Opinion: The "it all evens itself out" myth is being proved wrong this season

By David Walton

February 4, 2019

Penalty decisions over the weekend has been one of the main talking points to come out of the latest round of fixtures.

After all, when four penalties are given at a certain ground and for one team, it’s bound to. You could probably guess where and who if you didn’t already know. Yes, it was Rangers at Ibrox as they trounced St Mirren 4-0.

Andrew Dallas seemed to get a bit trigger happy at Ibrox. You didn’t even have to go down in the box for him to order a penalty either – he just gave it anyway (second and fourth penalties).

On the same weekend, Celtic were denied three clear penalty calls at St Johnstone. Challenges on Oliver Burke, Ryan Christie, and Odsonne Edouard went totally unpunished. Christie even got a kick in the ribs for his trouble. Willie Collum, unsurprisingly, wasn’t as determined to give anything as Dallas was at Ibrox.

Ryan Christie took a painful kick in the ribs at McDiarmid Park (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Are we getting the rub of the green?

We try and draw the line at conspiracy theories. After all, we have had plenty of highly-debatable decisions go our way in the past too. Usually we’re already well in the lead, but regardless we still get them.

But this idea that everything evens itself out over the course of the season is nothing but an absolute myth. A lazy way for pundits to dismiss any notion that referees in our country are just poor or, dare I say, biased.

There’s no willingness to investigate these poor decisions being made. Dallas is still going to be refereeing in the top flight on Wednesday night. So will Collum.

St Johnstone’s defenders injured two Celtic players in the box – no penalty (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

But, more to the point, that’s seven different penalty calls that effectively didn’t go Celtic’s way. Yes, four were against St Mirren, but Rangers are challenging for the title. A penalty for St Mirren is nearly as valuable as a penalty for Celtic.

This comes less than a week after St Johnstone defender Richard Foster blatantly handled in the Celtic box. That wasn’t given either.

So that’s now eight calls over the last week in total.

Fortunately, these things even themselves out and therefore Celtic are due to have eight calls made up on Rangers. That will happen at some point between now and the end of the season.

Are you convinced it will? Neither am I.