Poor SFA governance hits Celtic again


Let’s be objective, a bloodied Carl Starfelt sits on the ground and is shouting at the referee, clearly in an agitated manner.  No one can see everything, least of all referees, so I am prepared to believe Alan Muir missed Carl being elbowed in the face, causing what police would call Actual Bodily Harm.

The assaulting arm was raised and clearly jerked back into the Celtic player’s face.  The alternative would be that the ref saw the incident clearly and decided not to red card the Ross County player, or award a foul.  It was a clear red card offence.

I have heard many referees speak about how they interpret events.  They know they don’t see everything, so they look for clues as to what happened.  When half the stadium and one entire team claims for a penalty in unison, they might not award it, but that’s because they didn’t see it, they usually know it should be a penalty, though.  As a consequence, they close their ears to the protests and get play moving as quickly as possible.

The Rules of the Game permit referees to interpret events as they see fit.  When a player is on the ground bloodied, and he reacts like a player who has been felled and bloodied, referees are permitted to interpret what happens next in context.  They do this.

Dissent is a spectrum.  I did not hear what Carl Starfelt said, but I know the context.  Whatever he said, it deserved lateral from a referee who clearly knew he missed a violent incident.

The Second Yellow

Converse to popular belief, The Rules of the Game provide no sanctuary for the second yellow card.  Practice is that a first yellow card can be picked up for a relatively minor infraction but the second yellow usually takes a clear and irrefutable breach.  This is not a rule but it happens.  It is in the same context of a defender committing a marginal foul inside the box that goes unpunished when the same incident would be penalised outside the box 100% of the time.

For his second yellow card, Carl did not grab or kick the Ross County player.  There was no trip, there was no obstruction.  Carl leaned into his opponent, who (as he did throughout the game) went down looking for a foul.  I have watched the incident repeatedly.  It was not a foul.  It was never a yellow card.  That the referee decided it reached the bar of a second yellow, elevates what happened here into the category of downright interesting.

The penalty

With 94 minutes on the clock, a shot struck a Ross County defender’s extended arm inside the box.  A penalty should have been awarded.  We have already covered the fact that referees do not see everything.  Alan Muir was having one of those days.  I am 100% sure he is not a cheat and had no intention to prejudice Celtic in last night’s game.

Here’s the thing, though, Alan Muir is refereeing Celtic less than two weeks after Crawford Allan, the SFA Head of Referee Operations, broke with good governance to re-referee a Celtic game in the media, telling whoever was interested that in his view, Celtic benefited from an incorrect decision.

We predicted we would see a backlash, Celtic would get nothing but the thin edge until everyone worked the anger out of their system.  Crawford Allan has yet to apologise for breaking with protocol and stepping outside the remit of his professional competency.  The ranks have closed, we are in for a torrid few weeks.

It was a huge game and result for Celtic.  We’ll talk more about it later, but thought we should prioritise the governance issue first.

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  1. Look at Whyte’s left leg as he elbowed CS.



    A full blooded, deliberate assault missed by all the officials.

  2. Agree Paul 67 we are in for a torrid few weeks, but surely everyone knows that these torrid few weeks have been going on for years? A grandfather of mine who supported Celtic, spoke of some shocking decisions being given against Celtic in the 1910’s, 20’s……..

  3. 67 European Cup Winners on

    A worrying observation



    We are hanging on (a credit to the manager/team)


    Recently we don’t give ourselves a cushion – the second goal


    We then hang on particularly the last quarter (20 mins)



    Winning by one goal is obviously good enough – but the pressure and tension on the players is exhausting



    Also as a footballer if you know that a 50/50 is likely to go against you or if you are in line you will get called off side and you also know if you get smashed in the face it will be judges accidental



    Playing to win under these circumstances is a huge task








    The Huns are probably boring to watch – but they seem methodical


    When they score they seem to control the ball and push for a second


    When they get the second


    The bore the arse out of the game


    it seems like they know their squad is weak so they play to maintain fitness and injury free




    But I really do believe (and yes I am paranoid) they know the referee will give them a helping hand when and if needed – the exact opposite of what Celtic players are playing under



    This relaxes them and has them playing with confidence knowing if they need help there is a good chance it will come



    It makes a huge difference




    For this reason, with our injured squad, I believe we should protect our key players on Sunday and play the team that lined up v Betis Winning on Wednesday v St Mirren is so much more important than beating Hibs on Sunday




    Obviously winning both would be brilliant – but prioritise the League





  4. Watching the first 30 minutes last night I said to my family I was worried because the ref was giving us free kicks that we wouldn’t have got at the weekend. I commented that he was likely to do something bigger as a result. My paranoia has always served me well.



    I also notice that people are starting to question referees positioning during games. Sonething I’ve bee banging on about for two years now. Maybe sone of the analytics guys could produce the relevent referee position map’s when we are in possession around the opposition penalty box as compared when they referee other teams who enjoy the lions share of possession in games.

  5. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Bankier has the heart of a mouse. And the charisma of wallpaper. He will do what he excels at – hiding.



    Anyhoo, these are the consequences when your major shareholder and CEO decide even a cheating The Rangers is THE essential component of your business model. Having emboldened them there’s no point in crying when they cheat you endlessly.



    BTW that Sportscene coverage of Celtic continues to amaze in its brazenness.

  6. no they aint, they are as important as each other.



    winning on sunday brings a trophy and gets a monkey off anges back,



    proves him a winner in the new environment. proves his appointment correct, proves his methods are working, proves he is getting the best from all the staff (including his now truested coaches)



    I will enjoy the win as i do any other trophy.



    i will be as gutted as every other time we lost a sickening league cup final, and we did many many many times.



    I want the win, i want the strongest team, i want them to put on a show (copyright bertie)



    talk of anything else is just well, very unceltic like.

  7. Now, all that said, we should have been out of sight by the time starfelt was sent off.



    What celtic can control is working on finishing amd decision making. I love exciting finishes to games but I wouldn’t mind a wee run of being 3 or 4 up by half time to give my blood pressure a chance!!

  8. The Battered Bunnet on

    Fholks, if you haven’t yet, please do make sure you are up to date with your Covid jags. Things are about to get difficult.

  9. Andy Patons Mullet on

    Thanks to last night I would think all Celtic supporters can now agree that the “game” is stacked against us. Last night was the tin lid for me. The scottish footballing authorities and establishment is completely anti celtic. Its gone on for generations and stems from our lovely wee country’s anti catholic DNA – appreciating Celtic is not a catholic club, but that is how it is viewed by others. Whether we like it or not. See how the celebrations were last season – all about stopping us more than them celebrating a new clubs first major title….

  10. Pingback: Poor SFA governance hits Celtic again | Celtic FC News Now

  11. Governance?





    LNS ? We expressed surprise ffs.


    We shafted Res 12



    The governance horse has bolted.


    Now we face the consequences of cowardice.

  12. I think you’re being very generous on Muir, P67. This man has previous as Ronny Deila will tell you. As for Crawford, we were getting shocking calls before Crawford piped up so I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions.



    Crawford still needs called out though and as do the referees. Calling out referees after we win is the road to go down here.

  13. 67 EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS on 16TH DECEMBER 2021 12:10 PM



    I’d play our strongest available side on Sunday. We need to get back to lifting trophies. Hibs season comes down to Sunday, they’ll die out on that pitch trying to beat us. We need to play our best.

  14. 67 European Cup Winners on

    SAINT STIVS on 16TH DECEMBER 2021 12:16 PM


    Me too – but you can’t have everything



    Koyogo – if he did not play v Betis he would have been available for our last 2 games


    Who knows we could have won both easily with him



    But reality is, the last 2 games we have struggled up front – we have been fortunate to stay only 4 behind



    If Rogic gets injured on Sunday and cant play for a month or if we play Koyogo and his hamstring really goes this time How will we fair, imagine – draw one and lose to the Huns go into the New Year 9 points behind



    We then lose the league the Huns walk straight into CL Group stages and get out of jail free with £40/50m or whatever the number is



    And with that £40/50 m what do you think the Huns will do with it – yep buy players to f–k us with


    Meanwhile we won the League Cup



    And BTW the team that started v Betis is good enough to win on Sunday



    You or me cannot say what will happen – all permutations are possible


    But prioritising the league is number one by a mile



    We want the same thing – but I would focus on winning the league – sounds like you would gamble on winning everything


    I would love to be wrong




  15. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Good to hear Ange giving short shrift to all the stupid questions about “Rangers” (sic) – absolutely zero relevance to Celtic.


    First goal a perfect example of how the 4-3-3 gives you extra options in the wide areas, getting the three-man combinations. Anyone shouting for two up front – you won’t get that.


    A bit too many long hopeful shots for me – we are much better when we work the openings.


    Another missed handball by Muir – maybe his view was obscured by Leigh Griffiths!

  16. Slight,very,difference to Paul in that some Refs would have given a foul for Carl’s tackle,but a Red was an utter travesty.Did it never even cross his mind that the facial knock he received,could maybe have impaired him somehow.No leniency whatsoever.


    Anyone see on Twitter him sending off the Motherwell keeper against,you know who.Farcical.

  17. 67 European Cup Winners on

    AN DÚN on 16TH DECEMBER 2021 12:30 PM


    Respect your view and I just responded to Saint Stivs above



    Under normal circumstances yep – I’m all in too



    But if we have any more injuries we will have a front 3 of Saint Stivs AN DUN and 67ECW



    I want to win Sunday too and Wednesday and every game until the break


    Going into the New Year 1 point behind and League Cup Winners would be brilliant


    Going into the new Year League Cup Winner and 6/7/8/9/ points behind would be a disaster



    But pick your fights especially when you are not strong




  18. Muir lost any self-control at the first yellow. He didn’t liked being told how to ref a game by the Celtic players, nor did he like the spectacle of him pathetically explaining how he missed a major incident.



    Starfelt’s second yellow came, I believe, on his very next challenge. Muir allowed his perceived injustice and anger to control his actions.

  19. Does Paul really believe that Muir is impartial? I despair of the Celtic board. They should have been calling for the resignation of Crawford Allan. They should be calling the for the demotion of the referees in our last two games. We’ll probably get Beaton for the game on 2 Jan.

  20. FILMS…





    ” Titty, Titty Gang Bang”







    In 1973 I went to see a Film called ” Enter the Dragon”….





    Imagine my disappointment when I discovered it was a KUNG FU movie….and NOT a Porn Film about having Sex with yer Mother in Law ?











  21. Yip, I want it all.



    There is no gaurantees, just do it one game at at a time. Strongest team we can put out.



    I am reminded of the Seville season.



    February onwards, lost league cup to huns with a feeling eyes were on upcoming liverpool game.


    We put a weaker team out at inverness in the scottish cup quarters we lost.


    We went to Dens drew 1-1.


    Won at ibrox, but then lost at tynecastle i think.



    Upshot of it all – trophyless, and lost a league by a goal.



    Play what is in front of you. The next game is lirerally your next most important.

  22. McPhail


    One of my great uncles used to go on about the refs in the 30s etc – I’ve seen with my own eyes Wharton, Davison etc.


    What is different today is that all games are televised and the evidence there for all to see – we should be calling it out especially after a win




    I NEVER said that you shouldnt do crosswords etc ?


    Since you enjoy ” Puzzles”, maybe you could solve the ” Puzzle” of who Celtic should play at Centre Forward when all of our main strikers are injured…For example ?


    Trying to work out the Maddie Mitchies rants and De Coding his online rants, are just NOT for me.


    I couldnt give a feck who he is and/or what he looks like ?

  24. But if we have any more injuries we will have a front 3 of Saint Stivs AN DUN and 67ECW






    I can still take better free kicks than most our players, as IQV said last night that they dont get their shots inside the frame of the goal is just bizarre.



    Dont ask me to run thought,




  25. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    As I wrote the other day, Crawford would be sacked by now if we lived in a normal country.

  26. Haven’t watched it back, but at the time I wasn’t shocked at the foul (we are Celtic).



    I was genuinely confused at who the yellow card was for.



    Tired of speaking about incompetent and dysfunctional refereeing but he WAS a petulant man-child over the incident.



    Did anyone see how many minutes the board said on 90? CTV missed it and I was waiting for Muir to blow from 94 – just to stick it to us one more time….🤬

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