Referees, it’s OK not to be OK, but take some action


Odsonne Eduard’s injury against St Johnstone yesterday came about when defender Joe Shaughnessy raised his boot to stop Odsonne shot from 2 yards out.  The Celtic player’s shin caught Shaughnessy’s studs which were up to block the attempt at goal.  Edouard was injured, unable to continue.

This is one of those incidents that looks innocuous; Shaughnessy’s intent was to stop the shot, not to injury an opponent.  Referee, Willie Collum, took no action.

Let me take you back to the white heat of the title challenge in 2011.  Celtic travelled to Hamilton on 12 January that year.  Minutes after the break, James Forrest raised his boot to block a clearance from David Buchanan, Forrest’s studs catching Buchanan’s foot.  It was the same scenario as the Edouard- Shaughnessy incident yesterday – there was no intent, but the Hamilton player took a sore one, although he was able to continue.  The referee awarded Buchanan a foul and Forrest received a straight red card for dangerous play.  It the same referee.

I’ll be honest, I was annoyed when James Forrest was sent off for that incident 8 years ago, so my reaction was inhibited when Shaughnessy did the same during yesterday’s game.  But one of the decisions was wrong, clearly.  If raising your studs to block an opponent is a foul and dangerous play, Celtic should have been awarded a penalty for this incident (not to mention Ryan Christie’s kick in the ribs immediately beforehand), and Shaughnessy should have been sent off.

I don’t go on about refereeing here.  Standards improved after hitting an all-time low during the 2009-2011 seasons, when Celtic appeared to be punished on the field for making detailed complaints at that time.  The Forrest red card in 2011 took place six weeks after referees went on strike, two months after the Head of Refereeing was sacked and three months after referee, Dougie McDonald, admitted to the SFA Head of Referees that he lied to Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, an admission which led to a re-done match report that was eventually leaked on CQN.  There was chaos in the profession at that time, with conspiracies between referees and their assistants to adopt a fabricated version of events that proved impossible to maintain.

Changes were made and the game eventually improved.  Since then, of course, there has been no chance of league titles being decided by the vagaries of refereeing – only the outcome of cup games could be determined by overlooking a defender punching a shot off the goal-line.

Extraordinary decisions from officials took place at other grounds this weekend, so this is not an isolated incident.  After making progress, standards have regressed.  I get the feeling those responsible for standards are out of their depth, unsure what to do to improve things. The worst thing they could do is retrench into a bunker in order to protect their flanks.  To borrow a recently used phrase, it’s OK not to be OK.  Admitting as much is the first step to recovery.

Take some action.

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  1. WOW! Steve Clarke! He makes a great point right at the beginning. “We’re sat here on Monday morning talking about referees”, or words to that effect. I’m hopeful it does some good but I expect it will just get him in suspended.



    Well done Mr Clarke!




  2. The one and only Calmac heads the ball out of his own penalty box and 13 seconds later crosses the ball for Timo to score! Breathtaking in every sense of the word.

  3. Including the Dougie Dougie gate debacle we have called them out twice, a couple of weeks ago being the only other time, they went on strike re the Dougiegate affair and this time had a meaningless summit in Perth that Brendan stupidly attended.


    This is the power Celtic have, force them to go on strike, call them out, Celtic don’t need any help from any other club, this is the power we have, they are petrified of Celtic, problem is we know it and will do nothing that will derail the OF bandwagon.

  4. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    So voting in Venezuela



    1. Turn up to polling station (1 station within 1km of every voter)



    2. Present identity card(contains picture ID)



    3. Use fingerprint to confirm ID



    4. Select preferred candidate using fingerprint confirmation machine.



    5. Machine delivers print out of selection.



    6. Voter confirms printed selection is correct.



    7. Voter placed vote in polling box.




    Candidates can demand audit.




    Looks like a better democracy than anything we have in the EU or US.

  5. Paul67 – It pains me to say it but your article today is complete b*****x. Its not incompetency, the fudge is on, this is blatant cheating, end of. Those people cannot stand us or what we represent. (always have, always will). Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded. The elephant is so big there’s room for nothing else in the bloody



  6. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    That’s how all jack booted Stalinist get into power innit, oh wait that can’t be right Shirley.



    67% of of the Venezuelan electorate voted for the countries legitimate leader, remind us all how many votes America’s puppet got?



    Exactly zero, the jack booted nazis of America are currently trying to install a puppet against the will of the majority of Venezuelans.


    And you call that democracy.

  7. Stairheedrammy on

    Weah wasnt booked because the referees are afraid that Libera might declare war on Larkhall

  8. glendalystonsils on




    Especially since they cannae read . They think books are for putting under the leg of a shoogly table.

  9. Standards improved??



    I must have a missed that bit Paul!!!



    Unless you mean that Thommo’s game management is now the best we can hope for in amongst watching the rest of the teams getting shafted on an almost weekly basis by refs who ref “their team” to a different rule book??



    Operation Stop The Ten is in full flow and it’s run from Hampden..



    Nothing to see here Timmy Bhoy move along!!



    Bring on The Hibs

  10. All full time refs will achieve is to make them fitter, it won’t stop the cheating, the only things that will do that is demotion and deprive them easy money, simples.

  11. glendalystonsils on

    Stop the ten will intensify through this season because stop the eight is a much safer option. I don’t think they will manage it, so expect to see mind blowing blatant cheating if it gets to eight going for nine. They daren’t risk it getting up to nine.



    By ‘they’ , I mean the entire Scottish army of darkness ,of whom the referees are simply the field operatives.

  12. South Of Tunis on

    BOOKS ?



    These are excellent (IMO )



    David Keenan – For The Good Times .-A mighty fine addition to the wee pile of fiction relating to The Troubles.



    Geraldine Quigley -Music Love Drugs War — teenage life and strife in early 80s Derry.




    Favourite Uncle, Italy are the only EU country to refuse to recognise the traitor, after all that exactly what he is, promoting the interests of a foreign nation above his own people’s interests.



    *sounds like macjays hero, although he’s looking after his own interests first, that and hari kushners.

  14. Steve Clarke’s comments are spot on and have already drawn vitriol from the usual quarters.



    He has also delivered these comments in a manner which should be an embarrassment to some people closer to home.



    Highlighting the “witch hunt” which followed Jordan Jones’s dive at Dens Park earlier this season and his question as to whether we can now expect similar action from the Compliance Officer, regarding Saturday’s fiasco at Ibrox, is bang on the money yet, in turn, is somewhat ironic given Mr Jones summer destination.



    JJ and Sevco – a match made in Heaven (or the other “hot” place).




  15. Charles Taylor is serving his time in a County Durham prison.



    71 years of age he is now.



    HH. ?

  16. PETEC on 4TH FEBRUARY 2019 10:06 AM



    Hibs will be treated with the greatest respect – I hope we really smash them to pieces on Wednesday. I know the players have no idea but Rod Petrie is the Mason @ the Hibs, prominent too.



    *when I was a wee bhoy there was an embra derby on and I was shouting for the hibbees, my non sectarian mother, who used tae go on trips tae Iona and Mull with members of the Alexandria North presbie church, and who also had a soft spot for the nations capital as her own mother was born in a miners row in the area, asked me why I was supporting the Leith team, my response was they were Tims and the other mobs huns.



    She replied along the lines of better the devil you know was that yes the jambos were calvinists and proud of it but hibs, not tae be confused by the name or the colour of their strips, were not like us and run by the craft.



    This would be in the 50/60s and not long after flag gate.

  17. South Of Tunis on

    Italy and Venezuela






    Big business . Big money .



    Big corrupt Mafia business . Big Mafia Cocaine Business .. Big Big money business



    Roughly 150 k Italian citizens in Venezuela . Used to be close to 200k but lots have chosen to bail out and return to Italy ..



    Frankenstein coalition Govt in Italy can’t even agree on the reasons for its current position on Venezuela- one lot want to stick two fingers up Trump’s nose , the other lot want to stick two fingers up Macron’s nose . I very much doubt either give a fig about Venezuela or its people

  18. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on







    No food. No medicine. No hope.”



    Tells you pretty much all you need to know about him, it’s ok to force a population into hardship using economic warfare strategy of starvation sanctions for over 20 years if they don’t do what they are told.


    His version of democracy is fraudulent.


    We get told they are corrupt and incompetent by the American media, bastions of truth and honesty ffs, laugh it off.

  19. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    Would be interested in sources and anything on who backs the mafia in Venezuala ?

  20. Will Defoe get a 2 game ban for conning the referee to get a penalty, as Jones and Boerigter got?



















    No food. No medicine. No hope.”







    Tells you pretty much all you need to know about him, it’s ok to force a population into hardship using economic warfare strategy of starvation sanctions for over 20 years if they don’t do what they are told.





    His version of democracy is fraudulent.





    We get told they are corrupt and incompetent by the American media, bastions of truth and honesty ffs, laugh it off.




    HE FORGOT.”and soon to be no oil”

  22. South Of Tunis on

    The Mafia back themselves in Venezuela . ( and lots of other places ). They aint fussy- Doing business with whoever wants to benefit from corruption /turning a blind eye etc or those who can be intimidated /bribed into cooperation . Sicilian Mafia ( Cosa Nostra ) have a big presence in Venezuela . Ndrangheta ( Calabrian Mafia ) have a big presence in Venezuela . Both have significant presence in North America . Central America / South America and Europe . They are making billions from Cocaine and Heroin .(Tax free ! ) . Albanian criminal gangs are beginning to attempt to get a share of the pie ( particularly in the UK)

  23. boondock saint on

    I don’t know why we are talking about stopping the 10, it is the 8 I am worried about. That Andrew Dasanarse gave the huns pks because of fake handballs, yet Richard Foster on Wednesday has a great 2 handed block on James Forrest’s cross and nothing given. Ryan and Odsonne are assaulted yesterday and play on by the man with selective eyesight. We finished the game with 9 players yesterday, actually 8, cause Ryan Christie was out on his feet because of injury. The dark arts are in full swing.


    Hail Hail



  24. TET.


    I’m all for full time refs.


    Here’s why, just now, as I posted earlier, it’s a cosy Masonic cabal.


    Only professional masons mind you. None of your joined a, plumbers or labourers rift raft.


    Just now they ref, or are 4th official make £ 800 to £ 600 quid a time and go back to their cosy jobs as lawyers etc, not a damn given or any consequences.


    Being full time makes them more accountable and actually will make the current refs less money.


    It’s the only way that I can see to split the cabal.


    Hail Hail

  25. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    Thanks, reason for asking being, we know our resident imperialist white supremacist, will enter the fray using your information claiming it’s proof that the legitimate govt is corrup, expecting everyone to ignore the history of the connection between the right wings use of organized crime syndicates especially in South America.

  26. I forgot to add, the fact that they ( the refs )are resisting it, tells me all I need to know . It’s all so cosy for them, at elite level.


    Hail Hail

  27. KL


    I agree with you Collum will do what keeps Collum on the football gravy train of games in the top league here and Champions League gigs,it is a major amount of cash for a part time job, should he show any conscience about his decision making he will be dropped and never heard of again, in my opinion he is not stupid and knows what is important to him and will not want to miss out,his choice but one he has chosen, hence the decisions against us will continue , I would not ever offer any of these individuals full time contracts until their training is carried out by an outside agency, their supervision likewise , conflicts of interest identified and actioned by not appointing them to games involving clubs they support. Referees here cannot be trusted to be impartial, the game here is a lottery because of this.

  28. CANAMALAR – I lived in Venezuela in the 90s, married a Vzln and though we now live in Spain, my wife still has her parents, brothers and sisters there.


    Vzla, like most South American countries, has an uneasy relationship with democracy. For decades before Chavez, it was a stable country with a vibrant economy thanks largely to its oil, gold and tourism. The people identified closely with the US rather than with other South American countries. The most popular sports by far were baseball and basketball, football was nowhere on the radar.


    It had two political parties that duked it out at every election, like most countries. There was very little tension or any sign of civil or military unrest until the eatly 90s when people got fed up with the corruption of president Carlos Andres Perez and the other old men of politics.


    Chavez, a low-serving officer, tried a coup. He failed. He got put in jail. (as an aside I was almost killed during that coup attempt when his soldiers blew my apartment apart with gun fire. I was taking photos of them murdering the security guards at the gate of the national TV station that I lived in front of. A few months later, a second coup attempt also failed and 50 officers flew to Lima for asylum. I got the first interview with them when I went to Lima with Caracas FC for a Libertadores Cup match).


    At the next elections, President Caldera gave Chavez a pardon.


    Chavez then set out to become president, painting himself as a mix of Castro/Che/and Simon Bolivar. He promised free education, medical care, food etc. for the poor to get them to come out and vote. All very worthy, noble and affordable thanks to the petro dollars. It’s not hard to be popular when you can bankroll your revolution.


    The problems started to mount though as his ego went out of control and he believed he WAS Simon Bolivar, the Libertador, He became everything that he said he despised. A very, very wealthy power-mad man. His family were all living in New York and Miami, living the life of the elite. Private jets, gold Rolexes, Swiss bank accounts.


    Meanwhile the middle class disintegrated. Factories and businesses closed as he took control of whatever he wanted, whatever he deemed should be controlled by the state.


    When oil prices slumped, then the problems began. How do you fund all the projects and promises you have made? The poor have remained poor. The uneducated remain uneducated and the country is in a much, much worse state than it was in before he came to power. Elections were still won because when you control the media, the message and the military it is difficult to be removed. Believe me, anyone who was a serious threat to him was removed. Anyone in power who spoke out, jailed or disappeared. Think Castro.


    Maduro is another socialist dictator. Democracy is a sham. It is easy to win elections when people fear for their lives if you vote against him. They contact your family and tell you how to vote. At the last elections there was no opposition (they didn’t run against him).


    The country is now controlled by China and Russia. It is up to its neck in debt to both. The oil revenue now goes to China to pay the interest on the loans that are keeping it afloat (my brother-in-law is in senior management with PDVSA, these are facts). These socialist countries are not there to help VZLA, they are there to strip it of its assets, the same thing that Maduro and Chavez try to blame the US for.



    Venezuela remains a pawn to the whims of superpowers, but it is naive to think that it is suffering largely because of economic embargoes imposed on it by the US. The country has been destroyed by the dream of socialism being implemented by rulers who themselves turned out to be just as corrupt as the ones before them.


    Maduro and his henchmen are in it for themselves. There are generals in the army driving Ferarris because of their loyalty to the President.



    As was said in Orwell’s Animal Farm after the revolution. We are all equal, but some of us are more equal than others. It was always thus.



    Hail Hail

  29. South Of Tunis on




    The Mafia are very good at exploiting human nature . Some people are greedy , some people are up for being bribed , some people are up for kickbacks , many people can be threatened /frightened into cooperating etc etc – . I very much doubt that the likes of N’drangheta give a fig re the political hue of the Venezulan Govt — all they want is the presence of humans who respond to carrots and sticks.. A bit of chaos , worries about the economy etc also helps.

  30. DENIABHOY on 4TH FEBRUARY 2019 4:41 PM



    Powerful, enlightening first hand post.




  31. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    I’m thinking some of Dad’s influences have rubbed off on his fine young son, carrying on the family traditions as it were, Dad’s wee legacy to Scottish football. Surely at some point he must have stopped and thought hang on if I award this that will be 4 penalties in the one game to the same team, and I’m not even sure it was a penalty. Then he would have thought of good ol Dad and decided – F%@! em, Penalty for the glorious Glasgow Rangers. It’s not incompetence its blatant cheating very cleverly disguised as incompetence, they no they are bullet proof as long as it looks like incompetence.

  32. Phil saying Andrew Dallas in line for next Glasgow Derby.


    Scotland only has 7 FIFA listed refs, of which he is one.


    It’s supposedly his turn next.


    A huge part of me hopes that’s true.


    He is, hopelessly, promoted beyond his ability, having dealt with him twice, he is a very arrogant young man and he supports Sevco.


    What could possibly go wrong?


    Hail Hail

  33. How sad must your existence be as an individual, as a group or as a Club, to openly admit and endorse cheating as a means to an end. Surely any reasonably minded person would be embarrassed by such behaviour. My conscious would not allow me to support a version of Celtic that cheated in such a manner. There can be no joy in winning when the decks are so heavily stacked in your favour.

  34. And to think Gerrard wanted another penalty. I guess he’s played in many games with 5 penalties for one team.



    Oh well I suppose it’s one way of winning something and setting a world record.


    David 17, I agree , it would be so embarrassing .