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  Paton should have his red card rescinded.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.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Gerryfaethebrig on




    01:29 on 10 March, 2015



    I am a ML5 Bhoy, I might have mixed the red ash at Springburn community centre but the black ash might have been Possil but I think it was the east side of the city centre, garthamlock, blackhill or somewhere about there, I am hitting 44 so it was a good 20yr ago when I played Saturday morning football after a Friday night at the Arches ! Saturday night in the Tunnel, rounded off with a wee Sunday night in Victoria’s !

  2. If the SFA are not corrupt, as a few posters on here try to tell us, then the following will happen this afternoon.


    Ciftci – cited


    Connely – cited


    Butcher – cited (Which will tell us VVD has no chance with appeal)



    I believe Butcher would have escaped, but it’s likely he will have to take a ban as they can’t ban VVD and let Butcher off.



    The interesting one for me is Aidan Connely, after seeing it i was convinced it was a dive and i was proved correct by the only person who could prove me correct as Aidan also thinks it was a dive, ie no contact.



    I’m not convinced he will be offered a ban, but if he is, i expect he will accept, therefore Jackie’s after match comments were an attempt to escape the citation.

  3. Gerryfaethebrig on




    00:58 on 10 March, 2015



    Away and gie me peace, if you think Peter Lawell is just after his bonus, I will reiterate away and gie us piece, before you jump on my spelling mistakes, as a chief executive of a multi-million pound turnover do you honestly think Peter Lawell doesn’t do his very best to “maximise” his pay, if he didn’t he would be a bigger fool than both of us, anyway away to my kip it’s 2am and the school run doesn’t run itself. Take care CQN and ACGR your name is still on a ticket

  4. Gerryfaebrigs. Aye get to bed. Sore one in morning with kids when your tired. I know :(



    I am glad to see you agree with me about lawell. He is only plan is to maximise his cash


    Wrong ceo for our club


    We need someone who can invest in right places for good or team and fans but ensure club is not put at risk


    Lawell is a cost cutting ceo. It’s in his nature and CV. He is holding our team back now

  5. ernie lynch



    19:15 on 9 March, 2015





    18:34 on 9 March, 2015



    Re: Huns being called Huns.


    Get the Huns,SFA,and our Law makers especially Mr Mulholland, to Google, why are rangers fans called “”huns”.



    Why are Glasgow rangers fans called huns?



    “in 1961, rangers travelled to wolverhampton to play wolverhampton wanderers in the European cup winners cup. true to form, their supporters ran riot through the town destroying everything in their path. in an article appearing in the English press shortly afterwards they were described as ‘coming across the border like marauding huns’. thus, a humorous accurate and nonsectarian term of endearment was created for the rangers”.






    I’m inclined to take that with a pinch of salt until I’ve seen the press cuttings.






    I’m inclined to take YOU with a pinch of salt till I’ve actually seen you…



    Bless. Love n hugs.

  6. Gerryfaethebrig



    00:38 on 10 March, 2015






    00:29 on 10 March, 2015



    I know I shouldn’t ask….but who would you play in Peter Lawell’s position ???




    The keys of Celtic FC should be in the possession the magnificent Jeanette Findlay and her ilk to construct a Celtic Football And Athletic Company that ‘all’ Celtic fans would be in control of…not a few billionaires who would rather concentrate on their save the world vanity excursions…aye.



    Jackie MacNamara is capable of putting Ronny’s lights oot and…CQN knows it…Hmmmmm.



    Jackie got oof oot of Celtic…just as Pete-the-piss-ripper…started driving Celtic FC towards a slow car-crash…haulf empty stadium last season…boosted Aberdeen enough to put Neil’s Celtic oot the cup….Hmmmm.



    C’mon the rebel Priests…bye.

  7. South Of Tunis on




    I did an Italian equivalent of an Open University History thing .One topic was imperialism –



    The Boxer Rebellion – Kaiser Bill instructed German troops in Shanghai to behave like “Huns.-” strike fear / make a big impression.

  8. Morning all. Calm and bright in g43



    Hun (often lowercase) a barbarous,destructive person; vandal.

  9. Good morning friends.



    A very pleasant mild, clear skied, spring-like-birds-are-singing morning in ole EK.



    three/five more sleeps ;-)

  10. 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

  11. It took less than half an hour for the EK micro-climate to do it’s thang – dark thunderous clouds and rain starting to fall. Work calling…..

  12. mullet and co 2 on

    It’s a pity Bill Ng Isnt still around Ibrox. We could have had the King and Ng. (Pronounced nigh). Though the papers would have had to explain that as I have.


    I always thought a nomad was mc Mikie freedoms mate?

  13. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Good Morning Timland.



    Am I correct in assuming that the compliance fella has


    up till 3pm today to bring big Ciftci and the diver to book?

  14. Morning all,



    I was listening earlier to Radio Scotland. There was a DU player called Ryan MacGowan being interviewed. He was saying Celtic should not be complaining as Scottish supporters love the “get tore into them” attitude. Is ths the same thug who used to play for Hearts and went to Australia and then, litterally, kicked off proceedings at Tannadice on Sunday? I suppose cheating and thuggery is the only way teams in Scotland will be beat us.

  15. Cathedral View on

    BBC Sport – Scotland website lead today with,



    ‘Celtic players dive’ says McGowan.

  16. parkheadcumsalford



    The very same guy.


    Ref his tackle on Stokes, it’s only a yellow if it’s a break. Which in other situations it certainly could have been.



    Lovely morning timdom.



    HH jamesgang

  17. mullet and co 2 on

    I expect Scott Brown will be sent off soon. Virgils card has been marked for long enough. The SFA take the line of least resistance. The people want Brown off. The people think Virgil gets away with things.


    I’m glad Keith Lasley or numerous other folk arenr on the tele every week otherwise the people would be jamming the hotlines.


    6 points gives them hope I suppose.

  18. I now notice the Daily Record is printing the word ‘hun(s)’ in the same notation as expletives:


    “The h*** are deed”



    Note. No newspaper (ha) was purchased in the making of this comment!

  19. mullet and co 2 on

    It’s as well the young Dundee United player has an Irishy sounding name. Makes banning him all the more palatable.


    The new compliance officer , who again has an Irishy sounding name, will come under no pressure. Easy decision. Don’t kill Barabus.

  20. Gerryfaethebrig on




    02:44 on 10 March, 2015



    Not sore at all, wee blade keeps me sane, school run beckons



    KevJ…. Neil’s CeltIc is our CeltIc, well mine anyway



    Take care & Hail Hail

  21. mullet and co 2



    Aye but mind the abuse that auld Declan O’Barabus used to get?


    Disgusting so it was….






    HH jamesgang



    PS I may Google that to see if such a guy actually exists!

  22. mullet and co 2 on

    Traynors force 5 or whatever they are in full swing.


    Any volunteers to fix up Ibrox lol.

  23. Good morning from a bright, sunny and unexpectedly calm North Fife.


    The wind over the past few days has been like living on the Scottish islands. 2 whirligigs mangled in 2 years – I wonder if that’s a world record or have Newclub claimed it already?

  24. My friends in Celtic,



    With the exception of Tom Boyd, I think it’s very sad that on a Celtic blog it appears that just about every employee or former employee who expresses an opinion is regarded as a scheming mercenary .


    Even legends are not immune.




  25. Greenpinata,



    Legends shouldn’t need to be scheming mercenaries. MacNamara and Bonnar, to name but 2, have, in different ways, shown total disrespect to the Club and the support, imo.

  26. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Jackie Mac gave us 10 year’s service, he now doing his


    best for his current employer,I don’t have any problem


    with him.

  27. The only ex-Celts I have a real issue with regarding their anti-Celtic outlook are Andy Walker, Chris Sutton and Craig Burley.



    Walker despises the club because he conned Macari into giving him a contract when he was finished as a top league player. Fergus knew it and cancelled the contract. Walker has never forgiven the club since, which really does betray his lack of honesty.



    Sutton has it in his head that his pal Neil Lennon was somehow forced out of Celtic, or at least that he had no choice but to leave, and has had a downer on Ronny Deila since day one because he took Neil’s job.



    A couple of months ago I would have included John Hartson, but he has redeemed himself because he is a big enough man to come out and publicly declare that he had got it wrong in his initial assessment of Ronny.



    The likes of Provan and McLeod have certainly put the boot into Celtic on occasion but at least these guys do oft times speak up for the club and in that respect, I believe that even when they have got it wrong, they are at least honest with it.



    The least said about Burley the better. At least he has been dumped by Sky as even they were taken aback by his very personal comments about Celtic and its players.

  28. 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 the previous article :



    “Dundee United 1-1 Celtic”






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



    Happy punting… fleagle1888