"I'd fear for their lives"; Kris Boyd's latest referee and Celtic rant is bizarre, even for him

By John McGinley

February 13, 2021

Pundit Kris Boyd has claimed referees’ lives would be in danger right now had Celtic made a better go of this season’s title race.

There have been a number of high-profile incidents in Scottish football over the last few weeks, with players from different clubs cited by the SFA disciplinary panel for various reasons.

No doubt there has been an uptick in media speculation and supporter discussion around refereeing in Scotland, but Boyd has gone a bit overboard with his overwrought analysis this weekend.

Writing in the Scottish Sun, the Sky Sports pundit claims: “If Rangers and Celtic were neck and neck in a title race I’d fear for the lives of Scotland’s refs.

“If this ten-in-a-row season hinged on the whistlers’ decisions every week I worry they would be in danger and one of them might even be seriously harmed.

“But does the SFA do enough to protect them? Refereeing is hard enough at any level, in any sport, without the kind of scrutiny our guys are under every game.

“It’s just as well for them Gers are strolling the Premiership and will win the league at a canter. Can you imagine if Celtic were within a point or two?”

This Kris Boyd rant is bizarre

I understand the pressure of referees can be significant. The social media age doesn’t make it much easier.

However, this kind of Quentin Tarantino-like fantasy is a bit much. Do we really need to speculate on what idiots might do in a mythical scenario?

If anything, Boyd’s comments add even more drama and unhelpful narratives to the situation.

It hasn’t particularly gone down well with some journalists and supporters either.

Guardian reporter and Hearts fan Ewan Murray described Boyd’s rant as ‘spurious nonsense’ on Twitter.

That about sums it up really.

If Boyd wants to be taken seriously as a pundit, then maybe dial down the rhetoric a little bit.

Why not privately ask the SFA what their duty of care with regards to referee involves, rather than publicly claim people’s lives could have been in danger, or could be in the future?

That would certainly be preferable to launching a written attack on football fans.

It’s a bizarre angle.

In other news, James Forrest could be in the Celtic squad tomorrow.