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Why Referees Declaring Allegiances Won’t Help Celtic

I listed to Frank’s call on Go Radio there from Tuesday night’s show, which is available on Spotify and his call starts around 38 minutes in for anyone wanting to listen.

His main point is that he feels that the referees in this country, at least some of them, are corrupt and that Celtic having been getting unfair decisions go against us due that bias and corruption, and have been for the 30 years that he has been going to Celtic Park.

He got into a rather heated debate with Andy Walker, who himself doesn’t believe there is any anti-Celtic bias or corruption going against us, he just believes that bad decisions go against all teams.

Frank suggested that in order to help prevent this continuing, that referees in Scotland must declare there allegiances like they do in England, as in what team they support.

This had the support of fellow pundit Mark Guidi, who said that would be common sense and the right thing to do.

I was looking into what exactly they need to declare and what sort of background checks are done to determine if the referees are providing accurate information to the FA, and I found the below in the Liverpool Echo:

In 2016 Keith Hackett, the former head of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organisation that makes refereeing appointments for Premier League games, told the BBC: “At the beginning of every season the referees’ background information is audited.

“They complete a form that includes who they support, the history of if they’ve played the game and with the addresses where they are residing.”

“That gives you a picture that comes into use when you’re appointing. It’s about ensuring, for example, you wouldn’t appoint a Sheffield-based ref for a Sheffield team.” 

So, how would that work in Scotland? Because I think it’s fair to say most of the top flight referees live in Glasgow, so they aren’t going to prevent any referee who lives in Glasgow from officiating ‘Rangers’ or Celtic, because we’d end up with the same one or two refs every game!

But obviously, if a referee declares they support ‘Rangers’ they aren’t going to be allowed to referee any of their matches.

The thing is, what’s to stop them lying?

What’s to stop them doing what every journalist in the country does and claim they support St Mirren?

If you are of the belief that certain referees are corrupt or biased, what makes you think they will suddenly come clean and lose any power they have to influence things?

It seems to be that all you need to do is tell the FA what team you support and they simply have to take your word for it.

To me, that simply isn’t going to work, because there isn’t a chance in hell any referee is going to come out and say they support either one of ‘Rangers’ or Celtic in this country.

Even for example if they weren’t corrupt and weren’t biased, would they really take anyway any chance they have of refereeing at Celtic Park, or Ibrox or in a Glasgow derby?

And of course, if you say you support one of them or us, it also automatically means that you won’t be allowed to referee the other as well.

What sort of look would it be if it came out that a referee was a massive Celtic fan and took charge of a ‘Rangers’ game away to Hearts for example and denied them a last minute penalty? Scottish football would go into meltdown!

Something definitely needs done about the refereeing in this country, but unfortunately, asking referees to confirm what team they support, isn’t going to be the solution some hope for it to be.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. John

    I might be wrong but I think refs throughout Europe have to make the same declarations as in England.

  2. John

    And would it help if we knew which Lodge they belonged to and which pubs they frequent?

  3. Brian

    One of the current referees coaches the rangers youths for god sake, that is conflict for god sake and we all know it.

  4. Mr James A Burns

    VAR should be outsourced to say England, Spain, Italy, France or anywhere. We don’t need another Collum in the hut laughing his head off, so a non ludge VAR guy elsewhere could judge any incidents fairly. Make it three VAR officials in three different locations…

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