"Shocking"; Bobby Madden's Rangers-Celtic appointment has Hoops fans talking

By David Walton

December 23, 2020

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.

Bobby Madden after awarding a penalty to Celtic at Easter Road / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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:

In other news, Lennon has roared back at a BBC Scotland pundit for his ridiculous Celtic verdict.