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Paying the penalty in SPL games

Chick Young | 17:18 UK time, Monday, 18 August 2008

Celtic fans may or may not be delighted that Chris Hoy rode his bike at the Olympics: but they'll be ecstatic that Thomas Gravesen got on his.

The Parkhead club eventually slipped the manacles off the deadly dull Dane whose only contribution to lighting up the place was a hat-trick against St Mirren at Love Street.

To be fair, Gravesen was a nutty as a fruitcake off the pitch, but at £40,000 a week the club wanted world-class footballers, not after-dinner speakers.

His pay-off would no doubt have squared the debt of some small African nations, but the club did well to cut their losses. Gravesen, in truth, turned out to be as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.

In any case who needs international players when match officials are doing the business for you?gravesen_sns438.jpg

Another week, another questionable refereeing decision, another dodgy penalty.

And compared to what went through Charlie Richmond's mind at Tannadice, Eddie Smith's award against St Mirren was innocent of all charges.

Honestly, the words "Charlie Richmond is now just about the best referee in the country" had scarcely tumbled from my mouth on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound, when he refused Dundee United a spot-kick that was so ridiculously obvious the Celtic back four blushed with embarrassment.

His decision was inconceivable to me. Richmond gets much more right than wrong, has a good relationship with players and managers and is well liked throughout the game.

But this was like giving Dr Crippen community service.

Referees are turning into lemmings, self destructing as they reach the top of the cliff and then jogging towards the edge.

Mike McCurry, Eddie Smith and now Charlie. No more, gentlemen. Get a grip of your whistles and as one go forward together. Our game cannot take much more of this.

Maybe it was just one of these weekends.

In the live post-match interview with Walter Smith at Ibrox I was bombed by a baguette, dropped from some height by two squabbling seagulls.

It was of such size that I thought at first it must have been transported by a pterodactyl and it missed me by the width of a slice of corned beef. It fairly splatted as it landed on the Ibrox track.

There were three major surprises about this.

First, spotting a baguette in Govan, and second that the Rangers manager and I could not contain our mirth and were forced to abandon the interview laughing like childish schoolboys.

Third, that some could take offence, contacting the BBC to suggest some ridiculous alliance with Walter Smith and that I would not have wet my pants with other managers.

Oh the paranoia of it all. Trust me, I would have creased myself if it had happened while I was talking to the Reverend I.M. Jolly.

We really need to loosen up, like that's going to happen with the first Old Firm game of the season on the horizon.

You can't blame James McFadden who revealed at the Scotland camp on Loch Lomondside this week that basically he would rather face the task of emptying the loch with a teaspoon than sign for Rangers or Celtic.

He has deduced that as a Glaswegian it ain't worth the hassle. And that comes from a man who currently works in Birmingham - where even the birds cough.

But actually, Charlie Richmond's aberration aside, the action at Tannadice proved that maybe there isn't that much wrong with the Scottish game.

It was a pulsating, throbbing, breathless 90 minutes which trapped like a drag race and then pressed the accelerator.

And 24 hours earlier Hamilton won again. They can only throw that title away now.

Comments

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  • 1. At 7:05pm on 18 Aug 2008, Mack wrote:

    Chick

    I will agree that Dundee United deserved a penalty yesterday and that Levein has a right to feel put out. However, about Smith last week. say what you will but big Jan was held plain as day. It isn't even circumstantial. It was a penalty.

    It would be nice to have a Celtic match where the outcome wasn't overshadowed by a ref's decision or non-decision.


    PB
    Chicago

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  • 2. At 7:42pm on 18 Aug 2008, YungChicAntiBlog wrote:

    Chick,

    Did the baguette recover or will hehave to drop out of the Scotland squad?

    Yours sincerely,

    YungChicAntiBlog

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  • 3. At 7:58pm on 18 Aug 2008, onlyourpipesrunfree wrote:

    Do we watch the same games sometimes i have to wonder. The St Mirren game last week Celtic were denied a PK then given one that was not, Lets not over look the facts.

    Yesterday if the lad had not tried and conned the ref he may have got it. However as a Celtic Fan i would like to point out that JVOH was guilty of fouling Lee Wilkie and that was a clear PK for Dundee Utd as was Caldwell,s second handball.

    But as for O'Donovan they was more contact on Mikoliunas.


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  • 4. At 8:09pm on 18 Aug 2008, PCMURPH wrote:

    Chic

    When Celtic fans moan about decisions your the first to say they are paranoid but when it happens the other way its ok to insinuate that the ref is pro Celtic as you have done with your comments about last weeks game.And why do you keep saying your a St mirren fan everybody knows who you support and it certainly is not St mirren.Just remember your comments about the ref last week when Celtic don't get a big decision in an Old firm game.

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  • 5. At 8:15pm on 18 Aug 2008, truthinthemedia wrote:

    will all forms of the media in Scotland hold the same inquisition into a dodgy decision say for example Hamilton may get against Motherwell, as they have done with the two dodgy decisions, in their eyes, Celtic have received so far?

    Haining pulled Hesselink's arm last week.According to the rules, that is a foul.

    It was a penalty for Dundee United yesterday but no one seems to mention McManus being impeded just before.

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  • 6. At 8:20pm on 18 Aug 2008, jbbhoy wrote:

    I used to think you were a an annoying, but fairly harmless, hack who pandered to whatever you thought would get the biggest laugh.

    Your utterances over the course of the last week have caused me to reconsider.

    Maybe it's the elevation to the so called "Football Correspondent of BBC Scotland" but you seem to have lost whatever marbles you had left.

    First we had you calling into question the integrity of Eddie Smith after the game at Celtic Park last weekend - not openly but the insinuation was there.

    Then we had to listen to you have a cosy wee chat with Sir David - a chat during which you singularly managed to avoid asking any of the questions many of the Rangers fans are currently asking of their chairman.

    And now this - "Another week, another questionable refereeing decision, another dodgy penalty."

    At Celtic Park last weekend minutes before the award of the penalty Celtic were denied a strong claim for a penalty when the St Mirren goalkeeper caught and brought down Jan Venegoor of Hesselink. Now Had Celtic gone on to draw that game no doubt the Celtic support would have been told that "these things even out over the season". Well in this case they evened out over the course of a game. From his vantage point I am fairly certain that the refereee thought he was giving a legitimate penalty - although with the benefit of TV replays to me it looked very soft.

    I don't know what view Charlie Richmond had of the tackle on O'Donovan yesterday - it looked like he had a good view to me - but for whatever reason he didn't give the penalty. Somehow though we don't hear the usual response of - "but these things will even themselves out over the season" anymore. We get you whining away on Radio Scotland and critisising the referee in your blog. I've no doubt Dundee United management and fans feel aggrieved - I would too. Given the mistakes referees have made in their games over the course of the last few season they have every reason to feel something is amiss.

    Celtic fans felt something was amiss for years - but all we heard was the old ... "...these things even themselves out over the season...." line.

    To quote you Chick - "We really need to loosen up, like that's going to happen with the first Old Firm game of the season on the horizon."

    Maybe you need to loosen up and realise that referees make honest mistakes and you and your colleagues constantly harping on about every decision that isn't right (in your opinion) doesn't really help to foster the kind of peaceful atmosphere that you seem to advocate.

    But then maybe your profile would be so high in the media if you did that eh? Or maybe there's another reason... Och there's that Celtic paranoia kicking in again...

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  • 7. At 8:36pm on 18 Aug 2008, Grum-Kidd wrote:

    If Roy O'Donovan hadn't conned the referee?? I don't think falling after having your legs chopped from underneath you is conning anyone like to see some celtic fans stay on there feet when a 15 stone player scythes you down or should i say donkey. Also denied another two very blatant hand balls in the box by the same donkey which also wasn't seen by the ref or should i say ignored by the ref.

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  • 8. At 8:43pm on 18 Aug 2008, eastredwig wrote:

    Chick. This is the first time I have read any of your blogs. In fact I haven't read anything of yours for a couple of years and came across your blog by accident. I am disappointed to see you remain a sniper at Celtic and a sycophant of Rangers. You will no doubt rise to the heights of your profession.

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  • 9. At 8:57pm on 18 Aug 2008, BobSmith wrote:

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  • 10. At 9:21pm on 18 Aug 2008, paul10 wrote:

    Why did you not ask sir david murray a question?

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  • 11. At 9:36pm on 18 Aug 2008, onlyourpipesrunfree wrote:

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  • 12. At 9:39pm on 18 Aug 2008, Boogie Bear wrote:

    Celtic fans, not to mention their manager, love to try to deflect attention from bad decisions that go in their team's favour with bogus claims about decisions that went against them. For example, Celtic should not have had a penalty against St Mirren: Hesselink kicked the ball out of play then flopped over when the keeper collided with him. That said, I would never claim that Celtic are being favoured. Every team gets bad decisions for and against them. Celtic have been fortunate with refereeing so far this season. No doubt they'll have some bad luck later on. Then watch the sparks fly!

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  • 13. At 9:41pm on 18 Aug 2008, johnrgill wrote:

    It's a shame MacFadden will continue to play his football in England, but it is a sad fact that all our best football players ply their trade down south, just like Scottish journalism, all our best talent are in England.

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  • 14. At 9:53pm on 18 Aug 2008, Lookie Bookie wrote:

    The celtic boys on here are hilarious!!! Well guys you said to chico to find another dodgy penalty how about you come up with one? You are on of the big two in scotland the other side have had no dodgy decisions in their way thats life in the big pond.

    For the JVOH "penalty" last week you guys saying he was tugged must be joking.

    "Speaking to the lads on the St Mirren bench, they definitely thought it was a penalty."

    a quote from strachan now he said the boys on the st. mirren bench thought it was a pen really they had an ideal view didn't they!! Why didn't he say I....


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/7548992.stm

    From the picture there we can clearly see JVOH with his hands on hainings shirt pulling it with his hand on JVOH now that is fifty fifty at best, and JVOH had his shot with which he missed now the ref cannot play advantage AND give a penalty as the advantage was to shoot if he misses tough luck it was his shout to continue.

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  • 15. At 10:00pm on 18 Aug 2008, paul10 wrote:

    so macfadden does not want to play for either celtic or rangers..wait until you are asked you passanger.

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  • 16. At 10:29pm on 18 Aug 2008, forresnat wrote:

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  • 17. At 10:37pm on 18 Aug 2008, U11213082 wrote:

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  • 18. At 11:16pm on 18 Aug 2008, johnny_ferris wrote:

    U11213082 (Clever name, by the way)
    What was the point of your comment? Why? Seriously? Just to slag someone you don't know off? Chick's on the BBC website, writing columns, you're not. FACT. He's obviously gotten there somehow, and it's a credit to him that he has. You haven't, but you are still arrogant enough to have a go at him? I can't understand the way some people work...
    Incidently, your tax money does nothing on this website, it's your License Fee. If you're gonna use big words, get the little facts right.
    Chick, I loved the article, and I hope you keep it up. I think it's a shame about McFadden though, because with all due respect to him, he's an amazing talent that will never be high in people's memories if he stays in the Premier League, as he'll just get overshadowed. He could be huge if he went into the Old Firm. Henrik Larsson-esque, in fact. Still, he's probably right, when you get down to it....

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  • 19. At 11:19pm on 18 Aug 2008, Its All Taffs Fault... wrote:

    Chick. I am a United fan and couldn't give a rats bottom whether you think it was a penalty or not. I speak on behalf of all united/non old firm fans in saying that we all know that playing in this league is hard enough without the horribly poor biased glasgow based media coverage of our deteriorating game. We now get bullied into paying a 5% tax for giving 'them' tickets for OUR stadium and have to deal with people like yourself writing articles like these. Are you looking for everyone to say 'that chick young, he's a good bloke'? I'm sorry chick i don't think many people respect you, i certainly don't. We all saw david murray interview you...

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  • 20. At 11:47pm on 18 Aug 2008, Franklin_Bluth wrote:

    There's no denying that Celtic have had the rub of the green from officials in recent time (two games thus far this season, and a good few at the tail-end of last). Maybe it's a case of the referees worrying about their personal safety or that of their windows, but I actually reckon it's simply down to incompetence.

    These officials had a collective brass neck when they threatened to strike over match-day fees; what have they done to deserve an increase? Nothing! They are a disgrace to their profession and it would have been better to tell them to sling their hook and bring in officials from abroad who actually know what they are doing.

    At least they won't won't be publishing their mistakes on the Whistleblower website this season. Incredulous that they claimed to be unfairly criticised when they are admitting online that they shouldn't have made certain decisions. If there's room for doubt, and you can't make a decision one way or another, play on (rather than disallowing a goal which should have stood because you thought there might have been a hand ball), and better off keeping your mouth shut after the event!

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  • 21. At 03:21am on 19 Aug 2008, SecretAlchemist wrote:

    Scottish fans and journalists alike have a myopic view on this. The situation in Scotland is similar to other countries - referees favour bigger, more powerful clubs. How many penalties are given against Man U at Old Trafford? Go to Spain and listen to the complaints in Vigo and Valencia about bias in favour of Real and Barca. In Stuttgart they complain about Bayern Munich. In Italy, anyone outside of Turin will tell you the refs favour Juventus.


    Where Scotland is unique is in the lack of a dissenting voice amongst the media. A German referee was jailed in a match-fixing scandal. The widespread match-fixing that went on in Italy is fresh in our memories. We have seen similar stories in Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Other sports like the NBA have suffered from dishonest officiating.

    But in Scotland, the journalists never even consider the possibility that something underhand may be going on. After every incident, they immediately rush to tell us the officials are decent, honest, family men, somehow untainted by the biases and prejudices ingrained in ever other man who has had a Scottish upbringing.

    Quite simply, Celtic get their unfair share of decisions because they are a big club. Rangers get their unfair share of decisions because they are the establishment club. And in Scottish terms, that works out at a considerable advantage in Rangers' favour. In recent years, Dundee United and Hearts have made official complaints about decisions given to Rangers at a crucial stage of the end-of-season run-in. At one such stage under Alex McLeish, Rangers somehow contrived to be awarded three penalties in one game against Dundee, and yet the media smiled on benignly.


    Scotland is the North Korea of football. Chick Young attracts the most hostility because he is the poster boy for Scotland's co-opted media. Chick can be outraged over the most trivial issues, but he had nothing to say about a riot by thousands of Rangers supporters in a major UK city.


    The real outrage last week was the booing of Kenny Miller by elements of the Rangers support. Chick might mention it, but he won't dissect it. He won't point out that Miller was not boo-ed by the Celtic support when he played at Celtic. At best, he'll tell us that he is 'baffled' by his countrymen's behaviour. In other words, he'll bottle it.

    It is a very sick state of affairs that Uefa and others outside of Scotland find distasteful, to say the least. It's about time it was sorted out.

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  • 22. At 04:10am on 19 Aug 2008, Jer_1974 wrote:

    Chick,

    I'm a St Mirren fan living in Australia and read your blog on a regular basis. I read last weeks entry regarding the shocking refereeing at Parkhead which i watched live on Setanta. Even though it was a very very poor decision i was disappointed that for the first week of the season you were already having a go at referees.

    Having just logged on to the bbc website to read my daily scottish football news i was surprised to find that weeks 2's blog is once again focusing on referees. With Hamilton's amazing start, Rangers unrest, Celtic's transfer speculation...etc....surely another week blaming referees for certain decisions is pointless. These decisions should level themselves out over the season unless of course you play the old firm in their back garden and then you'll always get bugger all.

    Jer (Melbourne)

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  • 23. At 06:53am on 19 Aug 2008, footballisfixed wrote:

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  • 24. At 07:25am on 19 Aug 2008, throbbinrobin wrote:

    Hey Chic

    Your posts are often insightful and your metaphors sometimes original and amusing.

    Not this time, however.

    "squared the debt of some small African nations"

    "ashtray on a motorbike"

    16 yrs olds would fail 'O' grade English for re-hashing cliches like these. Take a bit of time to think up something original!

    While I'm on the subject, I've seen you use "where even the birds cough" before, too.

    Give us some credit! Give us some original lines!

    I'll keep reading...

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  • 25. At 07:54am on 19 Aug 2008, HeartOfEurope wrote:

    Chick, you need to take a deep breath, calm down, take off the red white and blue specs and take a leaf out of this journalists's book:-
    "But I do believe in the integrity of our officials and the fact that, when and if they do make a mistake, it is at least honest."

    Who said that?
    Err, you did- but that was about Rangers getting a dubious penalty against Hearts a couple of seasons ago.

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  • 26. At 08:18am on 19 Aug 2008, SHABBA1888 wrote:

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  • 28. At 08:57am on 19 Aug 2008, Coldcell2008 wrote:

    Let's face it both sets of Old Firm fans are paranoid. Keep up the great work Chick! There are still some people supporting Scottish football that are not paranoid and enjoy the sport for what it is - a game!

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  • 29. At 09:51am on 19 Aug 2008, Erico1977 wrote:

    Mr Young

    Maybe its old age maybe its writers block or maybe I have misjudged the fact that you possessed any talent to whittle together a reasonable argument.

    You are aware I assume that you have begun the season by vilifying two referees. But not just two referees but in particular pointing the finger very much towards the east end of Glasgow and how we are now favoured. In the St Mirren game Celtic could have had a penalty regardless of the final rather soft one we received so your point is nullified directly. I completely agree with the decision against Dundee United.

    But here’s a thought maybe its Dundee United that are hated and not Celtic that are favoured. Levein has hardly endeared himself to referees, plus they did have a C.I.S cup stolen from them last year if I recall correctly. So in fact we are all wrong, referees dislike Dundee United and it is just happens that against both Celtic and Rangers is when they are punished most. Simply because they always have a go.

    I like you Mr Young support one of the Old firm but my side wear hoops. I like you have two eyes and also like you I have access to a computer. I however choose to use my keyboard responsibly....

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  • 30. At 10:02am on 19 Aug 2008, romeo9535 wrote:

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  • 31. At 10:13am on 19 Aug 2008, townie_boy wrote:

    Chick,

    You have clearly touched the paranoia button; the usual suspects produce the same old, same old.

    Clearly this is a case of, if you do not state you are 'with us' ergo you must be against us; this is an indicator of innate insecurity.

    Keep blogging and reporting as you see it.

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  • 32. At 11:27am on 19 Aug 2008, rocknrollbhoy wrote:

    What about the last game of the season last year at tannadice when i can remember that Nakamura had an almost identicle one turned down?

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  • 33. At 12:01pm on 19 Aug 2008, maestroismyhero wrote:

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  • 34. At 12:02pm on 19 Aug 2008, ScallywagHMFC wrote:

    I am disapointed but not suprised that Chick feels compelled to point out when Celtic benefit from dodgy refereeing, but ignores Rangers.

    Where was the condemnation of Boyds dive to win the freekick for Rangers first goal. What about Broadfoot. One rule for those pair and another for Mikolunas, a player who referees now feel compelled to punish as a result of xenophobic media coverage.

    We have ex-players left right and centre admitting the rules are different for the Old Firm. The Scottish game is corrupt but little is said because the media are equally biased in the favour of the big two. Levien had the guts to tell the truth and has been punished by the G(S)FA.

    The message is clear to the so called provincial teams, except Old Firm domination or you will be punished.

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  • 35. At 12:14pm on 19 Aug 2008, SlinkyCabbage wrote:

    Another new season and the same old arguments between the 'Ugly Sisters' about who the referees favour more. Personally, I couldn't agree more with the comments of Secret Alchemist.

    Each week the spotlight falls upon which of the OF's turn it is to be smiled upon benignly. The truth is it happens every week and it's only the most glaring 'mistake' that is picked up on.

    Rangers enjoyed their usual tickle on the tummy when Stuart Dougal, surely the most arrogant individual in Scottish footbal since Souness decided to go from legend to hate figure at Liverpool, sent off Lithuania's answer to Tom Daley for looking like a 12 year old. I presume that was the reason because I couldn't see anything in either incident that merited a yellow card.

    Yet the non-OF fans who dare to question the integrity of any official, SFA included, are branded paranoid and jealous by those worthies in power and in the Press.

    All we hear about is how hard a job the match officials have. I don't disagree with that but I would like to see some consistency and transparency within football which may go some way to appeasing the conspiracy mongers like myself.

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  • 36. At 12:46pm on 19 Aug 2008, Inspector_Moga wrote:

    People should get a grip. Its much easier for non old firm fans to blame ref bias for their teams short comings than to actually admit Rangers and Celtic are better teams. Rangers and Celtic win the majority of games because they have better players because they are bigger clubs with more money who can pay better.

    Its not a weakness to admit your team cant compete because they arent as good as the big two who have deeper pockets. Its just reality.

    There are many poor decisions made in games which which dont invlove the old firm (Aberdeen player headbutting a Motherwell player on Saturday and not being sent off as one example). How is this old firm bias. All it highlights is that refs make mistakes in ALL games regardless of the teams involved. The mistakes involving old firm games are highlighted more and a paranoia develops among non old firm fans.

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  • 37. At 1:04pm on 19 Aug 2008, genghis26 wrote:

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  • 38. At 1:16pm on 19 Aug 2008, SlinkyCabbage wrote:

    Yes that's it of course Moga. How could me and the vast majority of non-OF fans have been so stupid?

    Of course the OF are better than the rest for numerous reasons. The point I was getting at was that each set of them seem to think their team get a raw deal and the other side of the great divide are treated favourably.

    I don't dispute that refereeing mistakes happen in ALL games, whether they involve the OF or not. But unless you don't support either of the Glasgow teams I don't think you'll appreciate how often they get dubious decisions in their favour. Be it major ones culminating in a goal or a lesser one resulting in a free kick going their way.

    Either we're all blinded by jealousy or maybe there might just be something to it!

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  • 39. At 1:19pm on 19 Aug 2008, paulthescot2000 wrote:

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  • 40. At 1:22pm on 19 Aug 2008, Hughton is my brother - my captain - my king wrote:

    ho ho! its chiko time!

    chick is right here if we're honest, and i just love the quote from PCMURPH;

    "And why do you keep saying your a St mirren fan everybody knows who you support and it certainly is not St mirren."

    I didnt know Chick was a Hamilton fan???!??!?!

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  • 41. At 1:34pm on 19 Aug 2008, Viva La Quince Brigada wrote:

    I've just wasted 2 minuites of my life reading that.

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  • 42. At 1:35pm on 19 Aug 2008, smfcbuddie wrote:

    Chick,

    It is wonderful to hear the Celtic fans complain that the ref got the first decision wrong against Saints so it was OK that he got the second decision wrong as well. Sorry guys, neither decision should have been a penalty. The big Dutch guy grabbed the defenders shirt outside the box - that is a foul for the defending team, who cares that he then carried on holding onto and holding off the defender as he missed the goal with a pathetic shot. The first offence was outside the box and was committed by the Celtic stirker. It doesn't get much clearer than that.

    In the last two matches between Celtic and St Mirren, Celtic have been unable to score from open play. What does that say about the quality of the Celtic strike force?

    As to Gordon Smith comically claiming that these decisions even themselves up over a season, what are the odds that a St Mirren (or Hamilton, or Dundee Utd) striker will be awarded a soft penalty and the defender sent off against either Rangers or Celtic?

    Unless and until we get competent refs, the story will always be repeated - the OF get the benefit of the doubt, 'good' players or not.

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  • 43. At 1:38pm on 19 Aug 2008, EdenRooms wrote:

    I am a Celtic fan, a season ticket holder, and was at both games where the incidents that Chick refers to happened. Just so you all know exactly where I am coming from, and to ensure that there is no agenda on my part, unlike some others.

    I would ask people to do a number of things when considering these incidents. The first is to remember what constitutes a foul on a football pitch. I am talking about any foul, regardless of where it happens on the pitch.

    Simpletons who talk thus, "if you are going to give penalties for that, you will have 10 to 15 penalties per game" completely miss the point, not unsurprisingly. If it is a foul and it happens to be in the box, it is a penalty. That's the end of the story when recalling the St Mirren game last week.

    Anyone who does not believe that was a foul, does not know the rules of the game. It is that simple.

    As for the Dundee United claim for a penalty it is quite clear to me, as it is to others. It was a penalty. I do not think anyone would deny that. There is however, at least one, possibly even two fouls in the build up, which, if whistled for, would render the resulting action meaningless. One is a CLEAR foul. Again, those who cannot see this do not know the rules of the game.

    The last point I will make on this is as follows: On the last day of last season when Celtic won the league at Tannadice Nakamura was denied a penalty at 0-0, and was booked for embellishing his fall. Again this was a clear foul committed in the area, and was uncannily similar to the incident involving Caldwell and O'Donovan, who was similarly guilty of embellishing his fall.

    I do not remember the astonishing howls of protest from anyone regarding the clear penalty Stuart Dougal failed to award that night from Chick Young, the Scottish print media, or anyone else at the BBC. That the score was 0-0 at the time in that game meant that the incident could not have been potentially more important to Celtic, or indeed the destination of the league championship.

    Given this is the second week Chick has chosen to talk of a refereeing decision against Celtic (wrongly in my opinion, on both counts) I wonder if he (or anyone at BBC Scotland that gives editiorial licence to continue with such blogs) will give any credence to anything I have pointed out in this message.

    I won't be holding my breath.

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  • 44. At 1:43pm on 19 Aug 2008, reggie-hammond wrote:

    the most annoying part of it for me is the fact that the defenders like caldwell consistantly get away with poor performances as referees never seem to punish them. when he gets found out int the champions league it isnt a surprise.

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  • 45. At 1:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, SecretAlchemist wrote:

    townie_boy, do you really think Chick calls it as he sees it? Read his posting again. What is he saying about Charlie Richmond? There are two possibilities: (1) Charlie Richmond made the all-too-human error of favouring the more powerful side in a a conflict (2) Charlie Richmond is a Celtic supporter who dishonestly influenced the game in order to produce a favourable outcome for Celtic.

    If Chick was really a straight-talker, there would be need to consider the possibilities. He is insinuating the latter, but doesn't have the gumption to say it directly. Or maybe he has the good sense to realise he would be leaving himself open to a defamation of character suit if he were to make such an accusation.

    By the way, to the posters addressing your posts to Chick - catch on to yourselves! Chick is long gone, no more interested in the posts here than he is in St. Mirren's results. Do you really expect him to appear here and defend the indefensible?

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  • 46. At 2:17pm on 19 Aug 2008, demd79 wrote:

    what he mean about chris hoy and riding his bike ?
    i dont get that

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  • 47. At 2:20pm on 19 Aug 2008, paulthescot2000 wrote:

    My last comment was blocked.

    This is by the BBC PC brigade assisting there fellow hack

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  • 48. At 2:46pm on 19 Aug 2008, Biaschick wrote:

    typical Chick Young only sees it through his blue tinted glasses

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  • 49. At 2:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, Finlay67 wrote:

    Why is it Chick that you dont write these articles when it is Rangers that have decisions going for them. I didnt see any blog after the Dundee United game last year when there were numerous dodgy decisions. But last week when Celtic were given a penalty, which was the right decision, you rant about that and try to make it look as if the referees in Scotland are only bias towards Celtic.

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  • 50. At 4:05pm on 19 Aug 2008, ScallywagHMFC wrote:

    Broadfoots tumble was as clear an incident of simulation since Miko at Hampden. Miko recieved a post match ban and was subjected to a media hate campaign.

    Why is there no media campaign to punish Broadfoot. Where is Gordon Smith with his campaign to rid the Scottish game of cheats. In fact he has been silent since one of our clubs shamed the nation with their fans behaviour in Manchester.

    The media are complicit in covering up the corruption in the Scottish game. It is not a level playing field !



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  • 51. At 4:07pm on 19 Aug 2008, arab87 wrote:

    Chick you forgot to mention the recently retired Kenny Clark who cost utd a trophy last season when he didn't give an even more obvious penalty in league cup final. No sending off and no penalty so Rangers won the cup. I see he was rewarded with his own weekly page in an old firm favouring tabloid newspaper, which no doubt comes with a rather nice salary.....don't think he would have got the gig if he'd done his job properly and Rangers lost the cup do you?

    If referees do what the masses (that incldes the S.F.A. and media) want then they will be well rewarded.......They are not corrupt though nor do they favour the big two - too suggest such a thing would be scandalous!

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  • 52. At 4:33pm on 19 Aug 2008, Simmy26 - One Eddie Thompson wrote:

    Hi Chick,

    I read your blog every week and always find it insightful and amusing. This is the firts time that I have looked at the responses and suddenly a red mist descends. The paranoia of the Old Firm supporters is really plunging new depths. I am a Dundee United fan and after the latest shameful decision to go against us I nearly walked out the ground on Sunday. What is the point in the players even turning up when decisions like that keep going against you. I fear for Scottish football because fans like myself will stop buying season tickets or paying Setanta subscriptions. Keep up the good work Chick. And to all you paranoid Celtic fans out there, get a grip!

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  • 53. At 4:42pm on 19 Aug 2008, U10779491 wrote:

    Typical Chic Young!!

    Nowhere in this sorry excuse for an erticle did he mention the fact Hearts were also denied a penalty at Ibrox as well as the Hearts boy being wrongly booked for diving!

    I tend to try and ignore him because the reason he is in a job is due to guys like myself taking the bait and reacting to these biased articles!

    I take great joy in knowing that he along with every other Rangers fan is hurting really bad right now, after the Champs clinching 3 in a row and then Hearts reserves knocking Rangers out of Europe before Queen of the South.

    Keep up the hurting Chic.

    Splendid

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  • 54. At 5:22pm on 19 Aug 2008, Tullyboy1965 wrote:

    Simmy 26, if you think this is "good work" then God help you! It's astonishingly one sided in the context of the (lack of) reaction to decisions in recent years for Rangers and against Celtic. And yes I am a paranoid Celtic fan but also a fair one so let me say that I think Utd should have had 2 penalties on Sunday (JVoH on Wilkie and Caldwell on O'Donovan) but if you're honest what was the difference between the O'Donovan foul and the foul on Nakamura in the last game of last season, none - but where was the outcry then? That's why we're paranoid, not because we don't get the benefit of decisions (which unfortunately we do more than any so called smaller clubs) but it's the way in which they are reported - not in an even handed way. Scotland's Shame = Re- arRangers and Third rate Murray sycophantic eg Chick Young) journalists reporting on our national game. Heh Chick, that was a really searching and incisive interview with Sir David the other day (tongue planted firmly in cheek!!). Keep up the "good work" Chick, your a credit to your profession!!!!

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  • 55. At 5:30pm on 19 Aug 2008, dmac20 wrote:

    Celtic fans - get a grip. You've been getting some incredibly fortunate decisions in your favour over the last couple of months - look back to the tail end of least season for Aberdeen's incorrectly disallowed equaliser at Parkhead, an offside opener against Rangers at Parkhead, an offside winner against Falkirk in a game where they were denied three clear cut penalties.

    In comparison every Celtic fan has a chip on their shoulder about the errors Mike McCurry made at Ibrox for Dundee United. Errors in that one match don't cancel out the countless others that helped win games and maybe - just maybe - helped swing the momentum in last years title race your way.

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  • 56. At 5:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, onlyourpipesrunfree wrote:

    This blog is really just a waste of time .

    As chick has shown us here No scottish refs can claim to be of Mike mcCurry status.
    However pity help Mike if he ever gives a call against rangers or a call for Celtic.


    Lets get a petition started Andy Davis and Mike McCurry for all Celtic games.


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  • 57. At 7:46pm on 19 Aug 2008, CamTheWasp wrote:

    Phil McNulty responds to the slaggings he receives on his blog. I wish Chick would...

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  • 58. At 7:53pm on 19 Aug 2008, neil wrote:

    I think the situation in Georgia is very worrying. I think that the west should be very careful as to who it lets into NATO as we don't want to face up to Russia in a conflict not of our making.

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  • 59. At 8:11pm on 19 Aug 2008, the_kirkcaldy_kid3 wrote:

    Chick Young....such a lazy journalist.

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  • 60. At 8:54pm on 19 Aug 2008, mazzaratti45 wrote:

    Chico , Chico , Chico
    All we need from referees and from so called professional observers of the game is consistency
    So ,why do you now break from the convention of the Scottish laptop loyal to allege that there is bias in refereeing rather then merely incompetence in two consecutive hysterical and unsubstantiable articles on the BBC website?
    You were very kind to Mr McCurry , Mr Dallas , Mr Dougal , not to mention those bastions of masonic "tradition" , Davie Syme and Bobby Tait
    Is it only when referres are less than brutal to Celtic that there is a problem
    Why no comment in your fawning interview of Walter S on Saturday of the diving of broadfot , the unwarranted sending off of the hearts player and the clear penalty to Hearts late on??
    Why no mention of the glaring mistakes in Hamiltons televised game against Dundee U?
    Why was Mr Levein not questioned about making allegations re the so called penalty although he "had not seen it yet"
    Are you worried that your beloved Rangers will not hack it without the full might of the Scottish establishment skewed to them and against Celtic??
    Plenty more questions if you have the guts to debate them honsestly
    If only there were more pundits of the calibre of Mr G Spiers and less red top semi-literates with bias running through them like a stick of rock.....

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  • 61. At 10:25pm on 19 Aug 2008, hardtofigure wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 62. At 11:46am on 20 Aug 2008, townie_boy wrote:

    SecretAlchemist

    "...do you really think Chick calls it as he sees it?..."

    Yes it is called reasoned debate; where an individual cannot be definitive they consider the probabilities, this was all Chick carried out, not really a complex concept.

    "...Chick is long gone, no more interested in the posts here than he is in St. Mirren's results..."

    And your source of information is?

    Or are you just considering the probabilities?

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  • 63. At 12:15pm on 20 Aug 2008, smfcbuddie wrote:

    Re my earlier post #42.

    I note that not one fan has sought to deny my point that the provincial club will never get the benefit of the doubt when playing against the OF.

    Isn't this the most enlightening fact to come from this post? Not one fan who views these blogs feels that they can offer a contrary view, nor I am assuming, even one referee posing as a fan.

    So there it is. Why do we bother playing Rangers or Celtic? When push comes to shove, you won't get the penalty nor will you be allowed to finish with eleven men in your team.

    Awra best.

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  • 64. At 1:59pm on 20 Aug 2008, SHABBA1888 wrote:

    Chick, I think its time your biro.

    You're past your best.

    SHABBA1888

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  • 65. At 2:00pm on 20 Aug 2008, SHABBA1888 wrote:

    Chick, I think its time you hung up your biro.

    You're past your best.

    SHABBA1888

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  • 66. At 2:09pm on 20 Aug 2008, townie_boy wrote:

    Smfcbuddie,

    I have always had difficulty with the term provincial, at least in its application to football clubs.

    Provincial: of the provinces.

    Provinces: areas of a country situated away from the capital.

    Ergo all Scottish football clubs with the exception of Hearts and Hibs should be considered as provincial.

    Many pundits and supporters use the term in a derogatory sense, but choose the convenience of years of misinterpretation to hide behind.

    However to deal directly with your point, referees have always been biased towards the Old Firm mainly out of fear; where a referee may indicate his 'partiality' is whilst officiating at an Old Firm game.

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  • 67. At 2:30pm on 20 Aug 2008, cosmicronson wrote:

    Get over it!

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  • 68. At 2:39pm on 20 Aug 2008, smfcbuddie wrote:

    #67 - Got over it when the ref said he was content with his decision. Now I am out to get even. Watch this space.

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  • 69. At 3:25pm on 20 Aug 2008, CJ wrote:

    Lets be honest here, it is the media and fans of the Old Firm that leads them to get decisions.

    Take this example, if during Kilmarnock v Hamilton, Killie get a dodgy penalty or a man incorrectly sent off what will you get? A few column inches in the Sunday and Monday saying how it wasn't right and by Tuesday it is over. The phone ins don't care, because they are interested in Rangers/Celtic's latest drama.

    Now lets say you award a penalty to Aberdeen playing Rangers that gives a 1-0 win to Aberdeen. You will be in the papers all week, and you will send the phone-ins into meltdown.

    Now ask yourself- is it easier not to give a decision against one of the OF because the media attention is huge?

    Don't get me wrong- in England, a poor decision between Liverpool and Sunderland is going to be highlighted more than between Fulham and Blackburn.

    Therefore it is only natural that referees are afraid to give big decisions in games involving the OF incase they are wrong and pillored.

    St Mirren had a terrible decision against them twice (and it's refusal to be overturned on TV evidence (due to refereeing bloody-mindedness?)) fueled bias accusations as it was the same ref. Dundee Utd have been at the end of terrible decisions against Rangers and Celtic.

    We need to respect that it is human nature to 'bottle it' against big decisions involving the big clubs due to the media and fan hassle. Until referees become of mental strength to cope with this or are able to speak out dodgy decisions will occur. It is the same regarding a penalty at Anfield.

    Ask yourself the question, would you find it easier to give a penalty to the away side at Parkhead/Ibrox or Love Street/Tannadice?

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  • 70. At 01:26am on 21 Aug 2008, SecretAlchemist wrote:

    smfcbuddie, no one will refute your claim that the system favours the bigger clubs. The Old Firm benefit from it in Scotland, and suffer from it in Europe. Look at the penalties given to Man U and AC Milan at Celtic Park in recent seasons. Do you think Killie or Gretna would have gotten decisions like that at Celtic Park?

    townie_boy, Chick is not using reasoned debate. If he thinks Richmond was deliberately trying to influence the game in Celtic's favour, he should say so. That would lead to reasoned debate. Instead, Chick leaves things conveniently vague, so that if he is accused of making such a derogatory accusation he can claim, "No, all I meant was refs unconsciously favour big clubs."

    He's a journalist. On issues such as corruption in the game, he should says what he means, simply and unequivocally. It's his job.

    [["...Chick is long gone, no more interested in the posts here than he is in St. Mirren's results..."

    And your source of information is?

    Or are you just considering the probabilities?]]

    Cute. I'm a civilian, no need for me to live up to journalistic standards. As you no doubt realise, being a person familiar with complex rhetoric, I was hoping to prompt Chick into responding to the valid criticisms that have been made. Three days and 70-odd posts in and still no sign of Chick. Oh well.

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  • 71. At 10:02am on 21 Aug 2008, Fairplay 2010 wrote:

    First we had Chief Inspector Smith whose brothers were Celtic Season Ticket Holders and the SFA had to point out he had one brother who lived in England and was not a CFC Season Ticket Holder. And he should not go abroad with Celtic but nothing said about going with Rangers.
    Does anyone remember what Chic said whenever Hope requested his last game be at Ibrox then became a Referees' Supervisor.

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  • 72. At 12:20pm on 21 Aug 2008, .:QUAGMiRE † TOi † 3iAR † GiGGiTY GiGGiTY:. wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 73. At 1:17pm on 21 Aug 2008, only1scottmcdonald wrote:

    True, decisons even themselves out. Sometimes not in one season mid you, but eventually what goes around comes around. I am sure Craig Levein has never been the beneficiary of a dodgy decision. However this season I am really hoping that the luck Celtc received will desert them, especially when you look at the last few weeks of the season.

    St Mirren - Dodgy Free Kick - 2 points won

    Rangers - McDonald 3 miles offside and caldwell punching the ball in his own box plus JVH staying on pitch in game before after his assault on Faye (although there is a good chance the rangers loyal paid him for this! ha) 2 points won

    Aberdeen - Diamonds goal ruled out for handball. Ref admits after it, " I thoght I seen a handball, but obviously I didn't" - 2 points won

    Motherwell - Big Bobo heads it out for a corner when it was clearly a goal kick and Celtic score. 2 pts won

    And big Cuellars was never a hand ball! (Ok ill give you that one)

    If decisons do even themselves out, the Selick paranoia of the Burns and and O'Neill era will be back with a vengance this season.

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  • 74. At 1:36pm on 21 Aug 2008, Jimbo wrote:

    You are a disgrace to journalism, no-one and I repeat NO-ONE takes you or your opinions seriously. You are a joke figure in Scotland. We are not laughing with you, we are laughing AT you. You have NO integrity. Thanks to the internet, most football fans have now seen the famous Walter Smith interview when you claimed that Laudrup wasn't European class, do you remember? Remember you were groveling and whining trying to backtrack on what you had said. That "interview" summed you up as a "journalist" and a man. You are a joke. And not a funny joke.

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  • 75. At 1:45pm on 21 Aug 2008, fornowatlunch wrote:

    I love that the majority of experts on here that opine about how the old firm always get the edge on refereeing decisions, are not old firm supporters, are you all watching Celtic and Rangers every week? I mean, seriously, how would you know, are you watching all our games? Being honest, I am a Celtic supporter, and frankly the amount of abuse both Celtic and Rangers players have to take from the other SPL players every week is a disgrace. Every week, we're playing another club that treat the game like its a cup final. They don't play out of their skins, they usually just play us out of ours. Our players get hacked and shoved around by these guys every week. So I'm quite happy that maybe 51% of the dodgy decisions go our way, because it really sucks when for the other 90 minutes you get kicked up and down the park, and then the referee gives a garbage decision to the barbarians that are kicking you up and down the park. I find it interesting that no one has commented on the fact that the referee's injury during the game on Saturday was caused when Nakamura was cynically hacked to the ground by a Dundee Utd player (I think it was Lee Wilkie) ensuring that he didn't make it forward to take part in the Celtic break that was happening at the time. Of course that's just the modern game eh?

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  • 76. At 1:59pm on 21 Aug 2008, fornowatlunch wrote:

    SecretAlchemist, I see your point, but I think Charles has in fact made his case rather more clearly on at least one occasion. The subtext was less muted two weeks ago, when he said in the post-match commentary of the Celtic - St Mirren game, that, and I'm paraphrasing to a certain degree, all referees, since they have an innate interest in football, must have had a team that they favored growing up. Now I have to say, he didn't go all the way and accuse Eddie (?) Smith of being a Celtic supporter first and a referee second, but I think we can see where he was going. Chic is clearly suggesting that it is impossible for some people (and referees are people after all), to be honest and professional. Of course not himself, although, isn't a journalist supposed to be unbiased?

    Chic I love you, I love reading your column. I live in the Unites States and I was hugely upset when your column was missing for what seemed like weeks towards the end of last season/pre-season this season, but I can't make my mind up about where your allegiances lie. If you truly are an unbiased reporter of sporting fact, I have a assignment for you. Why don't you try to think like an old firm supporter (and I mean both Celtic and Rangers) for half of the season and then look at refereeing decisions over the course of that half. Then compare it with the other half. I'm not sure you're going to be as convinced about referee's bias towards the two big clubs, but that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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  • 77. At 2:36pm on 21 Aug 2008, boris75 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 78. At 3:09pm on 21 Aug 2008, boris75 wrote:

    Why Chick do you make such a big deal of referees errors in Dundee United's games against Celtic, yet the Mike McCurry and Kenny Clark errors in games v Rangers were barely mentioned?

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  • 79. At 4:40pm on 21 Aug 2008, RFC- more-trophies-than-anyone wrote:

    Let's face it, this current referee scandal isn't an Old Firm issue, it is a Celtic issue and a Celtic issue only. This has nothing to do with Rangers whatsoever and why the Ibrocx club are being dragged into this where Celtic simply do not get major game changing decisions against them is unfathomable.

    From the title run-in last season until now Celtic have been favoured by embarrassing ref decisions, like Tannadice on Sunday, going their way in almost every single game which not only dicredited their title win but made the SPL seem very suspect to the outside world.

    Away at St Mirren, both Motherwell fixtures, the double-header of Old Firm matches at Celtic Park where quite incredulous decisions like Scott McDonald being offside by at least 5 yards before he scored and the Celtic penalty for an out of the penalty box infringement were shocking awards by the officials, but not any worse than the Don's Zander Diamond's legitimate goal being disallowed at the same venue.

    Celtic just don't get big decisions against them from clearly intimidated refs. In fact, can any Celtic fan give me the last game they dropped points due to a howler from a ref or linesman.?

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  • 80. At 5:48pm on 21 Aug 2008, LexPar wrote:

    Can we pleas stop discussing penalties given or not given in games involving the Old Firm. Fans of Scottish teams not named Rangers or Celtic have had to put up with this for generations.

    There is nothing new about referees in general swallowing their whistles when a shout for a penalty goes up against the OF..... and similarly they almost break their arms blowing for the softest of decisions when a player in a green and white or blue jersey falls over.

    This has cost teams in everything from League matches to Cup Finals. Sadly, the rest of Scotland has learned to live with it.

    LexPar
    Lexington

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  • 81. At 11:20am on 22 Aug 2008, Mugabesdiscoshoes wrote:

    Chic,

    How exactly can someone be "fruity as a nutcake"? Are you suggesting that Thomas Gravesen was not at all fruity by using such a term? There are very few nutcakes I can recall that contain fruit.

    And before anyone says im being paranoid the same goes for fruitcakes too. You cant say that someone is as "nutty as a fruitcake".

    Jebus H Crisps Chic, do they pay you in peanuts?

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  • 82. At 12:55pm on 22 Aug 2008, smfcbuddie wrote:

    Is there anyone out there (apart from deranged Old Firm fans) who think that the other 10 clubs go around hacking old firm players as a matter of course? I have on the other hand seen Celtic and Rangers players committing fouls that at most get a yellow card but would have been red for the non old firm team.

    However, this all about opinion, whereas one of the points Chick was highlighting is the problem where, even with the benefit of replay evidence, a referee can still insist black is white. Surely this is not tenable, and needs to be eradicated from our game.

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  • 83. At 6:56pm on 22 Aug 2008, jasper839 wrote:

    HA HA HA. I've found this blog by accident. I'm not a supporter of Scottish football and in reading most of the comments written here I don't think I ever will be. I've never come across such a small-minded and pathetic bunch of paranoid schizos than you ALL. That's ALL the Old Firm, ALL the small "provincial" team supporters - ALL of you. Scottish football will never again be big and it's not down to lack of money or talent - it's down to YOUR attitudes. Get over yourselves and realise that every country in the world has dodgy ref decisions go against them. Not everyone in the world thinks it's a biased establishment out to get them. Losers.

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  • 84. At 09:02am on 23 Aug 2008, BryceCurdy wrote:

    As a Celtic fan I think most of us recognise that compared to the 10 smaller clubs in the SPL we do not do badly overall with decisions. I have two main problems:

    Firstly I sincerely believe as Scotland's establishment club Rangers do far better. The two most disgraceful displays of recent seasons were without doubt McCurry and Andy Davis at Tynecastle which ultimately won Rangers the title. Hell will freeze before Celtic get a decision like these.

    Perhaps more importantly, it is the different way decisions favouring Celtic or Rangers are reported and debated by the rabidly pro-Rangers media with the above article an excellent example. Freekicks and corners awarded to Celtic are scrutinised ad nauseam. Chic is still mentioning a freekick awarded to Celtic nine months ago. Also thanks to the media it now seems to be an excepted fact that Zander Diamond had a goal incorrectly disallowed against Celtic when what actually happened was that Celtic were incorrectly awarded a freekick denying Aberdeen a half chance. What you probably are not aware of is that a few minutes earlier in the same match Samaras had a perfectly good goal disallowed. Strangely however Setanta, the BBC and STV all chose not to include it in their highlights programmes. Not mentioned in any of the newspapers either. It's been airbrushed out of history to perpetuate the myth that these things even themselves out.

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  • 85. At 10:28am on 23 Aug 2008, majekakjem wrote:

    All decisions, not just penalty decisions will (almost) always attract dissenting voices. As a former referee (now retired), I lost count of the number of times I heard players say, "...that baw wis nivver oot, ref" ( ball retrieved from neighbouring farm)...."nivver touched him ref" ( unconcious opponent awaiting arrival of ambulance )......"he wis miles aff ref" ( usually from older defenders whose attempts to track a swifter opponent inevitably failed )

    The job of the referee is to remain neutral at all times and apply the laws of the game as he or she sees fit. I was at Tannadice when Nakamura was brought down in the box by a defenders tackle. I was bemused by the referee's decision to caution Nakamura. I was at Celtic Park when the St Mirren defender was sent off for foolishly pulling his opponent in the penalty area(who was fending him off, and grabbing his shirt). The referee ( where two or more offences take place) is bound by the laws of the game to punish the more serious offence. I was also at Tannadice last week when Caldwell tackled his opponent and missed the ball. His opponent was upright the ball was clear of Caldwell and playable. The United player chose the wrong option, he fell over Caldwell's leg instead of playing the ball.

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  • 86. At 10:28am on 23 Aug 2008, Brian Jeffrey wrote:

    We've got to sart using the TV technology that is readily available. Other sports use it in their professional game, there is no justifiable reason why football can't cherry pick from what the best of these other sports do to minimise the chances of blatant mistakes going unchecked.
    Let's be clear here too... the rerfereeing decisions which have been questioned recently are, at worst, just that, mistakes. It is simply not conceivable that a referee with a particular bias would deliberately display it when he knows that he will be mercilessly pilloried in the press and that his decisions will be scrutinised endlessly from 6 diferent camera positions, frame by frame and with the benefit of all sorts of TV effects and lines on screen to prove a player was six inches offside atb the moment a ball was kicked. Give the guys a break!
    That said, it is obviously much better all round if they make as few mistakes as possible. TV pundits regularly get to mull over several replays from all sorts of angles but still can't agree on decisions. The point is though that a qualified and experienced referee looking at these replays will be better placed to make a more informed decision and we are less likely to allow blatant mistakes to go uncorrected.
    Therew has to be limits to mainytain nthe integrity of the game and prevent undue delay in the flow of play. My solution would be as follows: Each manager should be permitted two requests per game to challenge a decision. The referee will decide whether or not there is any merit in the challenge and if content will refer it to the 4th official. If not content the refs original decision stands and one of the available challenges is used. The refree himself will be able to make as many referalls as he deems appropriate without the need for a challenge by one of the managers. Play will not stop for a challenge or referral. The referee or fourth official need only indicate that a challenge or referral is to be made. If the ball is still in play, play continues till the ball goes out and the matter is dealt with at that time with play being brought back or continuing as appropriate depending on the acceptance or otherwise of the challenge and the decision of the referral. The actual review of replays could be carried out by the either the 4th official, the 4th official and the referee together or even a 5th official with that as their sole function.

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  • 87. At 3:20pm on 23 Aug 2008, RFC- more-trophies-than-anyone wrote:

    Yet again Rangers are on the wrong end of a shocking decision by Scottish officialdom to deny them the three points, this time at Pittodrie where a Da Marcus Beasley strike minutes from time is disallowed by a linesman with a perfectly clear view of the action. There is no excuse for this bizarre decision today from the linesman, none whatsoever. The now countless decisions against Rangers will ensure a one-horse race but only taints the SPL even more than last season, if that's possible.

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  • 88. At 09:33am on 24 Aug 2008, Erico1977 wrote:

    "Yet again Rangers are on the wrong end of a shocking decision by Scottish officialdom to deny them the three points"

    It was probably just reward for the 3 first half free kicks on and around the edge of the area given to Kris 'I like to dive' Boyd. Like everyone seems to say these things even out!!

    Imagine if Nakamura played for ye you would have been 3-0 up and then Chick would have some new material for next week.

    Chick heres a topic for this week, that the standard of the teams outside the old firm has seriously begun to improve..

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  • 89. At 12:37pm on 24 Aug 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    Very little wrong with the Scottish game, I'd have to agree with that. The majority of teams seem to have found a unity in existence that seemed impossible only a few seasons ago. What a wonderful outcome it would have been, had Utd gotten their penalty, and taken 3 point from Celtic. A couple of extra point towards the ultimate goal, of finishing the season in 3rd place with a Uefa cup spot. Maybe even convincing a player or two to turn down the January advances of the Old Firm. In reality however, doing very little other than embarrass the Celtic manager and have him explaining how he could have dropped points to a team other than Rangers. REMEMBER, this game was at TANNADICE! Not Celtic park, and Utd's only chance was snuffed out by the referee, we aren't always so lucky, although have held our own against Celtic under C Levien... We SHOULD be able to bemoan 2 dropped points at our home ground, not be over-joyed that we got 1 point, aggrieved that a ref cost us tha CHANCE of 3, AT HOME! Alas a perfect world does not exist, the Old Firm will continue to gobble up anything that even 'smells' like potential from the other teams in the SPL, and we will continue to fight over thescraps of a EUFA Cup spot with no real chance of doing any better. Hamilton just better hope they keep their great youngsters past August 31 at least, to give them a chance of making up enough points to have a chance at safety when the best of their players have been swiped away in the January transfer window by a desperate Old Firm manager (insert who ever is in 2nd place) doing their best to show some spark in the second half of the season to keep the fans off their backs... Where did all the talk of the Old Firm joining the English league go??? A similar setup to that of Cardiff/Swansea etc surely would suffice, and we could enjoy a true Scottish Premier League, albeit with a Champion's League 'qualifier' as the ultimate prize... THAT and moving to a 2/3 division system, with a larger Premier league and similar sized 1st/2nd divisions, and the great work being done in Scottish football could truly bear fruit, and improve exponentially! Rid us of the "Irish-Celtic" and the "English-Rangers" and in doing so the suffocating imperialism which they ooze from every one of their 'corporate box' orifices, and let Scottish football breath once more! I don't hate the Old Firm, and would watch their progress with pride as a Scotsman, as I find myself doing currently in the Champion's League, but Scottish football is a small (and in the most part) a semi-professional setup, no-where near equipped to challenge the Champion's League quality squads that we find atop our footballing tree. This shouldn't be a move that is put forward by them on their terms, but a movement that all other teams in the Scottish Football League, together with the SFA, should be putting forward, searching for an outcome that would best suit SCOTTISH FOOTBALL. Not the Old Firm. THE ONLY OTHER VIABLE ALTERNATIVE, and this would seriously diminish the Old Firm's ability to challenge in Europe, is to introduce a salary cap into Scottish football. NO, I don't want this either, so which option should we pursue???

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  • 90. At 1:51pm on 24 Aug 2008, onlyourpipesrunfree wrote:

    Scott brown got booked for having a fly wee kick at a boy quite rightly so.
    However two falkirk players did the same thing to Hartley and McGeady yet for some reason these were deemed not to be booking. Also yesterday seen Celtic denied their second stonewall PK of the season.

    Can't wait for Chick to highlights these injustices.

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  • 91. At 2:06pm on 24 Aug 2008, RFC- more-trophies-than-anyone wrote:

    -Erico1977

    Celtic have had THREE disgraceful game-changing decisions in their favour in their first three SPL matches. They should also be nowhere near the top of the SPL table.

    Fans of all SPL teams will simply stop wasting money attending football if refs are too terrified to award decisions against Celtic.

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  • 92. At 4:40pm on 24 Aug 2008, Codi36 wrote:

    RFC- more-trophies-than-anyone.

    Disgraceful game changing decisions?
    Grow up mate, Celtic fans get called paranoid because of decisions that go supposedly go against them.
    Are rangers fans paranoid too now?

    The bottom line is that the referees in this country are rubbish to everyone. The fact that most Celtic or rangers game are shown live means that they will get the most exposure.
    What about Hamilton's dodgy goal against DUFC in the 1st game of the season? That wasn't given as much press and that game WAS shown live. That affected the game directly as the goal stood and it shouldn't have.
    The 2 penalty decisions regarding Celtic were chances. Robson still had to score and did his best to miss it. Had DU got the penalty last week, who's to say they would have scored it???
    Yesterday, Boyd was in an offside position when the ball was played forward, had it deflected off a rangers player to him then any advantage gained would have been (correctly) stopped. The fact that the ref actually blew his whistle before the ball was even put in the back of the net seems to be lost on everyone. Even if Beasley hit the moon with the shot, it wouldn't have mattered as the decision has already been made. We also would not be talking about it.

    One final point, something happened to Celtic yesterday which also happened when they played Aberdeen last season. Celtic were cruising both of the the games (3 up yesterday and 5 up on Aberdeen) when a blatant penalty award should have been given. Near the end of the game yesterday, Jackie McNamara pushed over Aiden McGeady in the box right in front of the referee. It was a blatant foul that would have been punished anywhere on the park but wasn't given. The exact same thing happened last season in the Aberdeen game.

    So tell me RFC- more-trophies-than-anyone, are teams only allowed to get penalty decisions when it's going to potentially affect the result of the game? Are we only going to talk about game changing decisions?
    If you are calling refereeing decisions DISGRACEFUL, then you need to stop being so narrow minded in thinking that it only affects your team. Would you be so vocal had the decisions gone in rangers favour?

    Stop spouting nonsense, 3 games gone and you're in runners up spot by 1 goal.
    As i said, grow up!

    Does this mean that i am now paranoid?
    I think that fans need to accept that decisions are going to

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  • 93. At 5:03pm on 24 Aug 2008, Codi36 wrote:

    Ignore the last 2 sentences in my previous post. They should have been deleted before i posted it.

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  • 94. At 5:16pm on 24 Aug 2008, Codi36 wrote:

    I've just noticed this other post from you and i'm asking you to please ignore everything i wrote in my last post directed at you.
    The reason to ignore it is that i have decided that you have absolutely no chance whatsoever of even seeing things from any other perspective than your own blue glasses. There is no point even bothering with you because you're just a bitter rangers supporter who has spat the dummy out because your team blew the league and the UEFA cup.

    I refer to the drivel you wrote below



    79. At 4:40pm on 21 Aug 2008, RFC- more-trophies-than-anyone wrote:
    Let's face it, this current referee scandal isn't an Old Firm issue, it is a Celtic issue and a Celtic issue only. This has nothing to do with Rangers whatsoever and why the Ibrocx club are being dragged into this where Celtic simply do not get major game changing decisions against them is unfathomable.

    From the title run-in last season until now Celtic have been favoured by embarrassing ref decisions, like Tannadice on Sunday, going their way in almost every single game which not only dicredited their title win but made the SPL seem very suspect to the outside world.

    Away at St Mirren, both Motherwell fixtures, the double-header of Old Firm matches at Celtic Park where quite incredulous decisions like Scott McDonald being offside by at least 5 yards before he scored and the Celtic penalty for an out of the penalty box infringement were shocking awards by the officials, but not any worse than the Don's Zander Diamond's legitimate goal being disallowed at the same venue.

    Celtic just don't get big decisions against them from clearly intimidated refs. In fact, can any Celtic fan give me the last game they dropped points due to a howler from a ref or linesman.?

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  • 95. At 6:34pm on 24 Aug 2008, RFC- more-trophies-than-anyone wrote:

    - Chodi 36

    Have you seen the video of McManus's opening goal for Celtic from yesterday.? To be fair to him, even he was too embarrassed to celebrate elbowing the ball into the net with both ref and linesman observing.

    When was the last time Celtic had a game-changing decision against them to cost them points.?

    I won't personalise the debate by rising to the "bitter bluenose" jibe as Celtic fans I know who were at the game at Parkhead yesterday agreed it was a shocker of a decision, just like Tannadice last week.

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  • 96. At 8:53pm on 24 Aug 2008, Codi36 wrote:

    I was at the game but as my seat is in the Jock Stein i did not see it. I still haven't seen it but I dont think that it was a game changing decision though. Anyone at the game would tell you that that happened a few minutes before wheMaloney came on. I agree that we have benefitted from rubbish officiating but to suggest there is bias towards Celtic is absolutely ludicrous. When rangers were dominant I remember feeling that every decision went against Celtic.

    As for the debate, There isn't one as far as you're concerned. You cant see past your blue glasses. The only specific decision you mentioned is the mcdonald goal which i wouldn't dispute anyway. Every other point you make resulted in a chance for Celtic, they still had to be scored. Nakamura's FK, the Corner at motherwell etc. The Mcdonald one is the only one that actually resulted in a goal from a bad decision. The Diamond one, the whistle was blown and the Celtic defence didn't defend it properly. As an earlier poster said, Celtic had 2 goals chopped off in that game that no-one mentions. Had they been given, the diamond 'goal' would have been irrelivant.

    The title was not discreditted, rangers blew it, the same way celtic blew it when rangers won at easter road. Get over it!!!!!!

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  • 97. At 9:34pm on 24 Aug 2008, RFC- more-trophies-than-anyone wrote:

    -Chodi 36

    You're correct about one thing, there cannot be any form of debate when you can't or rather won't say of the last time, even once, when Celtic dropped points due to any similar shocking decision/s which they have benefited from countless times last season and now this season.

    And yes, nobody outside the, ahem, "Celtic minded" take any trophy they "win" in Scotland seriously due to the boringly predictable honest mistakes from officials which apparently affect everyone apart from them.

    Also, there is no dominance by Celtic in the SPL if the so called title race more or less goes to the last game every other season.

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  • 98. At 06:42am on 25 Aug 2008, BryceCurdy wrote:

    If dodgy decisions against Rangers/for Celtic carry on at this rate things might have even themselved out by the end of the century.

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  • 99. At 08:36am on 25 Aug 2008, Marcus wrote:

    For years Celtic have had dodgy decisions go against us, only for Celtic fans to be called paranoid. Now we have had 3 decisions that have either gone for Celtic or against Rangers, and suddenly Rangers fans are calling the refs pro-Celtic. Get real.

    Jorge Cadete "offside" at Ibrox ring any bells for all you Rangers "fans"

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