Celtic manager Neil Lennon has asked for referees to be consistent with how much added time there is at the end of games.
There’s a real trend in football these days regarding it. When teams have run away with a game and have gotten themselves into a comfortable lead, referees tend to only add on one or two minutes. In some stages, they may not add on anything at all.
Case in point was the 6-0 mauling of Ross County on Saturday. Celtic cruised to victory and only got one additional minute. That’s despite the fact both sides had made all three substitutions, which should add on 30 seconds per stoppage.
Instead, Don Robertson only added on one minute before blowing for time. Lennon, in an exclusive Celtic TV interview, believes they need to start following the law.
“I did say to my staff ‘we’ll only get one minute here because the game’s away and it’s very flat’. That’s not consistent with the law.
“We made three subs, Ross County made three, so you’re looking at at least three minutes there. It may come in handy to have a couple of extra minutes maybe and we could’ve added one or two more.
“The overriding emotion for me was immense pride in the performance.”
Referees need to be sensible considering the situation
Just because games are wrapped up doesn’t mean the winning side are ready to stop. If games have become routs, then that’s no excuse to decide enough is enough.
Look at the Premiership table at the moment. Celtic are currently ahead of Rangers by one goal. Sure, we all hope that we end up racing away on points. But, as it stands just now, goals are all that separates us. Yet we were robbed of a few minutes to try and add to our tally.
Rangers will have had the same in their home routs against Aberdeen and Hamilton respectively. It happens across the board, and in a title race where goal difference could play a part, it’s not right that refs call time so suddenly.
It may not be the most important thing in the world. There are certainly more concerning issues with referees in Scotland than how much added time they give.
However, Lenny is spot on to pick up on it. It’s one of the real frustrations in football. Supporters want to see the three or four minutes of added time that their team are owed. They don’t want minutes cut from the game.
Hopefully this is something the SFA discuss with their refs. It’s been going on for years all over the world, and with things so tight just now, it’s worth picking up on.