Why VAR Is The Last Chance


Watching Match of the Day on Monday night was a revelation for those of us who like to get our footballing fix via more agricultural methods,as regularly displayed north of the border. In six matches-exactly the same as a round of fixtures in the the SPL-not one of the twelve teams went out with the intention of parking the bus,or of simply playing for a draw.

None were fazed by the prospect of playing against sides in a far higher position in the table,nor with their own lowly position in it. Admittedly,the prospect of “place money”, where clubs are rewarded in accordance with their league position at the end of the season,might have had something to do with it. But that surely works both ways,as playing for a point while hoping for a lucky breakaway might pay bigger dividends than playing an open,expansive game against quality opposition? Hmmmm,discuss!

We had the likes of West Ham away to leaders Arsenal. No backs to the wall from the unfairly maligned David Moyes,whose only fault has been his bravery in taking over a clapped-out Man Utd from Fergie.  Nope,he went out there and took the game to Arsenal. Even went in at half time a goal up. Now,admittedly his side hardly got a kick in the second half-but that was down to the sheer relentless attacking prowess of Arsenal,who have been a revelation this season.

Brentford at home to fourth placed Spurs? No worries about only one win in their last seven,they stormed into a two goal lead. It could and should have been more,but for some wasteful efforts by Toney’s partner’s striking efforts. Banjoes and coo’s arses sprung to mind watching him. Spurs didn’t give up either,drawing level and counting themselves unfortunate not to take all three points. 

Wolves,only two wins all season and a new manager playing away at fellow strugglers Everton? Here,perhaps,was the only example of two teams low on confidence-yet each went for the win for the whole ninety minutes. Either could have snatched a late winner,as there were chances galore. Wolves it was who got it–and you could tell what it meant to them! 

Leicester found themselves two down very early on at home to Newcastle-who ended the day in second place. No thought of damage limitation here,they worked hard throughout to claw it back. Newcastle were simply too good for them on the day,and played some excellent football. The goal from Almeiron was a peach. 

A south coast derby between Southampton and Brighton was perhaps the biggest mismatch of them all,Brighton coasting to victory. But the home side persevered up front-and with that defence,I don’t blame them-and got a goal along with a fair few other chances. 

But the best performance was probably from Liverpool at Villa. Liverpool sprayed some wonderful passes all over the pitch,destroying any defensive plan Villa might have had. Their players were not restricted to their “own” areas of the pitch either,witness the first-time assist from the right by Andy Robertson. Liverpool looked unplayable-yet Villa had more than enough chances to win,with Bailey and McGinn probably the worst offenders. 

Overall,an excellent way to round off the last 80 minutes of the bank holiday. But what has it got to do with Celtic,you will rightly ask? Well,VAR down south has been getting pelters for some time now. Rightly so,too. They have had a couple of seasons now to get it right,but there have been inconsistencies,and many instances where the checks take too long. Up in Scotland,we are blessed with referees who acquired the skills to do all those things with their new toy almost from the start-!-but it has clearly been a source of some irritation for a while in England. 

The new refereeing boss and head of PGMOL is Howard Webb. He and his team have clearly spent the weeks of the World Cup break wisely,investigating the problem from basic principles. 

“It is designed to work,and it does work. So why isn’t it working?”

Webb,himself a top referee,seems to have come up with the answer. We know that VAR will only be used for decisions involving penalties,red cards,offside and goals. And that will not,cannot,change. But,and I quote…

“Only those incidents which jump out at you will be looked into.”

So,have we seen the last days of Spirograph and 3D offside decisions based on a player’s armpit hair? A penalty decision resting on whether a player touched the ball with a fingernail,etc? There were a few contentious ones on Monday alone,and each time the referee went with what should have been seen in real time,rather than from an obscure camera angle. Some of them might have been wrong,and certainly would have been judged differently before. But even the more obvious ones,like Mitrovic heading onto his own arm in the build-up to the second goal,were actually correct on the proper application of the laws.

So there it is. Scottish referees spent their time refining the system to their own interpretation up here,and all the time the answer was only a phone call away. I look forward to a manager in Scotland highlighting a dodgy VAR call by comparing it to how exactly the same system is used in England. Because I doubt that even the SFA can find an excuse to refer that manager to the disciplinary board for bringing the game into disrepute.

Meanwhile,the Celtic board are stuck replaying their Greatest Hits and hoping that enough of the support either don’t know or don’t care about their impotence,or are resigned themselves to being unable to force change. Whether that change is from the club-or other wronged clubs-or the SFA is irrelevant when nothing is ever going to change anyway. Some,of course,will never give up the attempt,so the board rely on the weight of numbers or of people voting with their feet,attending the games to support the team even as they curse the board we are stuck with.

And their greatest hit of all is the perennial evergreen of relaying their feelings behind the scenes-the “B” side presumably some dirge about working through the normal channels. 

All the behind the scenes bollocks has been proven to be a complete failure. “Usual channels of communication”,etc,plays right into their hands. Get the demand for improvement and EQUAL officiating for all,right across the board,fired off,and RELEASE IT FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION. 

So what if certain mainstream and other off the wall media outlets will pull us up for it,ridicule it in their time-honoured way? They do that anyway,whether we speak out or not. The last time anything like this was tried by a high-ranking official at the club was Dr John Reid,in 2008. The SFA shit a brick,the media set their pit bulls loose. Reid CGAF,these were minnows compared to the sharks he was used to swatting aside. 

The days of us being forced to sit at the back of the bus are over,he declared. And they bloody would have been too,if the board hadn’t shit a brick anaw. Reid was unceremoniously resigned. Not only were they a bunch of spineless basterts who weren’t up for a fight,preferring the status quo-but unbeknown to us,Operation Save Our Huns was just about to kick in. 

And in their futile attempt to do just that,they nearly destroyed the club they are so proud to represent,and handsomely paid so to do. If they ignore the repercussions of VAR,they are rerunning that very operation. Because with the usual avenues of financial chicanery now effectively closed to them,the referees are their last hope. And they will continue to answer that masonic distress signal unless someone does something about it.


Above article by BMCUWP

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December 30, 2022 8:30 am
December 30, 2022 8:31 am

Apologies for the font change. Don’t ask me?!!

December 30, 2022 8:33 am

JOBO POTY Competition


Good morning, friends and a Big Happy Friday to you all!
2 consecutive games where we score 4 times suggests that we are in just the right vein of form to kick off 2023 in style. And yet the first 10-15 minutes suggested to me that it was more likely to be a high scoring but tight encounter. But once Aaron Mooy took control of that midfield the result was never in doubt. 4 really good goals (I include the penalty in that!) and another 3 or 4 ‘how did that not go in’ chances made for very enjoyable viewing. Bizarre moment of the evening was whilst the game was goalless and Hatate decided to take a long throw into the box. Our box! Bizarre comment of the night though was provided by Andy Walker after Hibs scored a clearly offside early goal. The linesman flagged and the referee agreed and so in pre-VAR days that’d have been that. So for Andy to then say “ Well, VAR got that one right” a few seconds after play restarted was a real D’oh moment!
Domestically we have now played 21, winning 20 and losing just 1. We have scored 69 and conceded 15.
Thanks to the 82 who emailed me with their 3 nominations.
Very exciting voting for last night’s game with 2 players each getting over 95% of the nominations. But there can only be one winner. So, the total votes cast for each player with my own choices asterisked are as follows –
Hart: 0
Hatate: 17
Carter-Vickers*: 3
Starfelt: 37
Taylor: 2
McGregor: 23
O’Riley: 0
Mooy*: 79
Abada: 0
Kyogo: 6
Maeda*: 75

Forrest: 0
Giakoumakis: 0
Bernabei: 1
Jota: 0
Vata: 0

And so the players receiving POINTS for the game against Hibs are –
Mooy – 5 pts
Maeda – 4 pts
Starfelt – 3 pts
McGregor – 2 pts
Hatate – 1 pt

And after 27 games the overall standings are as shown below –
58 points – Hatate
38 points – Taylor
36 points – Carter-Vickers
34 points – Jota
28 points – McGregor and O’Riley
23 points – Abada and Mooy
22 points – Jenz
20 points – Kyogo
15 points – Haksabanovic
13 points – Giakoumakis
12 points – Juranovic and Starfelt
10 points – Ralston
9 points – Bernabei and Welsh
8 points – Forrest
7 points – Maeda
5 points – Turnbull
4 points – Hart
0 points – Abildgaard, McCarthy and Siegrist

*Player Of The Month for December*
There were only 4 fixtures played during December, all of them in the league. A reminder that the Player Of The Month award is based purely on the TOTAL votes given to each player during that month’s games.
The winners for the earlier months of this season were Jota (August), Hatate (September and October) and O’Riley (November).
For December, in 3rd place with a total of 97 is Aaron Mooy. Runner up with 98 votes is Liel Abada. And the Player Of The Month for December 2022 with 103 votes is Calum McGregor.

We now have the weekend to enjoy before our next league encounter, a 12.30pm kick off on Monday for our trip to the home of Triggers Broom FC. Just like every other league game there are only 3 points at stake. And also, just like every other game, our best performing player will get 5 points. But given that we are playing our closest rivals the game gives Celtic the chance to open up a 12 point gap at the top of the table.
The voting arrangements should be back to normal for that one – vote by 10.00pm on Tuesday evening and the results should be out shortly after that.
Hail Hail!

December 30, 2022 8:48 am
Jobo Baldie
December 30, 2022 10:09 am

Good morning, friends and a Big Happy very wet Friday to you all.

bada Bing 1
December 30, 2022 10:56 am
December 30, 2022 11:00 am

Morning all

Warning in advance, off work today so you may get at least one more message from me today!

Saddened rather more by the passing of Pele than Vivienne Westwood although I’d acknowledge the latter played a significant role in early British punk which was something which played a huge part in my late adolescence and early adulthood. I would not have ever wished her harm but I cannot say I liked her though. RIP

Pele passing is another reminder that the Great are as mortal as everybody else. As a child he was , with Ali, a sporting figure I idolised and although his feet were partly made of clay he remained a dignified and revered figure. Like Ali he was incapable of letting me down – unlike Diego Maradona who let me and his fans down often but part of whose greatness was that he remained eternally forgiveable. Pele never needed forgiving though

It seems increasingly futile to compare sporting figures across different eras. In football there is no Greatest of All Time- levels of professionalism, the way rules are applied, state of pitches, evolution of tactics make the idea foolish And are the greatest keepers and defenders such as Banks, Maldini and Beckenbauer actually worth less than Messi, Zidane or Cruyff simply because they scored few or no goals? ( No slights intended on any players mentioned BTW) However, I’ll be bold enough to say that Pele was the best player of his era and, more foolishly, that whilst Brazil have had more great players than any other country in my time of watching football he was their best player of my time- and by a fair whack

Thanks for the memories El Rey


St tams
December 30, 2022 11:09 am

Excellent article Bobby.
Nothing has changed behind the scenes at Celtic Park.
We have a board full of cowards.

Very sad the passing of Pele . What a player .
1970 world cup is when I first discovered him.
Sitting up into the early hours with my oldest brother watching the games from Mexico.
The dummy on the goalkeeper, against Uruguay.
even though he never scored, is one of my favourites.

Patrick Quigley
December 30, 2022 11:09 am

The great Pele has joined the Lions in Paradise. My only connection to him is that my wife’s nephew, Dennis Tueart , actually replaced him at New York Cosmos when he joined them from Manchester City. He was apparently a really nice man. R I P.

bada Bing 1
December 30, 2022 11:12 am
December 30, 2022 11:18 am


Welcome aboard,hope you enjoy the site.

I remember Dennis Tueart,scored the winner in the league cup final,mid-seventies. That looked destined to be City’s last “major” until the oil money arrived.

December 30, 2022 11:19 am


I actually understood that sketch more than anything Beale has ever said!

December 30, 2022 11:22 am


Chrissy Hynde left a job with NME to work in Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s “alternative” designer shop. Didn’t last long though.

bada Bing 1
December 30, 2022 11:26 am

Iwata be adored…🎼🎼, a reworking of an old classic

December 30, 2022 11:43 am

Patrick Quigley
The great Pele has joined the Lions in Paradise. My only connection to him is that my wife’s nephew, Dennis Tueart , actually replaced him at New York Cosmos when he joined them from Manchester City. He was apparently a really nice man. R I P.

Dennis Tueart gave a brilliant interview on BBC Breakfast this morning. Worth watching if you can get on on iPlayer

Big Audio Dynamite
December 30, 2022 11:50 am

Welcome, Tomo.
Hope you are half as good as the last Tomo we had 🍀🍀

December 30, 2022 12:10 pm


Many claim to have worked at Malky’s boutique but Chrissy really did. And Ms Hynde, if you are reading this* – Lang may yer lum reek


* An unlikely scenario I admit!

December 30, 2022 12:15 pm


You never know-her ex husband might have told her about the site!

(Presumably along the lines of-“Remember you said all Celtic fans are paranoid? There’s guys on this site explain why we wurnae paranoid enough!”)

December 30, 2022 12:17 pm

bada bing1

Welcome Tomoki…..or Tam for short…
At 5’10”,short might be le mot juste.

Big Audio Dynamite
December 30, 2022 1:59 pm

When football’s most iconic moments are ranked, surely Pele’s dummy of the Uraguay keeper will be ranked among the most memorable.

The world cup has provided many such moments, but that is one that I doubt I will ever tire of watching.

He really was a class act.


December 30, 2022 2:12 pm

St tams
Excellent article Bobby.
Nothing has changed behind the scenes at Celtic Park.
We have a board full of cowards.
That is not my experience.

My experience is that it takes longer to address issues than I would like for various reasons that if explained are actually reasonable not excuses.

I would not take the absence of evidence of activity as meaning there isnt any.

It is frustrating at times but does not deserve the judgement that everyone responsible for running Celtic are cowards.

Such judgements make it harder to build bridges with supporters. Would you be happy to work with someone who judged you a coward?

If a more healthy relationship is to be built between The Board and support then both sides need to drop their judgements of each other to enable a better relationship to develop or is that not desirable to end frustrations?

bada Bing 1
December 30, 2022 2:25 pm




Pele and Maradona

December 30, 2022 2:40 pm

St Tams.

I should explain I see a difference between the younger executives whose job it is to implement the policies set at Board level and those Board members who have been there too long.

The term “The Board” makes no distinction between both and there is but improving relationships with supporters is a policy at Celtic and desire of CEO for the executive to carry out..

I just wish it moved at a faster pace. as it would remove much of what causes dissatisfaction.

Prestonpans bhoys
December 30, 2022 3:01 pm

Alfredo Morelos has trained and should be available along with Colak,” said Beale. “Roofe is touch and go, he would definitely be available if Morelos doesn’t make it.

My take on that last sentence is simple, if Morelos was injured then they would pump Roofe full of pain killers to make him available. Any manager in any profession has a duty of care to their staff/employees, this arse doesn’t

December 30, 2022 3:19 pm


Touch and go,but definitely available IF?

Yep,I think you have nailed that!

December 30, 2022 3:30 pm

VAR definitely takes some of the instant pleasure out of the game, with these unnecessary long stoppages, though nothing unexpected there with this bunch of referees, be as well with a photo of a referee with a sash on, sitting in front of a VAR screen, instead of a real person, for all the help they are to us.

Jobo thanks for the POTY results 👍

Interesting that Maeda who had his best game on Wednesday, is sitting 4th from bottom, I’d describe him as a team player with a fantastic engine, what he lacks in skill he makes up for with his harassment of our opponents, and is always willing to track back and help out, he lacks no enthusiasm that’s for sure. I’m just surprised to see he has so few votes, maybe he will kick on from Wednesday with renewed confidence of a goal and an assist. I suppose it also shows what the voters think of the high quality of the the rest of the team.


St tams
December 30, 2022 3:40 pm

I appreciate what you are saying.
But since the CEO, has been in the job. From what I
can see, there has been virtually no interaction or communication with the support from him.
Do you have any idea why that is.

December 30, 2022 3:43 pm

I’ve a wee story with a bit of Chrstmas sprinkle for lighter relief about how to solve a tricky problem.

One of my heavenly jobs in the mid 80s was Office Manager of the then British Developmeent Division in The Caribbean. (It was heavenly as a job and a location.)

I had various responsibilities but overall it was to ensure the smooth running of the office where local Bajan staff did the day to day administration stuff from secretaries to accounts and book keeping to driver and office cleaner.

I realised after arrival that this was a hierarchy not to be treated lightly as I’ll come back to. These staff worked for officers mainly from the UK, a mix of executive Civil servants from clerical up to senior Head of BDDC. My job was to keep them and their families happy. Quite rewarding when I did.

Back to the local hierarchy and the tricky problem.

The cleaner, bottom of the hierarchical rung, complained about the driver, on the next rung above, moving a chair in which he had his lunch time snooze and not returning it to his normal position where she cleaned it every day as part of her routine, meaning she had to shift it back.

It was a fairly heavy chair and the cleaner (who bred turkeys everyone bought at Christmas ) was not getting any younger, so doing nothing was not an option.

However if I ordered the driver either to not move the chair or return it to it’s original position after use on the basis of the cleaner complaint, I would be causing a seismic shift at ground level of the local hierarchy with the risk that if I did nothing Christmas dinners could be placed in jeopardy.

As luck would have it the location of the chair was in front of an exit that doubled as a fire exit. That was my way out of a potentially heated situation.

I told the driver he could not place the chair in front of the fire exit as it constituted a safety hazard but was free to use it in it’s normal location.

That move met with approval of the lady Head of Accounts, quite high up the hierarchy rung, that developed into a long lasting friendship that saw me take her to visit Edinburgh Castle years later, where she revealed on leaving that the visit had met an ambition she had held from childhood.

Lessons in there but the main one is that things can be trickier and more complex than we realise, but doing the right thing for the right reasons, even though that might upset the driver, in the long term has benefits yet to unfold.

I also forged the signature of the visiting Permanent Secretary, a knight of the realm, but as Big Packy would say, thats another story.

Craig 76
December 30, 2022 3:49 pm

With Celtic having signed Japanese player of the year, Tomoki Iwata, there are reports that Rangers fans are very keen on his brother Lav.

Craig 76
December 30, 2022 3:58 pm

Young Hoops with a fantastic 5-2 win againts Wee Old firm fc

Prestonpans bhoys
December 30, 2022 3:59 pm



December 30, 2022 4:02 pm

Hearing the B Team won 5-2.

Also, could be Young Vata’s last game. Saying no more.


December 30, 2022 4:04 pm

I appreciate what you are saying.
But since the CEO, has been in the job. From what I
can see, there has been virtually no interaction or communication with the support from him.

I agree but I have had conversations with The Company Secretary whose brief has been extended, but not his working hours, to make progress on improving relations.

I left the dialogue article with him and another with an
interest to consider, but other priorities like tackling the developing VAR/Referee issue have had higher priorities.

There was a discussion that came up when working on legal costs to Foundation on how to improve relations and changing how the Fans Forum works, where what SES highlighted about its failings was useful. So too the lack of capacity to make progres in a quicker way was discussed , a major issue as an ex capacity builder I have observed.

I do hope the possible Fans Forum solution is pursued in the new year. but like us all, we have to wait and see.

December 30, 2022 4:08 pm

Craig 76

I finally got it. Lol

I blame my breakfast.

December 30, 2022 4:09 pm

From Celtic Twitter .. Celtic B won 5-2 against Rangers B at Paradise today.

December 30, 2022 4:13 pm

Excuse an indulgence. This is a non football story brought on by the closing of another year. Scroll past if you wish.

My father passed away in December, 2010. He had Parkinson’s and it was a relief for all for him to move on to another adventure. He waited for me to get back from Canada to see him one last time. We talked about that Viva I mentioned yesterday but that is a story for another time.

After some months I was back in Scotland again visiting Mum. One of my brothers gave me some of Dad’s possessions. He gave me a brass reproduction of the Rolls Royce RB211 aero engine that Dad had worked on. It was presented to him on his retirement. More pertinent, he also gave me my Dad’s service record as he had served in the 8th Army in Egypt. I knew that Dad had attained the rank of sergeant and that he had only just got married before he enlisted. Mum was very upset because he did not have to go as he had a protected job in Barr & Stroud as a time served instrument maker. I was born while he was away.

There is a family story that relates how my time on this earth was nearly very short. As a baby, I contracted gastric enteritis and was written off as having little chance of survival. I still have the scars on my ankles where the various intravenous tubes were inserted. I was moved into a room on my own where the family could say goodbye to me. Dad was flown home from Egypt to say cheerio. Since I am not levitating in another world, you are probably ahead of me, I survived.

What I did not know was contained in Dad’s service record. All reports are very positive except one that indicated that he had deserted and had been court martialed. The outcome was that he lost his stripes but that no negative writeup should be placed on his assessment of service. He had simply stayed with Mum so that he could see me out of danger. When he saw I was going to survive, he turned himself in. There is a letter from his CO commending him for his action, under extraordinary circumstances.

I never knew what he had done for me at great sacrifice until after he was gone. That was Dad. Bad tempered, badly dressed, somewhat frustrated by life but he had what really mattered.

I shall toast you into 2023.


December 30, 2022 4:24 pm

Jobo and SFTB

Thanks for all the hard work both of you have put into POTY and match predictions.

I’m crap at the latter but am in more harmony with POTY selections.

Thanks again.

Craig 76
December 30, 2022 4:27 pm

Lovely post that 👏
It made me chuckle 🤣
Prestonpans Bhoy

December 30, 2022 4:28 pm

Rebus67 that’s a nice story, and an even fonder personal memory for you, I think it is sometimes nothing short of amazing how we only find out some of our parents qualities, after they have departed, it’s as if, they saved some of the best for last.


Prestonpans bhoys
December 30, 2022 4:29 pm

Just watching Terry Jacks singing Seasons in the sun from 1973….

Now our words were….we had joy we had fun when we beat the huns 7:1but the joy couldn’t last as the huns ran away too fast 😉 😀 😄

December 30, 2022 4:34 pm


Great story.

I was visiting my sister yesterday with my kids and the question of what our dad, their grandad do in the war came up.

I’m going to have to dig but regardless he was a great father.

December 30, 2022 4:36 pm



Prestonpans bhoys
December 30, 2022 4:51 pm


Just noticed your post, what a wonderful story.

Craig 76
December 30, 2022 4:58 pm

St tams
December 30, 2022 4:59 pm


What a story . Fantastic. 👍

St tams
December 30, 2022 5:04 pm

I have attended 2 fans forums in the last 6 months.
They were both chaired by JPT, who I can’t speak highly enough of.
It would have been appreciated by all who were there , if the CEO, could have spared 10 mins to attend.
Maybe at the next one.

December 30, 2022 5:25 pm

That’s a wonderful story, and brilliantly encapsulated the great man your dad obviously was. A wonderful read. Thanks for sharing.

December 30, 2022 6:12 pm

St Tams.

I met JPT a few times after he was appointed SLO and he does a grand job.
I think he could do with a little more help to make it even grander.

The king
December 30, 2022 6:13 pm

Rebus.i could read your Storys all night.fantastic HH🍀🍀🍀