Penalty distribution defies explanation


As we discussed recently, there is zero point in you and me (or Celtic) claiming prejudice in refereeing, supporting evidence simply does not exist.  Bias is different, although it remains difficult to sustain with the hoary old “honest mistakes” retort.  The SFA defence for the Goldson incident is already in, although it does not cross the threshold set by the rules in my interpretation.

As we also touched on recently, we are all biased: you, me and even referees – all of us, without exception.  That means we will interpret incidents differently.  The Newco penalty on Monday being a perfect example.  Sakala’s foot landed on Carl Starfelt, how can Starfelt be penalised, many of us asked?  If it was the other way about, we would all have claimed the penalty, correctly.

Claims of bias are easy to defend at any given incident (see ‘honest mistakes’, above).  It is in the aggregate you get a picture of what is going on.  Since promotion to the Scottish Premiership in 2016, Newco’s penalty stats have differed from Celtic’s in a remarkable way.

In that period, Newco had to score 9.0 non-penalty goals for each penalty awarded.  Celtic have had to score 11.8 non-penalty goals for each penalty awarded, 31% more than Newco.

Celtic conceded 5.1 non-penalty goals for each penalty awarded against them.  Newco conceded 10.9 non-penalty goals for each penalty awarded against them, an incredible 212% higher figure.  The sample size of 6.5 years football is sufficient to expect random clusters to even out.

The Goldson incident on Monday is neither here nor there, it affected the outcome of a game but will not change the outcome of the season.  What should concern us is that a normal distribution of penalties decisions over 248 games (per team) does not exist.

As I said, there is no prejudice, but we are all biased.  The most successful clubs often see neutrals want them to lose, which is normal.  Celtic the most successful club in domestic football anywhere in the world in recent seasons, decent people will want us taken down a peg.  Referees, on the other hand, need to have a frank look at the penalty stats.  There is an anomaly with one glaring explanation.


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    Ernie – I assume that’s sarcasm.








    No it’s not sarcasm. Reid didn’t leave because some fans disliked him. That idea is ridiculous.

  2. BADA BING Who is the wee dick that gets a gig on Sky,and do you know who the two Japanese Strikers that are rumoured to be coming to Celtic

  3. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    BankieBhoy1 on 4th January 2023 9:41PM



    Clever punning. Excuse me not extending the subject for laughs.





    Our B bhoys brought home a 4-0 win. Follow them away.

  4. Coincidental to ref bias, I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts – This American Life – while the missus and I were driving upstate yesterday. It’s a brilliantly varied human interest radio show out of Chicago.



    Michael Lewis – the writer of Flashball, Moneyball and The Big Short – was talking about his new podcast called Against The Rules and an episode (below) looking at why fans hate and mistrust referees despite evidence suggesting they’re better at their job – and better scrutinised – than at any time in history. It’s worth a listen:




    In the US, the NFL has an entire ‘nerve centre’ devoted to putting right the wrongs on in-game decisions.



    Earlier, The Blogger Formerly Known As GM, suggested there was no point in Celtic raising potential issues with the SFA or the like… he’s abso right. That’s like trying to think your way out of a migraine.



    But others here have asked if the club has a Strategy to cure the bias-meets-honest-mistakes issues…



    We need to take the issue outside of Scotch football. It needs independent and influential eyes on it… within Caledonia, there’s no open-mindedness to unpack and resolve the issue lest it adversely affects the Status Quo.



    If we had someone with no skin in the game affirming the data, other clubs in other jurisdictions and and bigger authorities may start to scrutinise the situ more seriously and put the pochle under the microscope.



    But the other side of doing so is that if the outsider finds there’s no malfeasance, then we CQNers we have to go back to discussing preferences for toasted/roasted cheese.



    My own view. VAR’s introduction to the game isn’t for fairness and fan benefit; it’s to pump up the controversy and keep eyes and ears on the controversy debate so to keep attention on the sport between ever-so-slightly rigged games – at times when we have so many other content channels competing for our attention.

  5. Aye Duncan supposed to be a Motherwell fan ,absaloutlty like Cowan a typical,Hun,also I haven’t listened to Clyde 1Superscorboard in years,not since Jim Delahunt was sacked,



    “Dr John was labelled a “warmonger” and run out of town by those who disagreed with his politics.”



    He became the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, seems quite evident why he couldn’t continue as Chairman of Celtic PLC, por cierto.

  7. I think everyone seems to be missing the point, Connor blocking his face, at such close range, shouldn’t be a foul.


    Surely we should be congratulating the Beaton and Collum for getting it right?


    Whatever happened to standing firm behind the moral high ground?

  8. Por Cierto


    Dr Reid had left the NIO some 5 or 6 years prior to assuming Chairmanship at Celtic


    No overlap or correlation

  9. BRRB.


    Good morning mate.


    I hope that you and the family are all well.


    I will see you The MORRA at HIGH NOON.



    I havent been out since last Wednesday, so Im looking forward to a wee ( or BIG ?) Bevvy.


    I had a New Year ” BY PASS”, so NO Drink.


    HH Mate.

  10. IF it is TRUE, that there was a ” BUG” affecting some Celtic players prior to the game against the Huns, then the Bhoys did very well considering those circumstances ?


    I wonder IF Celtic can THREATEN to WITHDRAW their Funding for VAR…until such time that we can see FAIRPLAY being demonstrated ?



    Have Beaton and Collum been questioned yet ?


    If not….WHY NOT ?




  11. Celtic sign young Hibs defender after ‘rolling out red carpet’


    Conlan Smith has made the switch from the Hibees, just a year after he was spotted at his local side Gartcairn




    Young CONLAN is only 11 years old….He and his parents were most impressed with the WELCOME that Celtic put on when CONLAN and his family were invited to Celtic Park on December 21st.


    Will CONLAN be the ” NEW” CALMAC…..or the First Conlan Smith ?


    Welcome to Celtic wee man.



  12. What is the Starz on

    Hot Smoked


    Mad Phil’s pal ( the one who does the Rangers accounts and attends all the Ibrox board meetings) has a sister who is a senior NHS consultant in Glasgow and she told a taxi driver..

  13. onenightinlisbon on

    HOT SMOKED on 5TH JANUARY 2023 8:54 AM


    Has the ‘bug’ rumour any substance? From where did it originate?



    Ange mentioned it very briefly in his pre match interview.

  14. ONIL


    Thanks. Bit quiet this morning….are Killie not inspiring enough to warrant comment?





    Saint Stivs





    Big Jimmy with bunnet on right of picture.






    Well spotted mate.


    I was a rather DAPPER young GENT back then…


    Nowadays Im NOT so Dapper nor am I young…….and Im certainly aint NO GENT !





  16. Police found a stash of “potentially dangerous items” including a “baseball bat” after members of the Rangers ultras group the Union Bears were given early access to Ibrox Stadium ahead of the Ne’erday derby.



    And they were ejected from the ground just hours before the clash with Celtic following the discovery, reports The Scottish Sun. The haul was found in a bin after supporters were allowed entry ahead of the 12.30pm kick off to lay out banners in the Broomloan Road Stand.




    TWO of the Union Scumbags were charged with DRUG Offences during/after the Polis search.


    Are the Huns gonny BAN these Peepil ?

  17. When you have a corrupt governing body, a corrupt media and a corrupt club in govan & no one questioning anything then they have a free reign to do as they please.



    When you have every club agreeing to the 5WA that the club that cheated won’t be punished they will always have a free reign.



    CFC & every club in Scotland complicit since 2012 and if you remember correctly a Mr Peter Lawwell said give me the bullet and I’ll fire it the res 12 boys did and they couldn’t because Freemasons run Scottish football.



    Why do you think Sir David Murray has never been touched? He’s a 32nd Freemason.

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