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  Paton should have his red card rescinded.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. The Green Man on

    Like ive said earlier…we have seen it all before, nothing gets done.


    That’s the way Scottish fitba is….and will be.


    What is the point of moaning about.


    Unless you have some radical solution to prevent cheating.


    Too much moaning on here today.


    FFS….you would think that was the first time Celtic have been cheated.





  2. went on a hun site there on twitter,



    Gianfranco Zola is unemployed says one..



    hurtiest cheeriest wee bit of speculation.



    Smiling on a monday :-) ah go on go on :-)




  3. It’s going to be hilarious when Van Dijk’s appeal is thrown out and Connelly, Cifci, Butcher and Paton are free to play.



    Wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to charge Neil Lennon.

  4. CG






    SB….N Bitton…..SJ….LH….MW






    Should be good enough.



    Oh, and tell big Efe to clear his lines first.



    Leave the football to others.

  5. The Green Man on

    Furthermore…we can all throw our hands up at the institutional cheating…that’s fine.


    But the only solution im aware of…..is to win on the park….simple.




  6. Mc namamaras defence of the dive from connoly was pathetic,another explayer who rips ma knitting….left to the best ( by a distance ) pundit on tv,Michael Stewart,(exHearts) to talk anything like sense about the whole fiasco….

  7. Dharma…,


    Who do you think you are ?


    I understood what you said, I do not believe your motive is in any way connected to good manners, simply an excuse to try and deflect from the point of my assertion. You have turned a very valid point into a moan about expression and kept it personal enough to avoid commenting on the assertion. I don’t have any interest in your opinion of how I express myself, you should know this by now, there’s plenty on here who you are emulating at the moment, and guess what, I stick to the guidelines and I’m allowed to express myself any way I want within those guidelines.


    So if you will excuse me I don’t care much for your tone, please don’t address me again and simply scroll by my posts if you will, I’d prefer not to waste any more time in such discussions.

  8. For Craig Thomson to change his mind re any offence committed by Scott Brown then he would have to explain how it differed from these two tackles.






    Ruling out the colour of the jersey as a reason a change of mind would take some explaining.

  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    canamalar-appeals for VVD and Paton on Thursday.Paton’s is a formality and i don’t think another player can be charged when it’s mistaken identity.So Celtic won’t know til Thursday night if VVD is available for Sunday.Honestly i played in amateur leagues 20 years ago, that had better procedures than this Mickey Mouse mob.Compare how quickly Evans and Cisse got dealt with last week.HH

  10. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    !!bada bing!!



    14:48 on 9 March, 2015



    Something needs to be done….disgraceful

  11. Just watched the Hibs highlights



    Stubbsy has them playing some lovely football

  12. squire danaher on




    The only acceptable means of referring to Sevco is






    All other forms of reference to that shower will henceforth be regarded as bigoted terms of abuse.



    Of course it will be argued by them that no such offence is caused or should be interpreted by their extensive collection of playful and banterish terms of endearment

  13. one match at a time Celts.



    A league cup final on Sunday.



    work to do Celts.




  14. Geordie Munro on




    The first challenge is bad. Definitely tried to hurt the player.



    The second challenge he clearly gets the ball ;)

  15. the green man,


    Buy some shares and make some noise…. there’s an idea for you or are you happy being a victim ?

  16. Gg



    Sod sending SPL/ SFA to America to talk about promoting Scottish football in a tiny market.



    Send PL to talk about joining the American Football League.



    What a novelty that would be.



    Only problem is travel but if done first class and suitable rest time why not?



    As Month Python said.



    Now for something completely different.

  17. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Thomson’s experience should have told him,the length of time he was talking to the linesman,that he was not 100% sure of anything.He should have warned any players ,he thought were involved and moved on.You cannot send guys off unless you are sure .Andy Walker said Dixon’s red card was strange,does this clown even know the rules,or just doing his usual anti-Celtic routine?.A total Goodwin

  18. Canamalar,



    I am a poster on CQN who thinks that inferring that Paul67 is an idiot (as in your post of 12.57) is not a good way to treat your host and thinks you could’ve worded it differently.



    You are the one who made this personal, you called me names.



    To me, you’ve shown yourself up by the way you’ve reacted and resorted to ad hominems.



    Who do you think you are?

  19. Eurochamps67 on

    Huns are anti catholic, anti Irish, hate filled bigots, who may or may not support Sevco or previously the liquidated club, Rangers.



    It is of course possible to support Sevco and not be an anti catholic, anti Irish, hate filled bigot.



    If you believe the term Hun refers to you, then you are one.







  20. Bada..,


    I don’t think Celtic have any alternative but demand the video evidence is used to clear our players when it’s been used so many times to ban our players.


    Video evidence will also damn all offenders.


    I was thinking there was a midweek game this week oops

  21. Is there new facilities getting put in place,up in The Lisbon Lions Stand, The linesman did Thomson no favours yesterday, Compliance Official in the Stands,he to should be taking a more active part.and help officials to try and make the right decisions.

  22. No, Paul.



    Thompson is a CHEAT.



    Reference the Zombies game for his CHEATING Hun instincts governing his rational refreeing training; the ‘advantage’ fail.



    VVD DID NOT kick out at all. The Dundee united player was paddling at him like a duck on crack. VVD exercised restraint and extracated himself from the tangle with minimum fuss.



    His first tackle, that brought him into the melee, could be construed as a yellow but on second viewing it is clear the united player arrived from the side faster and VVD’s momentum brought his studs down on the player’s ankle, i.e VVD was moving his foot towards the ball BEFORE the United players leg swept in the way.



    VVD however will get hammered by the compliance goon because of the colour of his strip.



    The United players will be let off due to the mix up.



    Thompson is a CHEAT, nothing less. As for his linesmen – follow the leader. Spineless servile Hun wankers, the lot of them.



    This will be a sweet treble.

  23. Sorry dharma, apparently you have a problem with english, or is it a last word thing ?


    Strike that, I says it like I sees it, disingenuous snipe bye now

  24. !!Bada Bing!! on

    canamalar-i’m sure the rules used to be first available midweek,which would be this week.At least we have a clear week ahead of Sunday now.

  25. Scott Brown presser brilliant.



    Laptop Loyal ” I saw you gesturing at the time Scott to say that you thought you’d been kinda kicked in the head or something”.



    Put him right “Naw, I was kicked in the head. You can blatantly see that aswell”.

  26. Burgas Hoops on

    Will RD be reported for his ‘Dive’ at Dun/Utd’s penalty award?



    I can see a 6 game ban from the touchline here -)

  27. Burgas…,


    I think he can only get into trouble for bringing the game into disrepute if he has a go at an official, more likely he’d get into trouble for saying that only Celtic players get banned for video diving

  28. Ex Cathrdera



    I have posted the solution to refereeing before. It is what happens in the normal business world.



    I’m sick fed up hearing that football is not like normal business as an excuse not to use normal business best practice. It’s a cop out.



    Anyway on The Refereeing Service this is from a suggestion made in 2011 on Celtic Underground.



    “This would be split with the SFA doing the recruitment, training and match appointments (having taken the nature of the game to be officiated into account).



    However the monitoring and evaluation would be the province of the customer, using referees or ex refs from anywhere to mark to a standard set by the customer.



    This spilt of responsibilities would prevent any one person being in a position to exert his own influence on referees as a result of being part of the appointment and evaluation process.



    It would safeguard the SFA from the kind of suspicion that led to the referees’ strike and lead to a higher standard of referee because the customer would be setting the standard not the supplier (as happens everywhere in business but football) If it did not, it would free the SPL/SL to hire their own referees from wherever they could get them. A bit of competition never did anybody any harm and that includes our referees who, if they reached higher standards, would be in more demand outside Scotland.”



    I would also now make the Compliance Officer a joint responsibility of both SFA and SPL.

  29. Bada..,


    Aye a whole week, I’m worried some of our players will get over their injuries and thrash DU:)

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