only give this corruption credibility.


    we can start be boycotting the scottish cup.


    let’s see how the SFA would explain that situation.

  18. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    It’s a bit like saying nobody would work hard for years to get qualified to work in finance and then jeopardise it by getting involved in corrupt practices. Is he saying that doesn’t happen?


    Typical of that programme to wheel out somebody they can rely on to support their agenda.


    Did they ask him if the decisions in the game were wrong?


    Did they ask him what should happen to a referee who makes so many clearly wrong decisions?


    Deflect, deflect, deflect.


    Focus on the legal technicalities of the process and ignore the real issues.

  19. “Randy Benchwarmur former MLS ” Star” of the Saskatooon Hooter- Humpers has sensationally SNUBBED Celtic in favour of the impressive Shaboygan Samba Bay Toe-Curlers, while over at Glass-Cow Rainjurz , Armando Noneck has agreed a big bucks shift to Gerard Stephen’s new look franchise.



    The Guff

  20. Foreign refs is one solution as compiling a group of refs who don’t support sevco (or Celtic) is nigh impossible.


    An absolute minimum should be professional officials instead of the jobs for the boys (from the lodge) hobby they have at the moment.


    Having their livelihoods depend on their decisions might help, but the pressure to make decisions that help sevco and hinder us seems to come from above. That is the real problem we have. Have Celtic had a reply yet for their request for a meeting?

  21. Can James McCarthy take a free kick or a corner? It’s a massive part of the game , cheap goals so to speak, that we don’t seem to partake in

  22. Bhoys and Ghirls,



    As previously pointed out by 16 Roads, James McCarthy has not played a competitive game for a full year after his horrific double leg break.



    It’s too big a risk for us to take for the 28 year old. We need players who are match fit and ready and can step into the team immediately.


    I like the idea of Irish Glasgow bhoys playing for us but not at any cost.



    Sorry not for me, however in Brendan I trust.




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