Celtic supporters call out SPFL refereeing standards on controversial Sunday

By David Walton

October 3, 2021

The Celtic supporters have been left absolutely incensed today by the shocking standard of officiating in Scotland.

At a period when VAR is being discussed as a potential future option for Scottish football [SFA], Hoops supporters have watched two of the most dreadful refereeing displays of the season this afternoon.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

First up was Madden who took charge of Celtic’s 2-1 win over Aberdeen today. Celtic had 62% possession this afternoon, yet he somehow managed to give 27 fouls against the Hoops [BBC]. The reason? Every touch on a Dons player was a foul. Every 50-50 another free-kick. It felt as though the Celtic attack in particular couldn’t put a high press on because any touch was blown up.

The other side of the coin rests the fact that Aberdeen only committed 10 fouls. Could you honestly watch that game today and say we were a lot more physical than Stephen Glass’ side? Of course not.

Then again, there was something even more disgraceful to come at Ibrox hours later.

Bobby Madden and Nick Walsh provide concerning performances amidst VAR chat

Hibs were cruising at Ibrox after an early goal from Kevin Nisbet. And just when it looked as though they were definitely taking something from Govan? Up steps Walsh to send off Ryan Porteous to win the most ridiculous refereeing decision of the campaign.

Aberdeen 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Aberdeen 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Last week, it was Madden sparing Rangers’ blushes when he refused to send off Jon McLaughlin for a last-man challenge. This week, it was Walsh who sent Porteous off for a straight-forward sliding challenge.

It was a clear booking. But eyebrows will now rightly be raised as to why Walsh was so quick to get the red card out. It left you seriously questioning whether the same decision would be made up the other end.

This is a season in which a bonanza is up for stake given the winners of the league will qualify directly for the UCL. Yet you have officials making game-changing decisions like this and getting them blatantly wrong.

The Celtic support have long been accused of only complaining about refereeing standards when we fail to win. Today that trend has been bucked and rightly so. Let’s take a look at some of the reaction:

In other news, How Celtic can get the best out of David Turnbull