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  Paton should have his red card rescinded.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. In my humble opinion….



    Brown – really strong tackle that could have been a Yellow but had that been on a Celtic player, would we want a red for it ?



    Ciftci – Red card all day long.



    VVD – Red card also.. on the floor he does stamp at the United boy before he starts to roll away. Had it been against us again we would want a red. However, the linesman must have Xray eyes to see through VVD and see his leg come down behind him.



    Butcher – Red card for retaliation. Again, how the linesman sees his kick is beyond me.



    Paton – Red card for running to the linesman and pointing “it was him, it was him” at one of the Celtic players. I can’t stand that guy and Karma for an “alleged” incident with a Celtic goalie…



    Connolly – A clear dive



    Thomson – Poor game but not helped by his linesman. Incidents happen so quickly and he didn’t get the help he needed.



    When I saw the incidents in real time I thought it was getting tasty but didn’t see anything that I would have pulled anyone up for. Think Thomson just wanted to allow the game to flow. However, replays do damn the majority in these incidents.



    Tin hat time ?

  2. Monaghan1900 on

    ” A sad [FFin’] fact about football writers and commentators in Scotland


    There are countless threads about reports and commentary that is totally bias against our club and pro Celtic, or anyone who is playing us. What we need to remember is that the hatred of our great club is shared by just about every single person who is not a supporter.


    We will never get respect from anyone else but we should ensure that when a lie is told about us it is never repeated. We should threaten legal action against all journalists and broadcasters that do not clean up their act.


    We need to challenge the fact that the broadcasters are ignoring…the use of the word H.n.


    If we have not learned yet that turning the other cheek does not work and that dignified silence is for cowards we never will.”




    “I have wanted one thing since the early 1990’s, and I would love to see this implemented.


    An office, or PR department, funded and run by the fans, whose sole remit is to trawl the media and press to look for attacks on our club. Any unfair items to be highlighted and challenged, no matter how small. We simply have to fight the slurs on our club which have been constant and unchallenged for years.”




    “We are hated for the same reason as Man Utd are hated by everyone in England; Barca and Real in Spain, Bayern Munich in Germany etc.”




    “Don’t agree. None of these teams you mention has to contend with a hate filled, bigoted and sectarian enemy that is backed by countless fanatics who were brought up in sectarian apartheid schools. Celtic must be the only club in the world that has its own school system to supply them with thousands of indoctrinated recruits.”




    “The reality of where we are today in terms of an unbridled, naked and blatant media bias in favour of Celtic stems from the fact that they are a club who carried the hopes of the majority of the Irish diaspora. And for as long as I can remember this majority of a minority attributed Rangers dominance over them as some form of establishment conspiracy, this despite empirical and statistical evidence suggesting quite the reverse.


    Rangers as a club bent over backwards to be seen as ethical….Celtic saw it as weakness, a weakness which could be exploited and over time they have pretty much set the agenda in terms of….taking control of the key levers of Scottish society from politics to the law and everything in between.


    By introducing the myth of our sectarian signing policy and trumpeting it as loudly as they could, they created a momentum, despite little evidence of such a policy, in fact there is real real evidence to the contrary, they dealt us a mortal blow. You see their way is to cry foul about something which in real terms they desired to practice, but knew that they would be unable to compete if they attempted the of hiring only Catholic players given the demographic of Scotland….For me Rangers were put in a very difficult position, because lets face it all the best young Catholic players would choose Celtic and Hibernian before Rangers. To that end Rangers were hardly going too hire the left overs when they could pool players from the vast majority of the indigenous Presbyterian population, it was not expedient for Rangers to draw from the minority whereas Celtic had to be all inclusive to compete.


    Which brings us to where we are today, an environment which Celtic have contrived and subverted to manufacture, an environment which delivers the very advantage for which they piously claimed we held over them, which they described as cheating, despite evidence to the contrary. An advantage which they exploit at every tum, for it matters not to them how they prevail, nor does it have to be with honour or pride.


    [Sevco] must fight back, sectarian signing policy? Prove it? We must stop our former players from acquiescing, why admit something which did not exist to placate an enemy who hates you and wishes to eradicate you from the face of the earth.


    NB. Remember when the majority of Scots want their children to go to the same school as catholic children, they are called bigots and told that they are narrow minded. With that in mind you know with what we have to contend in terms of mentality.”




    “Make sure that you put this in context. RC parents refuse to let their children attend schools with protestants but then insist on them having the right to play with Rangers. Perhaps the Pope should complain that he’s not allowed to be head of the Church of England.”

  3. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on

    VVD was not guilty of violent conduct, therefore his red card should be but won’t be automatically recinded. Ciftci & Butcher both lashe out violently one with studds to our captains head & the other by kicking then punching VVD.



    Paten should have his red recinded Virgil too, while Ciftci & Butcher should receive a retrospective red card & Connolly a ban for simulation.



    None of the above will happen & that is why our game is clearly bent!

  4. Burgas Hoops on





    After the ref strike only an idiot would give the SFA and it’s refs the benefit of the doubt.






    100% on the button.

  5. Weeminger,


    The SFA do not want video replays as it would only highlight the incompetence of the referees, or would bias be more correct?






  6. the hooped crusader on

    Paul’s summation is probably how the compliance officer should see the incidents in question, however operation stop the treble will take precedent and it will not end well for the Hoops.

  7. I commented on the poor state of the pitch being a contributing factor to our result against St. Johnstone the other day. Another poster pointed out that the pitch is the same for both teams. This is true of course, but my point was that a poor pitch affect us more due to the type of game Ronnie has us playing, where speed and accurate passing are what gives us an advantage. After yesterday’s game my view is further reinforced. Am I giving too much weight to the state of the pitch as a factor? I’ve never played the game professionally but I can’t see how this can do anything other than hinder us?

  8. Geordie Munro on

    The only problem with the (ridiculous) ‘send of paton instead of butcher’ idea is Paton is twice the player butcher is.

  9. The Honest Cover-up on

    The officials made such a staggeringly bad mess yesterday that it will be impossible to rectify the damage and keep everyone happy. In a way I’m glad it’s gone to a replay so no one feels too big an injustice has been done in terms of the result.


    I think some people are being too harsh on Connolly. He shows lovely skill and is skipping through a clutch of players at pace. He seems to loose balance and trip in my view and although it’s not a penalty I don’t like seeing young players being hounded for incidents like this. It’s not a Boyd-esque dive or anywhere near it.

  10. Natknow,


    Only problem with that argument is that too many of our slack passes had nothing to do with the pitch but simply down to careless and lazy passing

  11. Oh.. and while we all criticise the officials for getting it wrong, why did Butcher not step in and say to the ref that it was he that was involved ?Should Dundee United’s management team not get involved and tell Butcher to come clean ? Aye the linesman made a horrible error but Butcher let his teammate take the fall for him.. that’s worse in my opinion and is cowardly. I hope he is watching closely every time we thump them over the next few weeks

  12. Is VVD banned from this Sundays cup final?



    Is Cifti suspended for the cup final?




  13. Thompson said after a conversation with Chambers good pictures of this from Sky “5 Off” the same linesman lost theplace then and could not identify the Dundee utd player involved , Cifti should be red carded for kicking Scott Brown on the side of the face, Connelly dived dont care what McNamara says to justify it

  14. TinyTim



    Ciftci was already banned from FInal due to yellow card in semi (should get a 3/4 game ban for violent conduct tho after kick at browns head,,,,)



    VVD (unless card rescinded) will miss the final and the replay (if im correct)

  15. Paul67,



    You might be right about the ref. But I don’t think any excuse can be made for the linesman at the stramash. He protected the real wrong-doer. Why?

  16. Izzy breaking in on goal, pulled back fir earlier foul.


    Advantage? That decision was Thompson alone. I say he’s a cheat.

  17. the hooped crusader,



    After a couple of minutes yesterday, I was sure we were seeing the return of the “honest mistakes”. I’m sure we’ll see a lot more in the remaining games of the season.

  18. The Green Man on

    Their whole tradition is based on cheating and corruption….that is all they know.


    In terms of football, its basically, let us cheat our else, that is their heritage.


    Now, we have been brought up, being on the receiving end of their outrageous ref assisted cheating….we have seen it all before.


    The blazered handshakers still have control.


    However…if Celtic keep beating our nearest rivals, like we did last week, beating Aberdeen 4-0.


    That is how to beat the cheating….by playing football the Celtic way.


    So….they can do their worst, as they always have….but in the long run, we will continue to confound the cheats, by playing superior football.


    Craig Thompson…..do your worst:)




  19. Butcher should have been ordered off instead of Paton, I think most if not everyone is agreed on that….What annoyed me most though was that Butcher committed at least half a dozen fouls in the Second Half and still remained on the field…

  20. mike in toronto on




    I haven’t watched the game a second time, but on the replay at the time, I thought Stokes did make contact with him. It was minimal contact, and the guy did make a meal of it, but if I am being honest, I did think it was a (very soft) penalty, and would have been screaming had it not been called at the other end.



    Will be interested to see how/if Celtic deals with the mess from yesterday. Like that RD calls it as he sees it, but have my doubts that Celtic will back him publicly – which they certainly should.

  21. Parkheadcumsalford


    Yes he said he there was contact with his thigh not his foot and he did not dive, this must be from the Wenger locker of excuses, he dived and mcnamara is trying to get him off, Connelly after being perfectly tackled by Scott Brown in the box throw himself again.

  22. Geordie Munro on

    “Like that RD calls it as he sees it, but have my doubts that Celtic will back him publicly”






    Celtic won’t come out and back ronny and dundee utd won’t come out and back Jackie. I dunno who does.



    Imo Ronny is speaking for himself AND Celtic.




  23. Canamalar,



    “12:57 on


    9 March, 2015


    After the ref strike only an idiot would give the SFA and it’s refs the benefit of the doubt”



    unless I’m mistaken, it doesn’t sound like you’re being very polite to the person on whose blog you’re posting.

  24. Junior



    The point about the pitch is spot on. What we has was hoofball and it was only when we managed to keep ball on the deck that we threatened.


    In fact watching the reply did Stokes shot not get a slight diversion when it it a bump in the ground.


    On Forrest I agree and was worried he might be subbed. One of the reasons he was a threat was that there was some grass out wide and that looked the least bumpy area of the pitch.



    I rest your case. :)

  25. The Green Man on

    Lhads….you all know its bent.


    The only way to beat it….is to be the superior team on the park.


    Which we usually are:)


    When we play at our best, the cheats cant touch us.


    C,mon the hoops:)




  26. Craig Thomson sent off VVD up at sheepland last year after a very cute Pawlett dive. Thomson is a cheat.





  27. mike in toronto on

    GEordie munro



    I wish that were the case, but I dont see it that way. Managers come and go….



    The refereeing yesterday was very poor, and most us on here recognize that it was not just another ref having another bad day. RD is playing a smart game, but he needs PL to come out publicly and back him.

  28. Dharma…,


    And everyone else who forgets what we went and continue to go through.



    Remember we were not paranoid enough, it’s no my fails some fall into line with the meeja lies.

  29. mike in toronto on

    Green Man



    I agree that the best way to beat them is on the pitch … that is RD’s job. But, PL’s job is to ensure that RD is given the best chance to do that (including ensure that RD has a fair and even playing field)….



    From what I can see, RD is doing his bit … not so sure about PL though.

  30. Paul67



    Glad to see you get in a defence of Scott Brown, one that would not have been necessary had a TV judgement not been made on the tackle that the ref had no issue with. CT will presumably stick to that view if asked.



    Given the linesman got the wrong man, how valid is any of his testimony and will CO base his judgement on TV pics only?



    On refs I base my judgement not on the big decisions but the sleekit ones. The 50/50 fouls given to opposition that rob us of possession or put us under threat.



    I see a lot of that but maybe because I’m looking for it….


    Paul 67 and others.



    you have a point about Thomson’s assistant and even the speed and angles involved.



    But surely the sheer regularity and consistency of Thomson’s chicanery against us is THE damning indictment.

  32. Geordie Munro on




    I’m not sure boards get involved all that publicly with poor reffing displays.



    For me it’s up to the manager to moan and the board only to get involved and back the manager if there’s any sanctions brought against him.




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