"That's my frustration"; Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou wants refereeing change

By John McGinley

December 21, 2022

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou wants referees to clamp down on time-wasting earlier in matches to dissuade players from gamesmanship as the clock ticks towards the 90-minute mark.

There’s been a lot of talk and debate about stoppage time in the wake of the World Cup in Qatar, where officiating teams were more judiciously keeping track of lost time when the ball was out of play.

Postecoglou doesn’t really want massive periods of stoppage time to become the norm but has called for a change in refereeing approach to ensure timewasting is mitigated.

Photo by Callum Landells/Getty Images

As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail [21/12 print edition, page 61], he said: “I’d rather the referees just hurried the game up. I think that’s where part of the problem lies, especially early in games, when the referees aren’t as strict.

“Then, all of a sudden, you get to the end of the game and they are hurrying goalkeepers up, hurrying throw-ins. You think: ‘Well, do that at the beginning and you will get more game time’.

“Ultimately, that’s what you want. You want more game time. That’s what supporters want to see. It’s what football is all about. So rather than having ten minutes added at the end, I would rather referees just hurried people along. If they need to do a caution or two at the start of the game, players who are taking liberties will cut it out. They won’t do it. You will still get your traditional two-three minutes of unavoidable extra time.

“That’s my frustration. I see it all the time. The opposition will take their time on goal-kicks or throw-ins early in the game. Then, late in the game, if they’re ahead, they’re screaming at the referee to hurry the game up.”

It’s hard to hold out much hope for progressive refereeing in Scotland, especially if it’s been called for by the Celtic manager. Nonetheless, it would be pleasing to see those in charge clamp down on excessive time-wasting.

Nobody wants to see the goalkeeper take an age to get the ball back into play, especially in the first half, while teams are constantly looking to delay play when at Celtic Park specifically.

I wonder what is in store tonight against Livingston? I think we know the answer – but hopefully, the Bhoys can set a relentless tempo regardless.

In other news, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou calls out ‘generic analysis’ that is selling supporters short.