I was pretty nonplussed when Bobby Madden was appointed for our game against Newco at Celtic Park last season. His favourite team is neither here nor there, but elements of his performance gave grounds for concern.
He should have red carded Jason Holt for his dangerous lunge on Patrick Roberts. The same card should have been shown to Clint Hill and awarded a penalty for the scything of Leigh Griffiths. Kenny Miller could have been sent off for a two-footed lunge at Stuart Armstrong. These incidents were not merely in favour of one team, they could clearly affect betting markets.
Money can be made on more than just the result in football games. You can bet on a red card being awarded, or not. If Madden awarded Celtic that late penalty, he would had no choice but to dismiss (already booked) Hill. The Halliday challenge had to either be ignored, or result in a sending off. So Madden didn’t even award a foul.
For a man with the length and extent of Bobby Madden’s gambling issue, this raises red flags. Thousands can be made on knowing the outcome of a seemingly innocuous element of a game of football – like ‘Will there be a red card?’ Only for the game against Newco at Celtic Park, there was nothing innocuous about that question.
Madden cost Celtic two points the last time these teams met at Celtic Park and stopped our then-18 game winning run. Betting markets were influenced at the same time. I fear we are in for more of the same tomorrow.
The SFA have a duty of care to ensure our game is clean of betting influence, this must include a clear acknowledgement of referees gambling histories. I’d avoid betting on tomorrow’s game, it is susceptible to unusual events.
NEW CQN PODCAST OUT NOW! CHRISTMAS JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS
Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Celtic authors, Stephen Sullivan and Stevie Murray for a special festive episode – Christmas Jumpers for Goal-Posts.
Stephen Sullivan is a former Celtic View reporter who wrote the much-lauded Sean Fallon biography, ‘Iron Man’. He is now the editor of FIFA.com.
Stevie Murray has now written two books on Celtic – ‘Ten Men Won The League’ and ‘Kenny of the Celtic’ – and he is a respected and authoritative voice on the club.
Treat yourself to a signed copy of Jim Craig – Right Back to 67 and you will receive a copy of That Season on Paradise signed by Bertie Auld, just order the Jim Craig book at CQNbookstore.co.uk and we’ll do the rest…