Bobby Madden’s appointment as the referee for January’s Glasgow derby has certainly got Celtic fans talking.
The referee appointments for derbies always lead to heated conversations from both sides of the divide. Generally the all-round feeling from both sides tends to be one of shock and disgust.
Let’s face it, it’s a poisoned chalice being a referee in Scotland. This is such a brutal environment – probably one of the most cut-throat in Europe. Any bad decision and your affiliations will be widely discussed amongst fanbases.
Madden, of course, has had his run ins with both Celtic and Rangers supporters in the past. His decision not to award Leigh Griffiths a blatant penalty vs Rangers in 2017 comes to mind. He also inexplicably missed Ryan Kent punching out at Scott Brown in 2019 too.
Ibrox supporters, meanwhile, of course believe he’s pro-Celtic biased. He’s refereed five Glasgow derbies, and Rangers haven’t won a single one of them. Celtic have come out on top in three of them.
Celtic could’ve had worse than Madden
He’s also shown a willingness to take action for other blatant incidents too. He showed no hesitation in red-carding Jordan Jones for a shocking challenge on Moritz Bauer last season.
He also sent off Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos at Celtic Park in a 2-1 success last year. Madden, for all of his faults, has at least shown he can spot most of these kinds of incidents.
Had the appointment thrown up Willie Collum or Andrew Dallas, then I would’ve been concerned. I’ve never found either man to be particularly generous to us in the past. It’s not their job to be of course. But even so, they seem to overlook plenty of nasty challenges on Celtic players for my view then book ours for their first foul.
Madden’s appointment, therefore, isn’t as bad as will be made out. We have a decent record under him in these derby matches. He’s gotten a couple of things wrong here and there, but personally it’s nothing I would be too concerned about.
The referee draw could’ve been so much worse. Here’s hoping Madden has his eyes open next weekend however. Given John Beaton’s inexplicable failure to pot Steven Naismith stamping on Scott Brown on Sunday, we need more protection.
Regardless, here’s a look at how some of the Celtic fans reacted to the appointment. There was certainly a mixed response:
Shocking , thought no season ticket holders were allowed in
— OneGoldStar (@onwardsto10) December 22, 2020
Not sure why people are complaining about this. Neil Lennon and the Celtic players have already done more damage to our title hopes than 1 ref can in a single game. https://t.co/LkKKILykl0
— K 🍀 (@K_McG1) December 22, 2020
Bobby Madden the referee for the 2nd of January god help us 🙏🍀🍀🍀🍀
— Stephen Kennedy (@Stephenjames187) December 22, 2020
Bobby Madden to referee Glasgow Derby, I'm actually quite pleased
— Willie Pettigrew 🏴🏴 (@willie1962) December 22, 2020
Blow for rangers as Andrew Dallas fails to shake off knock for game v Celtic. 😂
— paul (@greenwhitehoops) December 22, 2020
Madden probably the best we’ve got. Can only think of one glaring error in an old firm he’s officiated, which is far less than all the others
— Sam McKinlay (@blondelmo1888) December 22, 2020
Have celtic lost a Derby with madden in charge,??,don’t have a problem with him.
— Michael f mongan (@mongan_f) December 22, 2020