Far from the Madden Crowd

“Here Dermot. Is that a Sellick scarf?”

It didn’t take long for Dermot Gallagher to call out another Scottish referee. The former FA referee, now a pundit on Sky, was quite frank when he said “…it would be easier to give a penalty there than not to be honest.”

Incompetent? Conspiracy? Inconsistent? Honest mistake?

Some of the words we use to describe our match officials in Scotland. Every league in the world likes to have a go at the officials.

Do Scotland have some of the worst though? It certainly isn’t a profession I’d want to get into in general but in Scotland they do seem to be particularly abysmal.

You’d have to be off your head to be one. It’s right up there with parking attendants.

What sort of person would you have to be to stand there and take the flack (and sometimes abuse) for your on the spot decisions? Regardless of whether you are right or wrong!

We’ve seen the scale of incompetence within the SFA’s officials over the years. There has also been the controversial and conspiratorial side.

Very often we talk about the officials having it in for Celtic. They might, they might not.

Maybe there is an agenda is certain matches. I certainly wouldn’t rule that out.

This is Scottish football after all and we know just how badly it is governed. So for Gallagher (clearly a Tim, right?) to come out and say Madden got it totally wrong is another nail in the coffin of the SFA’s men in black.

It doesn’t all go Celtic’s way on Sky right enough. We don’t even need former Rangers players to have a go at us – we’ve got our very own!

Kris Commons has been making a name for himself as a pundit – not a very good one. However, it is Soccer Special’s Charlie Nicholas who has decided to chime in now.

He’s now claiming Brendan Rodgers will be gone in January. Now, as I said in yesterday’s blog, there was a similar opinion from the ByTheMinute Celtic podcast last week that Brendan would be gone by the end of the season if not January.

I’m not in that camp and I don’t know where Charlie is getting his information from. He’s either just listened to this podcast or has an inside man at Celtic Park.

To be honest, Nicholas has about as much credibility amongst the Celtic fans as the Orange Walk do, so I doubt he has an inside man at all. Based upon that, I will assume he’s just listened to the podcast and agreed.

Sky pundits and presenters are regularly in the crosshairs of Celtic fans, with Hayley McQueen getting it in the ear over the weekend for the negative coverage of Celtic on the backdrop of a Rangers defeat. So it’s refreshing to hear Dermot Gallagher come out and say that Scott McKenna’s scissor tackle on Odsonne Edouard was wrongly dealt with.

Not that we really needed that insight to be honest as we all have eyes of our own, even if Madden doesn’t. Still, got to take everything you can in the media these days.

Some decisions in general within the Scottish game of late have been very bizarre. It doesn’t matter if it is before (League Cup semi-final debacle), during (Collum, Madden, take your pick!) or after a game (the Allan McGregor panel decision), Scottish football is well and truly screwed.

It’s just as well we’re in control of our own destiny, right? Right?

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac



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