Farcing It Up


I’m still mightily annoyed with the SFA over their mishandling of so many things,especially in the last few weeks. You’d think I’d be used to it by now having attended my first Celtic game in 1967,but no. Not really. I’m told you can get used to anything,and that may be true. But only when something is unavoidable and cannot be changed. 

Over the last two nights,I’ve watched four of the best teams in Europe score eleven goals between them. I had two alternative matches available too,which provided seven goals. Goals don’t necessarily mean that a football match has been a classic,but it helps! There were six goals shared between us and TFOD on Sunday,but my main memory of that event was the rampant cheating. 

Celtic released a strongly worded statement the following day on events at Ibrox,letting the SFA know in no uncertain terms that we were not happy with the performance of the refereeing team on the day. I don’t expect it to cause any sleepless nights at Hampden,given their tendency to laugh up their sleeves at us,but at least it is an improvement on our time-honoured mealy-mouthed claptrap about making our observations through official back channels. 

The SFA have clearly not yet received our formal letter of complaint. Who knows,maybe all these tales we read in the papers are true,the ones from concerned postal staff telling us that standard mail is casually and routinely ignored in favour of more expensive parcels. Either way,they haven’t responded. So,to give the SFA the benefit of the doubt,the possibility does exist that the reason for the absence of any response to date is that they haven’t yet received our complaint. Got lost in the post or wrongly delivered. Or maybe the dog ate it. I dunno,they’ll think of something. 

The reason I bring it up is because Aberdeen were also on the receiving end of some questionable VAR decisions at the weekend. They let the SFA know of their displeasure yesterday in their own strongly worded criticism of events. Seems that they had a goal ruled out for offside. The goal was originally given as the linesman didn’t raise his flag. VAR reviewed the goal for any possible infringement-as is their duty-and discovered that there was an equipment failure! Their Cyclops system,which is supposed to draw the lines between the attacking player and the last defender,wasn’t working properly. 

I seem to remember that happening to us at Fir Park last season. Jota scored one of the goals of the season,but it was chopped off for offside. In our case,the reason given for the cameras not working properly and providing the correct pictures was that they were trained on the crowd at that time. Aye,right. Instead,someone drew some lines using an old Spirograph machine and some French curves and got the still they wanted. In Aberdeen’s case,they drew some lines using a still from the nearest alternative cameras and guessed at the outcome! And if you think that is bad,that was the correct procedure to follow,according to the small print in the VAR regulations!!!

Worse was to come though. One of the reasons for the club’s complaint was that the still cropped out the near side of the pitch,where allegedly there was a Livingston defender who was playing the attackers onside. The still released by the SFA in defence of their officials? Yep,you guessed it-the one with near side of the pitch cropped out! Is there no end to the gymnastics the SFA will perform to defend the incompetence at best of their officials? Well,you know the answer to that. In this case,an educated guess can be forgiven. 

At least Aberdeen received a reply to their complaint,and almost instantaneously. Celtic have not had as much as an acknowledgement of ours. Maybe they are waiting for their own response from Beaton before they do so,in which case I reckon they’ll wait a long time. He doesn’t have to respond unless a letter of complaint is served on him,and I can’t see that happening. The SFA Compliance Officer seems to have a somewhat Nelsonian view of such things,only acting when something offends his own sense of propriety. As Celtic apparently pointed out two weeks ago at BR’s disciplinary,that criticism of officials has been commonplace this season and before,yet it is only our manager who is charged with an offence? I suspect this matter will run for a few weeks yet.

Who knows,the Dundee v Rangers fixture might yet be played before the SFA reply to our complaint. It most definitely will be played before they act on it. At the moment,nobody is coming out of this shambles smelling of roses. Dundee are clearly at fault for the maintenance issues at their ground which has led to the postponements,which are hardly the first this season. Tannadice,a few yards away on the other side of the pitch,is in very good shape and is showing little sign of such weather-related problems. Rangers,naturally,see an avenue for their own mischief and are stirring the pot. I think the SFA will hammer the club for this,it is the fifth postponement so far this season. About a quarter of scheduled fixtures at the ground. 

Far be it from me to suggest that the SPFL didn’t help matters much in the first place by rescheduling the fixture when they did. JOBO helpfully pointed out to us that there is no rule that states a postponed match should be played on the first available date,and that rescheduling of fixtures is at the discretion of the SPFL. Had the match been pencilled in for the first available date,it would have taken place before now,but that would probably have been last week. 

That clearly wasn’t suitable for a number of reasons. The only one which springs to mind being that R2ngers didn’t want to risk it before they played us on Sunday. Their little darlings might have been tired or injured had that happened. To hell with the reality that time was already fast running out before the fixtures split,and that the whole of the league competition could be thrown into flux by any further delays. 

It’s eighteen months now since the introduction of VAR in Scotland. It has been a long eighteen months of tragedy,farce,comedy and errors. Not to mention incompetence and cheating. I go back to the games I mentioned at the top of the article,particularly Tuesday night. Real Madrid v Man City promised,on paper,to be a thriller between two of the best teams in the world. Yet we’ve all seen such promises broken many a time over the years. Blinkin’ flip,only a few weeks ago,I watched City take on an in-form and free-scoring Arsenal in a table-topping clash at The Etihad. I’ve never been so bored in my life. Tuesday night though was something else. 

Six goals and constant attacking football from both sides. Breathtaking. One of the best I’ve seen,and that is no exaggeration. Some of the best players in the world were on display,yet two of them-Haaland and Bellingham-each had a howler. The same could not be said of the referee. In a match of such importance in front of a partisan crowd,two teams with a recent history played out the ninety-plus minutes in the presence of a masterpiece of the art of officiating. The VAR team weren’t overly involved and even cleared the goals with the minimum of fuss. M Letexier,the referee on the night,had a good shout for the MOTM award too,so good was his performance. 

Not once did he get involved when he didn’t have to. No ostentatious flourishing of cards for him,oh no. He let the game flow,and hauled things back when they needed to be. Not only was his part in the proceedings outstanding,it was consistent too. It will never catch on. 

Hopefully,some of our referees were watching-and learning. Though I doubt it,they probably had a ludj meeting that night. And besides which,nobody can teach them anything because they are already the best in the business. Which must be true,because we are constantly reminded of this. And yet,despite the fact that there are officials from 45 countries already appointed for The Euros in a few months,and Scotland being one of the competing sides,there are no appointments from Scotland. 

I wonder if anyone can explain why. Answers on a postcard to SFA,Hampden,Glasgow. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply-or for the penny to drop.

Above article by BMCUWP

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April 11, 2024 7:09 am

Napsters,it’s here! The CHALMERSBHOY Aintree Naps competition which starts today. See link for full details.


Entry is open to all,even those who haven’t participated in our Saturday Naps competition. So click on the link,and good luck!

April 11, 2024 7:09 am

CHALMERSBHOY is also organising our Grand National Sweep. Details below to enter.


Entry is open to all,even those who haven’t participated in our Saturday Naps competition. So click on the link,and good luck!

April 11, 2024 7:11 am


You can read our article on a resolution for improving refereeing standards here.


Join the growing numbers of our readers who have had enough of referees in hun scarves.

April 11, 2024 7:11 am

The Sentinel Celts Charity Drive has nominated Blood Cancer UK as the recipient for funds for the next six months to 31/07/2024,and we are getting close to achieving our SECOND TARGET.

We have set up a GoFundMe page for those who have some spare cash to donate,even from a lucky windfall or finding a tenner in the street.

Click on the link for more details,including how to donate.


Please give generously to a very deserving cause. Although our first targets have now been achieved-and many thanks for your generosity!-we can always hope to do more.

Big Audio Dynamite
April 11, 2024 8:29 am

Wish I had 10p for every time Celtic released a strongly worded statement, and 5p every time it was forgotten about a few days later ..I’d be a rich man!

Watched my first CL game in a long time last night. (PSG – Barca)
As great a game of football as it was, my main takeaway was the speed and accuracy of the passing ..just wow!
Every player on the park was capable of hitting the most jaw dropping passes.
You can’t help but think how far away from that standard we have allowed ourselves to become.
I’d watch more of it, but I quickly become bored watching the same 8 teams competing for the trophy every year.
I also think they will eventually be forced to go back to the original format, simply because fans will get bored of watching Man C v Real every year.
Can’t deny that I really enjoyed the top class football last night though.

April 11, 2024 9:50 am

I think we all agree that Dundee have a serious issue with their surface which will definitely require some repair work in the close season but let’s look at the recent postponements again. The first one of Der Hun games came shortly after they were eliminated from Europe on a wet Thursday night and days before the Derby with us. The only game in Britain postponed that weekend .In between Motherwell managed to play there even although their manager wasn’t happy and won. Amazing how the weather in the area changed very little over that period but the surface is playable. Yesterday morning its playable but fails in the afternoon again days after the Derby. ( Fans claiming our covers were to blame) Der Hun blaming Dundee is diverting the issues of the coin and bottle throwing incidents from last week , the hate crime sectarian singing from their support and the more time they get to have players available from injury for the run in. It’s another example of the blatant cheating by officials within the Scottish game.
They have the audacity to call Dundee negligent and unprofessional. That’s exactly what that club is. Negligent in allowing one of our staff to be hit with a missile from the man stand when a cover over the dugout should have been installed after the bottle incident last season. Negligent in allowing people to take bottles into the ground when many teams support have complained when more stringent entry arrangements are what is needed. Add these incidents to the various high profile ones over the last 2 or 3 seasons and it blows your mind how much they get away with.
Having a couple of games postponed is way down the list of main issues compared to people’s safety but apparently they don’t consider it to be. If that’s not unprofessional I don’t know what is.
As one of our posters said ” it will be an interesting run in “.

Billy Bhoy
April 11, 2024 10:00 am

Excellent analysis Mahe – stirring stuff!

My X feed is awash with little clips of Beatons’ game management on Sunday. We were cheated relentlessly.

One example I’ve seen is the Iwata foul that led to the disallowed goal. The incident occurred on a dark strip of grass. He plated the ball on the next dark green strip – that’s 12 yards further away! Its all these little things that add up to bias – unconscious or otherwise.

We all hoped that on Monday we would be talking about the game and not the referee. It says a lot about Beaton that despite a breathless 3-3 rollercoaster of a match – with a goal in 21 seconds and one in stoppage time it’s still largely all about his performance!

San Luis
April 11, 2024 10:05 am

There’s a reason Scottish refs aren’t in UEFA lists for CL or Europa games.

I’ve watched many a big Spanish game this season and you wouldn’t know VAR was involved, often only in very close offsides .

Compared with the agenda Scottish refs have , it’s a different game.

It’s not incompetence, it’s bias.

April 11, 2024 10:18 am

Can’t understand why people continually make excuses for referees , they are not totally incompetent they are biased , and not just against Celtic. As pointed out there are loads of evidence from other teams Aberdeen the other night just one example . We all know what’s going on , the title must arrive at Edminston drive . The problem lies with Hampden HQ approval of what’s going on , do they not realise the joke they have made Scottish football . Does anyone think if Scotland were in the later stages of the euros and were matched with England ,and an English referee was appointed for the game , they would just accept it NO CHANCE . We have Scottish football, Scottish refs but refs with an agenda against any team who poses a threat to the Holy grail getting decked out in Blue . The juggernaut can’t be stopped it’s gone on unchallenged too long . Not just by our club but by other clubs , more than us have seen strange decisions game changing decisions go against them . I said on here a few weeks ago after following the celts for now over 66 years I will not be renewing my ST , I’m fed up us being allowed to win when they let us . unlike some other clubs Celtic have the clout to take on the battle , something strange is behind them not mounting a challenge . HH

Sol Kitts
April 11, 2024 10:30 am

I suspect the threat of acute embarrassment over Celtic’s part in the “5 way agreement” may be why our board are afraid to take them on. I believe if everything that happened around 2012 came out, we’d hound Lawwell and the rest out of town.
#Celtic board self preservation society.

Temp Mail Addresses
April 11, 2024 11:39 am

My brother suggested I might like this blog He was totally right This post actually made my day You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info Thanks

April 11, 2024 11:42 am

Your blog is a treasure trove of valuable insights and thought-provoking commentary. Your dedication to your craft is evident in every word you write. Keep up the fantastic work!

April 11, 2024 11:52 am

Welcome to the blog, Emil Bros!
I know, I’ll get me coat!!! 🙄😂

April 11, 2024 11:57 am

There’s some real shitey posts this morning.

Sorry McCaff 😂😂😂

Morning all, ( Just ) !!!!

April 11, 2024 12:01 pm

Remember, it’s pick your horses in the Aintree Naps competition

Let’s get a few more entries as Chalmersbhoy has made a great effort in organizing this 👍

And a wee Charity donation, if affordable, would be most welcome

April 11, 2024 12:07 pm

I know, Leggy, I know! 😁

April 11, 2024 1:36 pm

Best football journalist in the country,Henry Winter,made redundant by The Times. Crazy,papers need to hang on to whatever quality they have. Hopefully he’ll get a gig somewhere without a paywall.

Bada Bing
April 11, 2024 2:37 pm

Never heard so much shite in my life about 1 game getting cancelled

Bada Bing
April 11, 2024 3:13 pm

No flags on the Kop tonight, as a protest against ticket prices

Mike in Toronto
April 11, 2024 3:18 pm

Awe Naw

Apparently, instead of using computerized VAR lines, the SFA have decided to go in a different direction…..

A Thing Of Beauty
April 11, 2024 3:27 pm

Donation made. Let me know how I get a horse for the sweep.

April 11, 2024 3:39 pm

Sol Kitts
I suspect the threat of acute embarrassment over Celtic’s part in the “5 way agreement” may be why our board are afraid to take them on. I believe if everything that happened around 2012 came out, we’d hound Lawwell and the rest out of town.
#Celtic board self preservation society.

Celtic or rather Peter Lawwell were involved in the development of the 5WA but at one remove at least. PL the puppet master, Doncaster the puppet.

Celtic’s credibility as determined rivals of Rangers in all its forms depended the belief of being arch and hated rival.

Otherwise why would PL double down at 2023 AGM that he had not seen the 5WA as stated at 2019 AGM where he avoided asking the second question put iro anyone at Celtic’s involvement.

Eric Riley who was also sent a copy of the failings in the LNS Commision managed to be uncontactable when the SPL Board decided whether or not to accept the LNS Decision.

It is not unreasonable to think as you and others informed do, that if Celtic are prepared to double down denying involvement in the 5WA, they fear the consequences of the support realising (as in making real) that Celtic are the architectures of the threat they now face and consequently cannot call out the SFA that Res12 gave them the opportunity to do.

Reap what you sow and nothing will change until the sower over whom SFA have leverage has gone.

It would look at the time that the survival of ” Rangers” was vital to the well being of Scottiish football and I get that dynamic but all the 5WA has done is poison the game it was designed to save.

Ethics be damned but not without a price.

Bada Bing
April 11, 2024 3:52 pm

OJ Simpson Rest in Pish

Craig 76
April 11, 2024 4:38 pm

When’s a foul not a foul, when it’s a hun with a whistle in charge

April 11, 2024 5:35 pm

Put your name down on the grand national sweep page.

April 11, 2024 5:42 pm

When the final draft of the 5 Way Agreement was emailed by Doncaster to Lawwell, it was routed so as not to include Lawwell’s Private Assistant. It also contained the expression, “ Unless I hear from you, I will assume we have your agreement.” This ‘Get Out Clause’ gave the mendacious Lawwell plausible ( in his eyes ) deniability, sealing his concurrence with this disreputable document without an electronic record of compliance emanating from Celtic Park.

April 11, 2024 5:45 pm

Tuning in to Olympiakos vs Fenerbache. With National rivalry present, could be a belter.

April 11, 2024 5:49 pm

Edin Dzeko still some player.

16 roads
April 11, 2024 5:53 pm

Not only did we have to contend with the MIBs & the VAR cheats, the zombie players were also refereeing the game.

Rotten to the core.

April 11, 2024 5:54 pm

Greeks 1-0 with first chance.

April 11, 2024 6:17 pm

For the Scottish coefficient, we need Fiorentina to beat Victoria Pizen twice. One draw for the Czechs and next season’s SPL winners need to qualify for the CL.

April 11, 2024 6:17 pm

Jovetic puts Greeks up 2-0.

April 11, 2024 6:20 pm

Turks have some really good players, Lovakovic, Tadic, Soyunco, Dzeko, but are now in a spot of bother.
Winner plays winner of Villa vs Lille in semi final.

April 11, 2024 7:05 pm

Olympiakos 3-0 up on Fenerbache. Turks have a real uphill climb now.

April 11, 2024 7:10 pm

Fred coming on for Turks. Just noticed ferret faced Ryan Kunt on the bench for Fenerbache.

April 11, 2024 7:12 pm

Fiorentina with 75% possession at Viktoria Pizen, but still 0-0.

April 11, 2024 7:13 pm

Penalty to Fenerbache, Tadic ( ex Ajax ) to take.
3-1 to Greeks.

April 11, 2024 7:22 pm

Turks score again, 2 in 6 minutes. Kahveci ( some player, btw ) with the goal.

April 11, 2024 7:31 pm

Bonucci coming on for Turks. 117th European tie for him.

April 11, 2024 7:46 pm

Fenerbache fined £98,450 for walking off after 1 minute in Turkish Supercup final.

April 11, 2024 7:48 pm

6 quarter finals coming up in 15 minutes.
SPL champs next season no longer automatically qualify.

April 11, 2024 7:49 pm

Think I’ll watch Leverkusen v West Ham. Hard to believe that it’s just over two years ago we were beating them in Germany with just a few minutes to go.

Great trip,but holding on would have made it even better.

April 11, 2024 7:50 pm


I think Fenerbahce will tell them where to shove their fine. Might as well get hung for a sheep as a lamb.

April 11, 2024 8:00 pm

Think I’ll watch Leverkusen v West Ham. Hard to believe that it’s just over two years ago we were beating them in Germany with just a few minutes to go.
Hi Bobby, Good choice! I can’t make my mind up, so I’m going for all 6.😊
Iniquitous IV

April 11, 2024 8:02 pm

Klopp rotating his squad again. Salah, Robertson, Szoboslai all rested

April 11, 2024 8:03 pm

Atalanta miss an absolute sitter

April 11, 2024 8:06 pm

Dybala is a smashing wee player for Roma.

April 11, 2024 8:08 pm

MacAlistair shoots just over for Liverpool.

April 11, 2024 8:09 pm

Wonderful team goal puts Club Brugge 1-0 up over PAOK Salonica.