Celtic Diary Tuesday April 18: SFA Act On Sub Standard Refs

Celtic Diary Tuesday April 18: SFA Act On Sub Standard Refs

Right, it wasn’t a penalty.

It wasn’t  a sending off, although Brown shouldn’t have given Robertson a decision to make.

It’s done, and we need to move on.

The SFA would like that as well and have gone into full defence mode.

Between them, the beaks and  the Scotsman wheeled out former referee Gary Anderson ( No, I don’t remember him either ) to explain the thinking behind the penalty award, which kind of confirms that all the referees are below standard, even the retired ones.

What Don Robertson has done wrong is that he’s anticipated the contact from Erik Sviatchenko. He’s saw the Celtic player coming back to his opponent, going to stick his leg out and then he’s saw the County player hit the deck. 

He’s saw-he has saw ?  so far, this is making my eyes sore. Anderson is implying that Robertson has given a penalty because he thought Sviatchenko was going to foul Schalk. Like when Rikki Fulton, as the Rangers manager, asked catholic signing Brendan O’Malley if he had ever thought about fouling anyone.

He’s then given the decision, despite not actually seeing any contact from the Celtic defender. He’s just assumed that it happened, which is a big mistake. 

Like when Willie Collum “saw ” Daniel Mastojovic foul Kirk Broadfoot

Image result for Daniel Majstorovic penalty

Willie Collum will be refereeing the cup clash with “rangers ” this Sunday. Happily, he will have Don Robertson on hand to help him see whatever they need to see.

In these instances, even in dead rubber games such as this one, a referee should not be giving a late-game penalty on a hunch. 

Er, is there a difference in the rules when its a dead rubber game ? The narrative here is implying it doesn;t matter. No harm done.

Some have wondered how he couldn’t tell it was a dive, seeing as it was so obvious. The main stand camera angle clearly showed it was a dive in real time, and that’s the view the subscription paying public got to see. If the man sitting on his couch knows, why doesn’t the referee? 

Could it be that the man on the couch has a better understanding of the rules ?

Well, just because you’re literally hundreds of miles away, doesn’t mean you won’t have a better view. Certain angles can be deceptive, and in this instance it could be the case that Robertson was tricked into seeing something that wasn’t there.  

Is he suggesting Robertson was hypnotised ?

Image One

From his angle, with Schalk and Sviatchenko both side on, he would have been unable to determine the gap between both players. 

Yes he would.

Image One (above) is not quite the reverse angle, as it’s about 45 degrees too far to the right, but it gives you a better idea of what the referee is looking at from the other side. 

This is a better idea of what the ref was looking at -or at least thinking about.

Image result for pint of beer in masonic lodge

The players look much closer together than they actually are. The linesman should be able to tell, but there’s a chance his view isn’t the best either. 

Theres also a chance his view is better, which isn’t mentioned by Anderson.

With the ball having gone down towards the byline before being cut back, he’s not looking at it side on, where he would be best placed to judge. His view might be partially blocked by the body of Sviatchenko. Furthermore, the assistant referee may have had a better idea it was a dive, but due to his angle probably wasn’t sure and didn’t want to overrule Robertson. 

Then what is his purpose ? And why did he run full pelt to the tunnel at full time without shaking anyones hand ?

From Schalk hitting the deck to the whistle going there is only around one second, which indicates Robertson made the call without any consultation. 

Thats right. He couldn’t wait.


In that circumstance, it would take a brave assistant to overrule the leading match official in case it later transpires he’s got it wrong. 

Or one actually doing his job.

Added to all of this is Schalk’s dive itself. Without meaning to praise a blatant act of cheating, 

but it was a thing of beauty..he did it so well he fooled everyone except those who saw it.

the Dutchman times his tumble perfectly as he goes past Sviatchenko, and even flicks his left boot inward (also visible in Image One), like it’s been forcefully pushed in that direction by that of an opposing defender. Schalk has conned Celtic but he’s conned the referee as well, and no official wants to be made to look a fool by any player.

Dead right. They are perfectly capable of doing that all by themselves.

Others have claimed the fourth official or far side linesman should have intervened, but there’s no chance they would. Even if their view is clear, they’re too far away from the incident. 

Ah-that explains why everyone in the crowd thought it was a penalty.

• Craig Anderson is a former fully qualified referee. 

Don Robertson is a fully qualified referee. So is Andrew Dallas, And Bobby Madden. and John Beaton. And so on.


The problem lies with the referee chief. He’s doing nothing to improve the quality of the referees in Scotland, and isn’t being held accountable.

In October 2015, he told Gary Ralston, of the Record why Scottish refs keep making an arse of things..

They don’t benefit from the 22 camera positions and slow-motion replays fans and pundits have instant access to.

The answer to the problem then is to have someone watching the telly , contactable by ear piece who has got that advantage. Yet Fleming has made no move towards introducing this. Even on a trail basis in one of the Cup competitions.

Yesterday, he came out and spoke about the Schalk incident,  and its unusual enough for anyone at the SFA to speak about anything.

But thise wagons need to be circled. Quickly.

It’s an error from the referee, quite obviously, and it was identified very quickly when you look at the live footage,” Fleming said.

“It’s a good example of where a video assistant referee would clarify the situation very, very quickly.

“It’s simulation by the player. The players will adopt whatever tactics they adopt though, it’s up to my own department to see if we can identify the issues that are deemed to be unfair.

“As [Ross County manager] Jim McIntyre said, maybe the player anticipated contact, but that’s one of the criteria for simulation – the anticipation or initiation of contact. The player anticipated something and he went to ground.

“From our perspective, we need to make sure that the referee is in a good position to see that, and I’ve got to work with Don and the assistant referee to make sure they are in a good position when the two players come together to identify whether there is contact enough to put a player to ground or not. 

“Don was in a good position, but he didn’t get the view he wanted, hence the reason why he still got it wrong and he gave the penalty kick. 

“There are things where the video assistant referee will tell us matters of fact. Was it inside or outside the penalty area? Onside or offside? Over the line or not?

“Incidents like yesterday, when you look at the footage, it is clear that it is simulation. So, for an incident as clear-cut as that, then it can be identified by the video assistant referee.” 

But, of course, he has no intention of introducing video assistants.

Or he would have done by now.

As for working with “Don and the assistant referee” , that simply isn’t good enough, especially as Robertson is due to be part of the team at the Semi Final on Sunday.

The question remains, however, is it a conspiracy, or is it just that the referees are crap.

Or maybe its a conspiracy where referees are intentionally picked because they are piss poor. That way, no one has to encourage them to make the “right ” decision , they’ll do it all by themselves anyway.

Whatever the reason, this Sundays game is not a dead rubber, and the consequences of any mistakes, honest or otherwise, will be far more serious than the fall out from Sunday.

Former defender Johann Mjallby reckons ots not down to officials if Celtic fail to land a treble. Its not about that, its about the fact that the officials are not competent enough to ensure that a level playing field ensues.

The Swede told the Evening Times;

“You can’t look at it that way. The officials do everything they can to make everything right but it is impossible otherwise you would just have computers there making all the decisions. It is just the way it is.

“I am quite sure no-one in the Celtic camp will be thinking that way. I have never experienced that where you would walk around thinking that a referee was going to make a decision go against you and it will blow up your chances of winning a Treble.

If it happens it happens but that is not in your mind and it won’t be on Brendan Rodgers’ mind or the players’ minds. They are going out to play the game and even if they win the game on Sunday they still have another game to go.

“Of course it is fine [Robertson involved on Sunday]. He is a referee. I don’t know how many years and how many games he has been refereeing but he is there and has been appointed to do his job and I am sure he will do his job to the utmost of his ability.” 

And Mjallby, of course, always stopped to listen to what referees said..

Image result for johan mjallby argues with referee


With Celtic ignoring the warning signs of recent games where players have been injured by enthusiastic tackles after referees allowed earlier challenges to go unpunished, its time the manager and the CEO spoke out about the lack of protection for the players.

Its fairly certain that “rangers ” will adopt their usual kick and rush style on sunday, and Collum must be firm to keep the game under control.

One of the problems to be dealt with is that there are so many average players in the “rangers ” side who are simply not up to playing in the goldfish bowl of Glasgow, and they cannot handle the attention or the pressure.

With Europe about to close the door on the club due to their imaginative accounting, this is as big a game as it gets for them, and fearing another five goal humiliation, they will resort to the physical side of the game, and hope the referee likes a drink…

Image result for goat drinking beer

Elsewhere, and the long awaited trial of Craig Whyte starts today.


Please note that the Rangers case remains live under Contempt of Court Act and nothing should be published that might prejudice the case  

Whyte had apparently appeared on twitter,

but he has had second thoughts. If it was him, that is..

Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!

You can search Twitter using the search box below or return to the homepage.

Probably for the best, really. I also note there that John James has offered the use of his site to give Whyte a voice, clearly demonstrating a working knowledge of the contempt of court rules.


If you want to find out whats going on over in court, then James Doleman @jamesdoleman on twitter is your man

Its not worth bothering with anyone else, as they probably won’t even be there, and even if they are, they’ll leave out most of the good bits.

Now, with the fitieth anniversary of the greatest footballing achievement ever just around the corner, we are going to try to look at it diffeently from everyone else.

Though not as differently as this German newspaper, whuch triumphed the victory of football over anti football

Yet if the player listed in the Celtic line up had indeed been playing for Celtic, the headline could well have been reversed…

Yesterdays caption competition

Image result for brendan Rodgers Don Robertson

yesterdays winning entry was won by a man who clearly took the time to study body language and facial expressions before confidently predicting the word already forming on the mouth of the Celtic manager

Cartvale88 April 17, 2017 at 2:32 pm · Edit · Reply


Today, is it possible that Jock Stein is using less industrial language ?