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  Paton should have his red card rescinded.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. Eyes Wide Open on

    Bizarre defence of the performance of one of ‘old guard’ in yesterdays winner takes all match.



    This is a referee who has a significant track record within the encyclopedia of honest mistakes culminating in the referees strike.



    Who can forget the 2 blatant penalties when Shaun Maloney was nearly hacked in two at Ibrox – no penalties and 1 booking for ‘diving’.



    So it seems like he has tinted specs when it comes to what he can see and what he can not see.

  2. Ray Singh-Carr on

    Specsavers must be demanding some of their sponsorship money back after yesterday’s debacle.

  3. My friends in Celtic,



    It seems that England are as good at Rounders ( sorry Cricket ) as they are at footie.




  4. South Of Tunis on




    No sheep and therefore no lambs but can report the hassle free birth of 2 Argentata kids.Both girls, both doing well.Both will grow up to be as smelly and foul tempered as their parents . Fine curry and kebabs !

  5. Like no other on

    macanbheatha oscar abú



    Are you lurkin????



    I think I may have spotted you in “Ten Men Dead”. You didn’t happen to lose a radio???!!!


    Mrsdalenomore CSC




  6. I see ‘Who do you think you are?’ is the theme on here today…..



    Great show. Genius concept. Same premise week after week after week. Still watch it every time.



    Bit like us versus United come to think of it!!!



    HH jamesgang

  7. excathedra44 on



    16:00 on


    9 March, 2015



    Thanks for reply.



    Yes I do remember that now,as it stands its a closed shop and does nothing to give the customer ( Us ) any confidence with regard to impartiality.

  8. jg,


    Take a sweeping generalisation, turn it into a personal attack and impose your interpretation on your victim then continue to relentlessly impose your interpretation, sound familiar ?

  9. Thomson’s record and performances, disected over the course of multiple seasons would reveal there is indeed substance in the claim that there is more to his decision-making than simple impartiality.



    I would not speculate on his allegiances, but he is certainly an ego-driven persona and enjoys his artificially manufactured soap operas. He is a media whore who has had an adolescent epiphany that in typical modern life, any social media hysteria and TV scrutiny is a boon to one’s tent breeks attitude to life.



    More power to his tent breeks.

  10. ernie lynch





    11:22 on



    9 March, 2015




    Celtic’s corner taking defies understanding. It’s almost at the stage that rather than take the corner we should just be passing the ball to the opposition to save time.



    *my da used tae go nuts at Celtic corners, especially the short ones. He would say that Celtic were rubbish at corner kicks.



    One day I pointed out the Charles Patrick ones at Brockville and the Charlie Gallagher/Big Billy against Dunfermline and Vojvodina, he came back with the reason we remember them as they were the few that were actually good.

  11. canamalar



    Sorry mhate



    Just popping into CQN during train journey interlude and trying to lighten the mood. Haven’t had and won’t have time to read back.



    Tim on Tim conflagration – me no likey.






    HH jamesgang

  12. My friends in Celtic ( especially those who don’t know who they are ),



    Celtic to appeal VVD sending off.



    I think that the state of the pitch yesterday was not totally unintentional. This was a deliberate decision to level up the teams.



    HH. Paranoidcsc.

  13. tontine tim



    16:27 on 9 March, 2015


    ernie lynch



    11:22 on



    9 March, 2015



    Celtic’s corner taking defies understanding. It’s almost at the stage that rather than take the corner we should just be passing the ball to the opposition to save time.






    May God forgive me…..’I agree with Ernie….’


    Wow a phrase I never thought my iPhone would utter!






    HH jamesgang

  14. I understand English well enough, thank you.



    And, I’m also beginning to understand how rude and presumptuous you can be, based on how you’ve communicated with me today.



    I’m not particularly interested in having the last word.



    This toing and froing is adding nothing to this blog I think and at the rick of being accused of putting words in your mouth,I’m pretty certain you have a similar opinion.

  15. I have an image of Thomson standing in front of the mirror after a shower, whistle in his gob doing a facsimile of the Broony, while listening to Ravel’s Bolero….

  16. The ref’s brother stays in the same place as me. Was bewailing his brother’s hurt just after we’d beaten his (brother’s) team at CP.



    St Mirren. Genuine or a la Chic Young? I can’t say. Just hope I don’t meet the guy in tesco coz I wouldn’t know what to say…….



    ‘Look the sprouts are on offer……what’s up? Not like greens?’






    PS – hun deffo a nasty word for these wee ecumenical social do-gooding souls. I agree with Auldheid. Let’s call them hunnies!



    HH jamesgang

  17. Auldheid


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




    Would it not be cheaper and quicker just to leave it up to Tanner and McCann?

  18. Cyrenean



    Enjoyed your tale about getting to Milan from Pollok in 1970.


    There used to be a load of buseez that went from that area,and up round the willowford.


    Hope all is good with you mate.:-)




  19. I know, for example, a Killie fan, an Airdrie Utd fan, a Hearts fan and they are all bigger huns than some huns I know.

  20. Well done, Celtic, on pricing for replay tie.


    Get as many Tims in the stadium to cheer us hopefully to stage three of the treble.

  21. ernie lynch



    11:22 on



    9 March, 2015



    Celtic’s corner taking defies understanding. It’s almost at the stage that rather than take the corner we should just be passing the ball to the opposition to save time.



    Izzy obviously feels the same about throw ins:)

  22. Did I presume to aim a sweeping generalisation at a target on someone else’s behalf

  23. Jimmynotpaul on

    An Tearmann.


    The Willowford and The Glenlora which became the Pollok are two I went on. Mostly The Pollok. Although my first proper away game was on The Willowford in the 70s we beat Dumbarton, 8.0 I think.

  24. Earlier poster asked for radical suggestions.



    How about abolish offside and make handball only foul?



    Would soon sort out genuine hard men fro conning chancers.

  25. South Of Tunis on

    Worst Hun I have ever met was a bible bashing Everton fan from posh Belfast.



    Second worst Hun I have ever met was a woman from Pitlochry.

  26. mike in toronto on

    San Diego Bhoy



    But, if they were huns, are they still huns if their club dies? Or were they huns, and now they are zombies? Or are they both huns and zombies? Humbies, perhaps?

  27. Canamalar,



    I’m sorry to post on this again however if your post of 16.22 is referring to our dialogue then I think you’re not being accurate.



    I didn’t take a “sweeping generalisation and turn it into an attack” – you stated that If I disagreed with the content of your comment of 12.57 then I was “an idiot too”.


    You also called me a disingenuous little snipe.



    And all because I posted that your post of 12.57 sounded like you were calling Paul67 an idiot and didn’t sound like you were being very polite to the person on whose blog you’re posting.



    I’m not the one getting personal and calling other people names.

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