Referee chief Fleming under water


We’ll discuss Celtic’s failure to reproduce the kind of performance which humbled Hearts 0-4 at Tynecastle last time we faced them later.  For now it’s worth considering what SFA Head of Referee Development, John Fleming, does next.

It’s been a year since he took over the job and whatever his hopes for the calibre of performances when he was appointed, he will surely consider the shambles of referee performances an “affront” (to use one of his words) to standards.

Euan Norris’ performance yesterday was abject.  He saw Ian Black go over the ball and plant his studs into the leg of Joe Ledley but awarded only a yellow card.  He saw the same player deliberately handle the ball later but awarded only a foul.

The rules on handball could not be clearer.  A player must make a deliberate attempt to play the ball with his hand or arm, or to have moved his hand or arm into an unnatural position, before he can be considered to have committed a foul.

This rule is neither new nor unfamiliar.  Balls innocuously strike hands and arms in almost every game raising interest only from partisan fans ignorant of the rules.  And for the record – if you are slide-tackling, jumping to head or turning your back on a shot, the natural position for your arms are not stationary and by your side.  Neither incident late in the game were penalties.

Norris failed on all important calls during the game and is clearly doing the reputation of the SFA, and by implication, Fleming, any good.

No one emerged with any credit after last week’s Charlie Richmond fiasco but Fleming suffered in particular.  His briefing to the Daily Record, which simultaneously listed Richmond’s confidential performance statistics, confirmed the impression that Hampden is playing fast and loose with appropriate behaviour.

A wise rector once said, ‘Judge me on my graduates, not my students’.  Fleming is working with the population he inherited, but it is his responsibility to improve standards and enhance the reputation of referees.  On both counts he is under water.

In a curious twist, Fleming’s predecessor is on today comparing Neil Lennon’s reaction to that of Harry Redknapp’s reaction to the referee mistake at one of Chelsea’s five goals yesterday.  The Wembley apologised for an “honest mistake”.  We’ve yet to hear the same from Norris or Fleming.

Creative writing award of the day goes to STV for this gem:

“Dallas, formerly Scotland’s head of referees before leaving his position following controversy over what was considered an offensive e-mail”.

So it might not have been an offensive email after all.  ‘Jokes’ portraying individuals or a group of people as having, or sharing guilt, with one, or a small number of, criminal(s) is fertile ground for prejudice to grow.  STV should be clear that it is inappropriate and offensive in the workplace.

We have an outstanding original canvass painting of Neil Lennon available for purchase on eBay to kick start our summer charity fundraising. This year the beneficiaries will be Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Martin Chambers Foundation and The Neuroblastoma Alliance, Aberdour PS PTA, The Haven, Blantyre. The painting, by US based artist, Joseph Gormley, is an outstanding memento of our manager during these times.

Get bidding!

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  1. Never did like Craig Beattie.



    Fitba is done now until big cup qualifying.



    Time to ditch half a dozen players (8 if you include Stokes and Hooper) and build on the decent core that we have. Still reckon Lennon, if he is to stay, needs someone else alongside him other than Mjallby or Thommo. Roy Aitken would do nicely.



    HH and happy Monday.

  2. @ChrisBarrie75 @OfficialNeil Or pack our bags and get out of this league that is run by crooked #SFA officials. #CelticFamily



    Retweeted by Neil Lennon



    The fact that Lenny retweeted this yesterday is very interesting I think,obviously Lenny feels the same way about the situation as most of us on CQN

  3. Paul67 – The Dallas utterings will clearly have done their job for the STV website, sending hits through the roof.



    Will be interesting to see if they run with it on the TV.



    Will also be interesting to hear Neil’s views when he makes them known…..

  4. Pride



    All we seemed to do is moan


    Our listener’s suppress a groan


    In victory then but not defeat


    They think that all we do is greet



    Decisions just as bad worldwide


    To take this stance will provide


    Ammunition for the twisted few


    After all, this is nothing new



    To win a game you have to score


    Inadequate, if you can’t do more


    No amount of moaning will decide


    Me, I prefer to keep my pride

  5. Patrick27



    I never like to see NL get involved with Huns on Twitter, he’s obviously a fan of the ol’ Twitter but he should stick to banter with the fans and club stuff and not get involved in red hand waving loons.

  6. Ref was dreadful, but two well placed back-post headers should have sealed the game and left them chasing our shadows.




  7. Any comment from Stewart Reagan on Norris performace yesterday? Is it time for Norris to go?


    Remember this tweet from last week:-


    Speaking on Tuesday night after Richmond made his comments, Regan took to Twitter to state his unhappiness at the referee speaking out. He said the official’s omission from SPL matches was down solely to his form.



    “Referee appointments are based on performance,” he tweeted. “Would prefer to see consistent under performers ‘retire’ without feeling need to blame others.”

  8. Anyone else get the feeling that while our season on the pitch is effectively done, or off pitch season is just beginning?



    Strap yourselves in! :)

  9. time for change on

    There is no Old Firm.



    I’m led to believe that this will be an interesting week at Hampdem, with Neil being summoned followed by the continuanceof the Rangers Case and of course the SPL vote.



    If Hugh Dallas thought (mistakingly) that the whole world was watching yesterday they will next week! Scottish football has reached it’s crossroads, make the wrong decision and many of us will be lost to the game forever….I have no intention of being tarnished by the name of the SFA/SPL. How Celtic extradite themselves from this I don’t know, however we need to.



    I’ll not make any comments on yesterday’s game other than we have no divine right to win games however the right to expect good officialdom. I will not return to Hampden till they have neutral (UEFA selected) officials for the main fixtures. I long ago stopped going to away matches!



    Hail Hail

  10. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    We have to accept there are new forms of media and twitter is one them Lennie likes to tweet and surely if we really have freedom of speech he is entitled to say his peice.My only difference is I do not believe any words will change the bigoted masonic establishment the only way to beat them is to drub there teams on the Park.H.H.

  11. monteblanco,



    Thanks for your reply last night. If I’m honest Neil could have handled it a bit better than he did, but having returned home from Donegal on a 9 day bender and watched us cheated, I wasn’t really in the form for hearing any criticism.



    Hail Hail



    Árd Macha

  12. A wee bit of perspective to all of our rage today. How tragic a story is this?



    Piermario Morosini’s club Udinese to care for his sister Both Morosini’s parents died before he was 18



    The club of Italian footballer Piermario Morosini, who died during a game on Saturday, will take care of his disabled sister, its captain says.



    Antonio di Natale said Serie A side Udinese will provide lifelong financial aid to the sister.



    She relied on Morosini for financial and emotional support since their parents died seven years ago.



    Morosini, 25, died after having a heart attack during a match while on loan to Livorno.



    “We know the situation of his sister and we as a team, the club, and Udinese for Life have decided to help her because she is in real need,” Antonio “Toto” Di Natale told the club’s TV channel. Udinese for Life is a medical charity linked to the club.



    “It is essential that we stay at the side of Piermario’s sister for her entire life. She needs us and we want to help, both for her and for Mario.”



    Both Morosini’s parents died before he turned 18. Soon afterwards, his brother – also disabled – committed suicide.



    ‘Full of life’



    The midfielder collapsed on the pitch in the 31st minute while playing in Livorno’s Serie B game at Pescara.



    He was taken to to hospital, where doctors tried unsuccessfully for 30 minutes to revive him.



    “When I saw the scene on the TV it was immediately clear that it was something serious. It was a very bad moment,” Di Natale said.



    “He was an exceptional lad, so full of life. Despite all the problems he had, he was always at the disposal of the team and every day he gave us all strength.”



    The Serie A, Italy’s top football league, cancelled all its matches on the weekend after his death.

  13. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Knightmare – liquidation looms for Rangers if £500k fee isn’t found


    By jim Traynor on Apr 16, 12 07:20 AM in



    PAUL Murray is, of course, correct. The appeal of Rangers is diminishing by the day and pretty soon it will be too late to save this club from oblivion. 48 hours and the clock is ticking.



    With every passing minute Rangers’ value, both to those who want to own them and the game in general, decreases at an alarming rate.



    The longer the Ibrox club remain in administration the less appealing they become. Their debt continues to rise and rise and rise and at the same time their prospects of a healthy future fall.



    In fact, with every new hour liquidation looms larger. A newco with all the points and financial penalties that it would attract becomes more of a reality.



    Murray, who leads the Blue Knights group, has been moved to warn the administrators that further delays are endangering Rangers’ survival but perhaps this grave message should also be passed on to the two other less serious bidders, Singaporean Bill Ng and Chicago-based Bill Miller.



    Although the administrators haven’t named them, it has become clear that before pressing home their bids these two groups want clarification from the SPL about the insolvency sanctions league chiefs hope to have ratified when the clubs meet two weeks today. It is likely to fall on deaf ears.



    Rangers are far more close to liquidation as they are to an exit via Creditors Voluntary Arrangement. A CVA is looking highly unlikely and if I may stick my neck out it is impossible. The more the process is stretched out the shorter become the odds on Rangers being shut down.



    The supporters can point their fingers at the administrators and blame them for the delays but even though it is the case that the longer Rangers are mired in administration the more money Duff and Phelps rake in, it’s hardly their fault if at least two of the bidders insist on changing or qualifying their offers. Rangers fans should be in no doubt every minute is critical to their clubs survival and history.



    It’s also true that Rangers would have been exiting administration long before now if just one of the bids was high enough on credibility to convince creditors, particularly the Inland Revenue, to sign up to a pence-in-the-pound deal.



    But the reality is this. Not one of the bids is especially tempting and unless HMRC – and they are the ones who hold the key to the CVA door Rangers want to squeeze through – can be persuaded to play ball, liquidation is inevitable



    But it is believed that so far the best bid, which is around the £14million mark, is offering the tax authorities no better value than liquidation. And you also have to take into consideration the tax man’s reluctance to cut deals.



    He does do deals, of course, but it depends how powerful and influential you and your friends are in the world and how much a criminal you are regarded.



    Basically, if you are a small business trying to survive in this recession and you owe say, £50,000, forget it. You’ll be shut down pronto.



    If you are a few grand short on your annual tax bill they’ll take your home and sell it.



    But if you are a multi-national and owe the nation’s coffers £700m, your legal and financial people will be able to come to some kind of deal with the tax people over tea and biscuits.



    That’s just the way it is but even though the King of Scotland, Alex Salmond, had a quiet word with HMRC about Rangers being one of the country’s old institutions and all that, someone will still have to offer a little bit more before this club can stagger out of trouble via a CVA.



    And, of course, before that can happen Murray, Ng or Miller will have to be granted preferred bidder status and although joint administrator Paul Clark told the Sunday papers that Duff and Phelps believed they were “nearly there last week”, the process was slowed again.



    Clark also pointed out that all of the bidders attached conditions to their offers.



    More significant perhaps, although it was delivered as an aside, was the line that one of the bidders had raised an issue over payment of the exclusivity fee, which is standard practice.



    Clark refused point blank to reveal the identity of the bidder but it’s my understanding that Murray had the opportunity to put forward a non-refundable deposit which would have led to the Blue Knights becoming preferred bidders and therefore favourites to get the club.



    They’d certainly have been in pole position to take over and start the process of rehabilitating Rangers.



    But it didn’t happen even though Murray’s group includes motor tycoon Douglas Park, London-based fund manager John Bennett and property expert Scott Murdoch. They do not have the money or are not prepared to risk it.



    A posse of others are also willing to buy into the Blue Knights’ rescue package with Ticketus.



    The finance firm, who entered into that now infamous deal which was the start of Craig Whyte’s downfall, are still a main player.



    Fearful of losing all of their money, Ticketus are apparently willing to accept only £10m of the £27m they claim they are now due from Rangers because of Whyte’s folly.



    Also, they’d be willing to let Rangers pay back the £10m on an interest-free basis over nine years.



    Murray, of course, has stressed all along that Rangers must not go into liquidation and his agreement with Ticketus, although bizarrely yet to be signed and sealed, would ease the club’s burden of creditors even though some legal experts continue to insist the London firm’s season-ticket deal would be dismissed by a Scottish court.



    However, Murray is anxious to avoid any lengthy and costly action and is now genuinely concerned that each day without positive movement is slowly killing Rangers. Yet, his group could have been well on their way to becoming preferred bidders if they’d put up the exclusivity fee, which I believe is around £500,000.



    He will have his reasons but one might be that it’s a lot of money to put up and then find at the end of the exclusivity period a deal can’t be done. Then again, Ticketus might have influenced the decision themselves not to pay the fee.



    It’s a lot of money to gamble on a club in as much trouble as this one but it is a risk someone will have to take, although I strongly suspect the administrators would accept a smaller payment, maybe even £250,000 who cares how much just find it and pay it.



    If Murray and his rivals really do want to rescue Rangers through a CVA then perhaps a different view is required. Maybe they have to ask if a quarter-of-a-million, even half-a-mill, is actually a small price to pay and even if they can afford it.



    Surely it would be if it made the difference between CVA and liquidation and stop the counter theories that Paul Murray is just wanting publicity.

  14. spikeysauldman on

    kev Jungle – CLASS ? happy to stroll on.


    BTW, i bet you the ref was very SMART in a bloody blazer yesterday.


    I’ll leave you in peace now.

  15. Joe Filippis Haircut on 16 April, 2012 at 12:54 said:




    I think the LL done a job on Neil in, saturdays paper – headlines of…


    “I can win the Champions League with Celtic!”


    That is NOT what he said!!!


    A few weeks ago, Neil said that some journalists might find themselves banned from CPin the near future!


    What are YOU waiting for Neil ?


    Ban them ALL! IMO!


    At least you’re tweets can’t get twisted. Can they ?


    Hail Hail


    Off oot


    May God Bless Paul 67 and ‘Every’ CQNer.



  16. If newco are voted back in then the game is a corrupt cartel.


    If fans decide to acccept the cheats charter then hell mend them as I will not be there to view any of it.


    As for Neil and the refs ,he is right in what he is saying it is personal for them as he keeps highlighting how poor and biased they are against Celtic .


    The sooner the 30 april comes the better as it will be straight after the Huns game and maybe then some of the so called Celtic fans will wake uk and see the sfa and spl are a stinking corrupt cesspit .


    But even then some ot the tw@ts would still blame Neil .


    Maybe then the call for BHOYCOTT will be supported en mass









  17. A few thoughts for improving the game and neutralising poor/biased refereeing (admittedly mainly alcohol induced ideas):



    Goal line technology – no pauses in the game, a no brainer.



    If a ‘goal’ is scored a video ref has 1 minute to reverse the decision – if he has any doubts the referee’s decision stands.



    Ban all penalties – nowadays the ref may as well toss a coin and, as we saw yesterday, a great way for a ref to cheat. Direct free kicks anywhere on the pitch.



    A minimum of 30 seconds added to the game for every substition and goal, no debate, no exceptions. BTW this time is doubled if a goal is scored, the scorer strips, runs round the stadium twice, then realises he just shown the world he’s a fat git.



    dragonsden CSC

  18. Reposting from previous…



    neveralone on 16 April, 2012 at 12:55 said:




    Haven’t logged in for 3 or 4 days, tend to leave the days prior to and post match CQN free.


    The post is frankly too long but I need this off my chest.



    Haven’t read any posts other than those on this particular page so although I can imagine what they are like here are my thoughts un-influenced by by others.






    1. Continue to hamper ourselves tinkering too much with personnel and player positions.


    2. Continue to hamper ourselves with players selected who MIGHT come good on the day.


    3. Continue to hamper ourselves by having a midfield lacking cohesion. Strange since this really is the area of the team with the most quality.


    4. Continue to hamper ourselves by being uncertain and inhibited in the final third.


    5. Continue to hamper ourselves by failing to construct a formidable centre-back pairing. (Though injury has hindered this).



    I cast no particular aspersions in anyone’s direction about these but merely describe the difference between a reasonably good Chmpionship winning outfit and a very fine Treble winning one.



    The penalty was outrageous (anyone at the 1970 Final against Aberdeen must have been reminded of RH Davidson sticking one onto Bobby Murdoch in a similar way & RHD WAS a scumbag cheat). HOWEVER I’ve seen them given and not only against Celtic. It was rank bad referring. In fact I’m not sure he saw the ball strike JL. If you watch him he takes a crouched position in an attempt to see the route of the ball. This might explain why he awarded the pen against VW – though that is even worse!


    Anyone seeing the Chelsea Spurs game saw possibly the worst ‘goal’ decision ever. The ref was 10 feet away – how is it possible he saw that as over the line?



    Because a contentious decision is against us it does not AUTOMATICALLY follow that it is a ‘cheat’. I am as raw as anyone about how we have been treated by match officials over the years but this one is as nothing compared to what we’ve so often been subjected to on other occassions. To lash out in disappointment is understandable, to claim bias everytime something goes against us is IMO counter-productive.



    As for Neil, a man I have grown to respect and admire (I was not usually a fan of his as a player nor greatly enthused by his appointment as manager) he really needs to consider his manner going forward.



    Am I too harsh in saying he needs to be more dignified as manager of Celtic? He is within his rights to infer when officials have been poor (or worse) but does his style add value to our grievence or deflect from the worth of our position. I believe the latter.



    It is time for Neil to sit down with the managers of the club and sort this out primarily because Neil is taking the weight of ALL the issues at the Club on himself. Celtic has an extensive Executive Management and part of the club burden is their responsibility. Neil has enough on his plate without him being the one standing the ‘fair-play’ corner.



    In future ALL refereee statements should be made by the club and Neil & coaching staff should refuse to answer ANY questions relating to referreeing decisions or answer only in a banal fashion.



    This does not mean we surrender the fight against potential cheating but rather use our powerful Executive arm to fight the good fight and let Neil get on with the main job at hand, building a powerful Celtic pool forthe good timesahead in the next 5 years.



    The Club v SFA seems a more even match than Neil v SFA.

  19. harry rednapp is a devious sneaky two faced insincere selfish liar and a crook, legeldy and all that



    neil lennon is none of the above, i wouldn’t trade lenny for arry any day of the week

  20. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    I fail to see why Beatties 200m circuit can go unpunished further .. A yellow card?



    Guaranteed if it had been us, the hoops player in question would already have his summons from the SFA for inciting a riot..






    STILL champion…

  21. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Does Hugh Dallas have own a dog ?



    I have been told he has.



    Hail Hail

  22. Paul67



    Good article, bang on the root cause in this country.



    Neil Lennon will be crucified, so let’s get cracking with bastions of morality STV, and Hugh ( tell them anything ) Dallas.



    I assume we will have an official Celtic FC period of calm reflection, and with so much going on, in consecutive controversial games at Hampden where Celtic, were quite frankly cheated, – the Celtic Support should be given further affirmation that “we will accept being treated differently”



    Neil Lennon should be officially backed with words, and deeds.



    Hail Hail

  23. twists n turns on

    I am glad Neil Lennon refuses to toe the line, that line being the one that the PC brigade wish he would follow. We have a manager who lives and breathes Celtic fc. We also have the most honest manager ever to grace Scotland’s corrupt and biased football league. He sees it as we see it, he calls it as we (or most of us) call it. We are being cheated, we know it, we tell it, Lenny knows it, Lenny tells it. You don’t get any more honest than that. Neil Lennon is you and me and how grateful we should be to the man.



    Keep telling it Lenny.



    Can we set up a “fine fund” for Lenny to pay his impending fines? Whilst I am sure he is a wealthy man, it would let him further see he speaks for us all.

  24. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Melbourne Storm stripped of everything




    23 Apr, 2010 11:39 AM


    THE biggest scandal in Australian sporting history is threatening to wipe out Melbourne Storm, rugby league’s most successful team of the past decade, after it emerged the club had won two titles while massively cheating on salary cap rules.


    The explosive revelations have left the club stripped of its last two premierships, barred from accruing points for the rest of this year, owing $1.6 million in penalties – and battling for survival.



    Senior club executives could also potentially face up to five years’ jail and fines of $200,000 under companies law if they are charged and convicted over their roles in the scandal, according to legal experts.



    And senior players and their managers may face investigation for possible breaches of criminal provisions or taxation laws if they conspired to hide the true nature of their salary deals.



    National Rugby League chief David Gallop, revealing the scandal, said investigators had discovered a dual bookkeeping system to enable salary cap cheating. Secret records hid extra player payments that were kept apart from information disclosed to NRL auditors.



    It is believed the league investigation began following a tip-off from a Storm insider who is no longer with the club. The probe uncovered over-payments totalling $1.7 million over five years. Club officials confessed to the NRL yesterday.



    It also emerged that an innocuous marquee used for corporate entertainment at Storm’s home ground played a key role in the scam.



    For five years the club made double payments for the marquee, booking a superfluous $20,000 payment for each game for something they already received under their ground hire contract. The money, amounting to $1.7 million, was channelled to star players who helped Storm win its 2007 and 2009 NRL titles.



    Former Storm chief executive Brian Waldron has been accused of being the architect of the rorts. Waldron quit the Storm in January to head the new rugby union club, the Melbourne Rebels.

  25. Earlier post said it all ‘two well placed haeders at the back post would have had them chasing shadows.



    A couple of factors in both recent cup finals are we have had some shocking decisions but also in both we had enough chances to win the games regardles of referee’s actions.



    I know we have no divine right to win games but once all the dust has settled we need to take the last factor on board. We lack that consistant killer touch consistently which is always going to be a factor with a ‘young’ team but we also lack a bit of class and guile (old head) in midfield.



    A decent centrehalf and a centre forward to lead the line are needed and I am not sure not sure if Commons or Ki are the answer in midfield.



    An older head in the backroom team might be useful as well as the guys are all enthusiastic and committed but young and inexperienced. An older head might help in these fraught situations.



    At the end of the day we need to heed Big Jocks comments if you are good enough you do not need to worry about the referee.



    In my view if someone had told me in August that we would win the league before the split but not win the cups I would have taken that. So all in all Neil and the team have given us the main prize that matters – a pop at the CL next season.

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