Celtic hero John Hartson issues pithy put-down after predictable rivals incident

By Euan Davidson

December 18, 2021

Celtic favourite John Hartson has had his say after Rangers got another penalty in the SPFL Premiership this afternoon.

Rangers needed James Tavernier to score from the spot against a Dundee United team rocked by Covid-19 this week. And it was Alan Muir, who missed a penalty shout for Celtic against Ross County on Wednesday, who called to the spot.

Hartson, who had an eye on proceedings at Ibrox, offered a three-word response to the 70th minute handball incident. Admittedly, it was penalty, but Hartson made a larger point about the season as a whole.

He tweeted [Twitter]:

God bless John Hartson, his mentions will be lively for the rest of the day. Here’s hoping he’s turned his phone off.

The former Bhoys striker has the right to his reaction, of course. Some incredibly questionable calls have dictated the terms for Rangers this season. Today’s, though, is probably one of the few that didn’t look too debatable.

It was described a “clear” handball in the BBC‘s match report, but it’s not so much the particular incident rather than the league season thus far.

“Seeing Ange with that trophy would be pretty special” | Hibernian vs Celtic Preview from Hampden

“Seeing Ange with that trophy would be pretty special” | Hibernian vs Celtic Preview from Hampden
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic hero John Hartson gives withering verdict as Rangers get another penalty

It’s no surprise that John Hartson felt the way he did.

If only refereeing wasn’t the biggest story of the season. Every single match-day, there is a new incident to talk about around the SPFL Premiership. To be honest, it’s quite tiresome. And it’s not about this game. Although there’s plenty to be said about Rangers relying on penalties to win matches this season.

Alan Muir, the man in black for Rangers v Dundee United today, sent off Carl Starfelt in extremely questionable circumstances on Wednesday night. People will argue he “allowed” a large amount of stoppage time. However, it was entirely correct given the nature of the second half, a very stop-start affair.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Refereeing decisions, even refereeing appointments, are huge stories. They might be in other leagues too, but it does feel as if our lack of VAR and professional referees means it’s a bigger deal here than elsewhere.

Hopefully, nothing untoward happens when Celtic face Hibernian tomorrow in the Premier Sports Cup Final. But truly, you never know what’ll go on.

We know John Hartson will be keeping an eye on events.

Read more: Dens Park announcer winds up Hearts support about stunning Celtic moment