Matchday 1 and Celtic are already counting the cost of poor officiating

By David Walton

August 1, 2021

It’s only matchday 1 of the new Premiership season, but already we’re left ruing some abysmal officiating at Tynecastle last night.

Celtic have left Ange Postecoglou wholly unprepared for the start of the new season. Key positions haven’t been filled whilst wantaway players remain at the club. He’s been given a thankless task that he’s trying to make the most out of.

So when it comes to who’s responsible for our defeat to Hearts yesterday, the first port of call is the Celtic board. That hasn’t changed.

However, what also can’t be denied is the ridiculousness of the decision not to allow Celtic to go 2-1 ahead after Anthony Ralston had cancelled out Gary Mackay-Steven’s opener.

Minutes later, Celtic had the ball in the net again. Greg Taylor was played in and put a low ball across goal for Liel Abada to tuck home. There was nothing wrong with the goal, but incredibly the offside flag went up.

Hearts 2-1 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Celtic know all about poor officiating

The decision was anything but a surprise. It’s hardly uncommon that we’re on the end of poor refereeing decisions. It happened on countless occasions last season and things don’t look like being any different this year.

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Images show that Taylor’s arm was offside. However, all parts of his body that he could legally score with was in line with the Hearts defence. It was a perfectly good goal, and it’s a decision that kept Hearts in the game.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Not that it was the only poor call Madden and his team made. There was also the shocking challenge on Callum McGregor from Andy Halliday. That took place right in front of Madden, who proceeded to give nothing other than a free kick. Mind-boggling if you’re being generous.

Celtic lost the game last night due to poor recruitment work combined with abysmal marking from a free-kick. But we have to rely on the officials to get the big decisions right. Last night they failed to do so.

And the Celtic supporters haven’t been letting them away with it either. Correctly pointing out the error, fans have taken to social media to voice their opinions on it:

In other news, Davie Provan takes aim at Celtic board for woeful forward-planning