Twenty four hours later having watched the dross served up at Ibrox I’ve got more comparisons to make. Yes Celtic were incredibly poor but the glaring inconsistencies by refs when it comes to decisions involving ourselves and the Huns is nothing short of scandalous at times. I’ll give you an example which involves the wonderful Mr Hugh Dallas.
2nd March 2005: Tynecastle, Hearts v Rangers.
With the score tied at 1-1 Rangers defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos challenges for a header in the Hearts penalty area. The ball goes behind and Dallas gives a goal kick. However, the linesman’s flag is raised and after a brief consultation Hugh gives a late penalty which Rangers duly convert. I’m prepared to accept that Dallas took the advice of the linesman in this instance. They should work together to come to the “correct” decisions. With that in mind I give you the next example.
22nd May 2005: Fir Park, Motherwell v Celtic.
Craig Bellamy is racing away from a defender possibly going clean through on goal. He is hauled down by the defender and the linesman is close by. The linesman correctly flags for a Celtic free kick which could see the Motherwell defender yellow carded or possibly sent off but Dallas decides to ignore the flag and wave play on. Why not take the linesman’s advice this time Hugh?
Obviously the Scottish press will always back the refs to the hilt when it comes to any criticism from the club. This was rammed home to us following the “unnamed Celtic source” leaking the news that the club had asked the SFA for a meeting regarding the standard of refereeing this season. The laptop loyal and referees had a friend in Walter (No Surname) judging by his post match comments. Big surprise there then eh?
A terrific example of press apologists for referees is in Tom Campbell’s book “Celtic’s Paranoia…All in the Mind?” Back in May 1999 when Hugh Dallas (not him again) refereed the infamous title decider he sent off 3 players (Mahe & Riseth of Celtic, Wallace of Rangers) and awarded a dubious penalty to Rangers. Final Score: Celtic 0 Rangers 3
The general consensus in the press was that Dallas had a good game under difficult circumstances.
In the League Cup Semi Final at Hampden in February 2001 Willie Young sent off 3 players (Moravcik of Celtic, Reyna & Mols of Rangers) and awarded a dubious penalty to both sides. Final Score: Celtic 3 Rangers 1
This time the general mood of the press was that Willie Young had a poor game. I’ll leave you to spot the difference in the two examples given.
In my final comparison I’ll look at Sunday’s Celtic performance and judge it against Celtic teams of the past. Who am I kidding? You can’t compare it. It was absolutely shameful.