Celtic shouldn't be expected to take SFA double standards lying down; what are board thinking?

By Euan Davidson

December 4, 2021

Refereeing in Scotland has become a parody, and the Celtic board don’t seem to be interested in taking on the SFA.

The furore this week, about a goal that was onside, has been absolutely ridiculous. The hilarity reached a head today, when Crawford Allan took to the radio to the radio to address concerns. By all appearances, he hasn’t been in the public spotlight for months.

Yet, when there was a Celtic issue, the SFA head of referees popped up to give his take. It’s astonishing.

So you’d expect some kind of response from the club at some stage. Especially with the players being called into question in a very public manner. Turns out no; not so much.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Allan admitted that – shock, horror – Bobby Madden had got some calls wrong. A drop-ball, a throw-in, really insignificant issues in the grand scheme of the game. Both teams had chances to win, in a breathtaking game of football. Now, all anyone will remember is the controversy.

But it’s a controversy the Celtic board have shied away from addressing. When it’s their personal integrity being attacked, there’s a lot of noise from the higher-ups at Parkhead.

Celtic could reasonably have felt aggrieved at various points this season. On the opening day, for example, when against Hearts, Liel Abada was adjudged to be offside for a goal that would’ve changed the outcome of the game. Interesting how quickly that was forgotten.

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Meanwhile, “Penalty Rangers” has become something of a meme. This isn’t a case of what-aboutery, but it’s very inconsistent from the SFA and their chief of refs who would’ve had plenty of media requests this season.

Yet, the board are keeping tight-lipped. Strange, that.

Celtic remaining quiet on SFA inconsistency is only going to create more discontent

Of course, you can dive into dangerous rabbit holes, here. Conspiracies about referees are nothing new. Even the mere discussion of officiating in Scotland has become so toxic, that addressing it at all can be more trouble than it’s worth.

But the fact is, the game’s governing body are showing total double standards here. And those tasked with running Celtic are showing absolutely no opposition to the SFA whatsoever. It’s as if Kier Starmer became head of Public Relations overnight.

Yes, it’s a murky area to get into. There’s probably some reluctance on the Celtic board’s part, because it is a difficult balancing act between righteous indignation and looking like conspiracy theorists. Again, such is the dilution of the conversation in Scottish football.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Come on though, guys. In Ange Postecoglou, we have a manager who maintains he’ll back the club to the hilt. His frustration at the narratives coming out of Thursday night was proof personified [BBC].

Where, then, are his employers?

Undoubtedly, tediously and frustratingly, this is an issue that will inevitably drag on all season. Who actually wants to talk about referees? Does anyone enjoy this?

The fact is though, the Celtic board need to back their manager and their players against the SFA here. The silence speaks volumes.

Read more: First start since October, big return; Team news and Celtic Predicted XI vs Dundee United