VAR being presented as the saviour of Rangers can only be a good thing for Celtic

By John McGinley

April 16, 2022

Rangers have taken quite a liking to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, mostly owing to their experiences in the UEFA Europa League, and I say fair play to them. That’s fine.

The technology has been controversial in other countries around the world but, you know what, let’s give it a go in Scotland.

It seems inevitable at this point so why not embrace it in a spirit of positivity and hope it brings some clarity to decisions in matches involving Celtic?

Certainly, manager Ange Postecoglou has talked up the initiative and the club have given their backing to it ahead of a formal vote amongst the SPFL later this month.

I have my doubts overall, but we’re here now, let’s move forward.

Photo by Peter Powell – Pool/Getty Images

What VAR definitely won’t be is a saviour for all of Rangers’ problems this season and some kind of great leveller in the battle for silverware with Celtic.

Thankfully for us, as long as prominent people think it will be, the longer the true issues that have resulted in a massive point-swing under Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Celtic moving six points clear at the top of the table will go ignored.

An article in today’s edition of national newspaper The Herald titled “Rangers would be a point ahead of Celtic if Scottish football had VAR – the SPFL must vote in new technology” is causing quite a stir amongst Hoops supporters online.

Much of the reaction is amusement, some of it is confusion. For me, the piece is simply a poor attempt at rewriting history that doesn’t take into account the information it needs to in order to draw a conclusion such as that.

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Only three matches are analysed for starters, all of them Rangers fixtures in which perceived bad decisions that went against the Ibrox club are taken apart.

There’s no look at decisions that have gone for them this season including, but by no means limited to, a crucial Fashion Sakala goal in a 1-1 draw with Motherwell last September that had more than a hint of offside to it.

And of course, there’s no look at any decisions that might have gone against Celtic. Or for us. Or any other team.

The article’s own conclusion is confused too, both suggesting that Celtic are rightfully at the top of the table while suggesting Rangers should feel aggrieved they aren’t.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Don’t worry, I’m not going to waste any more of your time debunking a flawed premise.

Ultimately my point is that the article demonstrates VAR being presented as a catch-all fix for Rangers. It panders to a mindset that thinks if it was in place this season the apparently mighty Gers would be marching to the title.

This mindset definitely exists out there beyond the article. You’ll have no doubt heard all about it.

Again, I’m happy with that. Let them be distracted by all of this while Postecoglou continues to piece together a team that is relentless in its intent. A team that pays little mind to adversity and just goes about its business, week by week.

A rival club that doesn’t take responsibility for its own failings will find it struggles to match this iteration of the Bhoys, regardless of what is written.

In other news, Why Celtic weren’t allowed a tifo display at Hampden; club guidance also issued on flag plans.