Sympathy for the ref, cynicism for SFA


Yesterday’s referee Craig Thomson is getting it from all quarters but I have some sympathy for him.  He saw the Scott Brown tackle and took no action.  The challenge was executed with extreme force but also with laser-like accuracy.  It didn’t injure or foul anyone.

Aiden Connolly dived to win Dundee United’s penalty.  Thomson could not have seen an infraction, because there wasn’t one, but when a player attempts to con a referee like this, it’s impossible for the ref to get it right all the time.

Virgil got involved with Butcher, both players on the ground, carelessly kicking away.  Both should have been cautioned.  Fifa guidelines entitle the referee to interpret this behaviour as a sending off offence, if he deems it appropriate- however, Thomson didn’t see it and took no action until his assistant, Graham Chambers, got involved.

It was evident from the length of time Thomson spoke to Chambers that the assistant was getting the third degree on what he claimed to have seen.  The ref asked several questions of his assistant to verify how sure he was of what he saw.  It was clear this was not corroborated by the Thomson’s own account.

Neither of them saw Nadir Ciftci kick Scott Brown on the head.  I didn’t see it either until I watched the incident a couple of times.

Chambers got things spectacularly wrong.  Like most others he missed the worst incident (Ciftci), advised the referee into red carding two players who should have been cautioned, and, to demonstrate how flustered he was, failed to notice which United player he put his arm on and led away from the action.

When a referee has an assistant, and a player like Connolly, to work with, he’s going to have a bad day.

As far as retrospective action is concerned: Scott Brown is in the clear, the referee saw what he did and was happy with it.  Ciftci presumably will be banned for violent conduct.  Connolly should be banned for simulation, unless Ronny is right that this rule applies only when players wear green and white hoops.  Paton should have his red card rescinded.

Virgil van Dijk has a case to have his red card reduced to a yellow – however – this being the SFA, I don’t think that will happen, as he is tied to Calum Butcher’s situation, and that is more complex.  If Virgil has his card reduced to a yellow, so too should Butcher, but Butcher was later booked – which would have been his second yellow.

A player who the assistant referee intended to remove from the field would not have been on to receive his booking had the assistant not nabbed the wrong player.  He also didn’t have the benefit of taking his caution into account.

The SFA will stick their fingers in their ears and insist the assistant’s initial interpretation was right, just to avoid the unholy mess of banning Butcher for two yellow cards while not banning the Celtic player, or deciding that Butcher’s (actual) yellow card should be ignored due to the player unfairly missing out on a caution.

Countdown is on to Friday night’s CQN11 St Patrick’s Dinner at the Kerrydale Suite, tickets will be in the post today.

Between now and then you can win a Celtic jersey signed by the 2008 squad, who won one of the most remarkable titles in our history.  All proceeds go towards building a fourth CQN school kitchen in Malawi for Mary’s Meals.

It’s been humbling watching people come forward and do their bit in recent weeks.  Tickets cost £5 each, you know how valuable this is to those kids and families in Malawi.  Buy your ticket here, or click the link at the bottom of that page to buy a book of tickets.

Friday’s programme is about to go to press…  The wee guy with the spoon is not from a stock photo, he’s been served at a kitchen YOU PAID FOR last year.  Stunning stuff.

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  1. Any suggestion from Ibrox of not wanting promotion is nothing short of an act of utter betrayal and cowardice, but of course their media friends will insist this is just an opportunity to rebuild.



    They must be the only club anywhere in the world that does not want to win their own league. No wonder their players cannot beat Cowdenbeath.



    White feather club.

  2. Stairheedrammy


    19:52 on


    9 March, 2015


    I was walking the dug in Greenocks West End last week and passed a skip which had a set of bongo drums and a prosthetic leg sitting on the top of a pile of building debris. Some parties they must have in Greenock.






    greenlion, someones found your gear

  3. thats how you beat a packed defence not passing the ball from side to side outside the box but drive into the box and commit defenders. 0-1 Arsenal


    What does it matter what the Huns are called ?



    We can call them the Peepil, Huns, monkeys, currant buns, beautiful people…………doesn’t matter it’s the context and meaning behind the word that has effect. We, they and everyone knows they merit the name, Huns, nothing to do with any religion or politics, it was gained by de-merit, for their boorish, bigoted and often violent behaviour.



    Look at some of the words they revile: liquidation, monkey, even,The The was objectionable to them.



    It’s the truth they fear. Mirrors must be in short supply in some Deady Bear households……what they reveal must scare the sh!t out of them.




  5. SFTB



    Haha, aye wasnt sure if it was a 7.30 or 8.00 start



    Leave Edinburgh at around 5-5.30 on the quick train to Queen Street so should make it either way

  6. Dubaibhoy-Ur they still deid? on



    19:52 on


    9 March, 2015


    I was walking the dug in Greenocks West End last week and passed a skip which had a set of bongo drums and a prosthetic leg sitting on the top of a pile of building debris. Some parties they must have in Greenock.



    In my memories of any decent victory in the 80’s there was always: a guy in the crowd wearing a sombrero / a guy waving his crutches in the air when we scored / a papal blessing from a balcony on Janefield St…

  7. CQN CHELTENHAM Naps Competition



    Lads, for anyone who wants to take part in the CQN Cheltenham Naps competition, please post your daily selections at the end of this article :



    “Dundee United 1-1 Celtic”



    N.B. please bookmark this page, as we will be using the same page for the entire week of the Cheltenham festival !



    Good luck… fleagle1888

  8. Tell ye



    That’s 2 beautiful Ghirls promoting that CQN thing oan the magazine



    Must be Cowieghirls :-)

  9. bournesouprecipe on

    sftb @ 20.04



    *. ┏┓ ┏┓ .*









  10. Watching Man U v Arsenal. The Gunners score.writing this Rooney scores.but the point I want to make is how Old Trafford is looking pitch and the areas around the stadium absaloutly stunning.Celtic Park pitch and other areas very disorganized. Changes need to be made on groundsmen and whoever has the job of making the stadium presentable. needs to get the finger out.well I suppose a lick of paint on the stairs in the summer is fine.cos that’s all I see when the new season starts.oh I fogot all these changes that are badly needed .could affect big pistol Pete’s Big Bonus..

  11. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Winning Captains



    I told my future missus that CQN11 was just a bunch of bald middle-aged men arguing about CeltIc (that might just be me) stop posting pictures of beautiful females under the pretence of a CeltIc charity night….. I don’t need any help to be in the bad books

  12. bournesouprecipe on

    Wellbeck’s was the worse piece of simulation I’ve seen ( since yesterday )

  13. gerryfaethebrig



    Gerry, to make matters worse, their both at Lennybhoys tables :-)

  14. What is the Stars on



    Re Ladbrokes and that offer of 3/ 1 douvan and 2/ 1 Annie power. .That is great value. I might camp outside Ladbrokes and lump on the double.

  15. kano , pablo , celticlover , stjohndoyle – cqn in heaven must be mental



    20:30 on 9 March, 2015




    How much did the Bhoy raise for Lourdes ?

  16. Gerryfaethebrig on




    20:31 on 9 March, 2015



    I think everybody is at Lennybhoys tables !

  17. Timbhoy2,


    Did we no just hosted the commonwealth games, the queen even came up to visit her cup and never complained, so if it’s good enough for her maj it’s good enough for me god bless her

  18. Why only lower tier? no atmosphere.. we should be trying to sell the match..chance to win treble.. get a big crowd to back team.. I would rather have 40,000 in the whole stadium than shoe horned in bottom tier..

  19. Patrick27



    7 for 7.30pm on Friday. Although as there’s a free pint best to get there as early as possible.



    Should be able to confirm tomorrow if the first team stars we have invited will be there.

  20. Gerryfaethebrig on

    what is the stars



    20:32 on 9 March, 2015



    Make it a treble and lob in Ronny for manager of the year, although don’t even think he has won a manager of the month yet !

  21. Geordie Munro on

    Keane, Wright and shearer on at half-time!!!




    No no no no. Pass the remote.