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  • Dundee Utd V Celtic and the OF game

    Welcome back to the Retired Ref's views on the recent goings on within the sometimes crazy and wonderful world of being a Scottish Football Referee.

    Well I suppose the good news would be to suggest that barring the two recent high profile Celtic games there hasn't been any real need to post up views on the SPL since the Hibs V Rangers game (which incidentley I got wrong as Lafferty was ordered off for violent conduct for the attempted punch at McBride rather than the tackle on Miller).


    Dundee Utd V Celtic

    Knowing how MacDonald prepares for games I can quite categorically say that his pre-match instructions to all 3 officials would be to intervene if they believe that he has made a mistake in a big decision. This is common practice advice to match officials and almost all of them follow the same script for every game.

    Now I can only make educated guesses at how Douglas came to change his mind (which is he absolutely able to do in the laws of the game) and my take would be that as soon as he has blown for a penalty and seen the reaction of the Dundee United players he's thought "oh no" and then looked across at his asst referee who at this stage has now taken up a position which would suggest to the trained eye that he absolutely agrees with it. The pre-match instructions would be to flag and take an exaggerated step away towards the half way line and since Craven has not done this then I can make two assumptions.

    a) The Asst Ref believes 100% it was a penalty and MacDonald was correct in awarding the decision. When MacDonald has had his own doubts he has instigated the chat with the Asst and it has given himself a chance to take a breather and basically over-rule himself.

    b) Craven doesn't believe it was a penalty but doesn't have the courage of his convictions to raise his flag at the time. If the recorded conversations suggest that the Asst Referee believes that it wasn't a penalty but he failed to raise his flag or inform the referee at the time then he will be quite rightly marked down for his performance. His career probably hinged on his answer to Douglas's question "Do you think it was a penalty?"

    You go out there as a team and live or die as one.

    Hugh Dallas I'm sure will be raging but one of the first things that your taught is even if it's messy it's more important to get the decision right at the time before the game has re-started. Talk of TV replays and the 4th official watching them, don't even listen to that. It would be career ending for the officials involved and the game WOULD have to be replayed.

    Celtic V Rangers

    Straight to the point, I don't think that it was a penalty but there was contact between the two players and can understand how Collum came to the decision.

    I'm more disappointed in the fact that he failed to send off Samaras for an absolutely horrendous tackle on Naismith late on in the game, this tackle ticked every box for serious foul play.

    As a postscript to Dundee United escapade, I've read on the forum that MacDonald will be downgraded because of the incident at Tannadice. I can only assume that someone has heard that he's due to come of the FIFA list at Christmas due to his age and 2+2=5.

    It wouldn't surprise me though if he did take steps to become more involved in the mentoring & coaching of referee's and again it wouldn't be a surprise if he 'sacrificed' himself to make a point to the SFA/SPL at the end of the season and took early retirement from the senior list.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Jonnyboy's Avatar
      Jonnyboy -
      Good stuff

      When I watch the replay of the penalty incident (the one that shows Collum appears to have his back to the incident) I think he may be lloking towards his assistant as there seems to be a little gap between Broadfoot hitting the deck and Collum pointing at the spot. Do you think that's a possibility?
    1. Retired Ref's Avatar
      Retired Ref -
      Jonnyboy, I would doubt that Keith Sorbie made the decision about the penalty. My reasoning is that when a 4th official or asst referee becomes involved there are degrees of credibility which allows the decision to be sold. The Asst Referee would be looking at an incident from 30 yards away and through several players and I have my doubts that this would happen, especially with Willie Collum being 6 yards away.
      Now I know that someone will bring up the recent award of a penalty that Collum overturned on the say so of his 4th official at Rugby Park recently but the difference there was that none of the refereering team were within 35 yards of the incident, therefore one of the teams opinion is almost as valid as the other.
    1. Jonnyboy's Avatar
      Jonnyboy -
      Good points well made - ta
    1. Heraghty's's Avatar
      Heraghty's -
      Enjoyable summation. But . . .
      1. If Craven had no input in McDonald's change of mind but the voice in his earpiece was the fourth official, would that indicate why the SFA are having an investigation into this?
      2. Pictures clearly show Collum had his back to the incident when Broadfoot launched himself into the air like Superman. He only caught the end of it, when Broadfoot hit the deck, after being "fended off" by Maistorovic. Surely he should have consulted another official, given that he definitely missed the start of the incident? (TV and press pics are pretty conclusive about this).
      3. Are Celtic within their rights to ask for explanations for the above "unusual" decisions?
    1. Retired Ref's Avatar
      Retired Ref -
      The SFA have now published their findings which can be found at www.scottishfa.co.uk. In summary MacDonald had doubts and he instigated the chat with Craven, Craven then advised that he didn't think it was a penalty. I therefore conclude that Craven neglected his duties as an SPL official and if he hadn't resigned then he would've been given a 'rest' at the very least.

      1. Is the presumption here that the 4th official saw the incident on a TV replay and told MacDonald this? Think about it, what happens when a disputed penalty happens. You have both benches getting to their feet and the first person they confront is the 4th official. Do you think that he just slipped away unnoticed for a few minutes to watch a replay.
      2. There is absolutely no reason for a match referee to consult anyone if he believes he has given the correct decision and no other asst or the 4th official is otherwise minded.
      3. They are not breaking any rules if all they are doing is asking for an explanation. What exactly are they trying to achieve though, the answer back on the Collum penalty will be that the referee believed it at the time to be a penalty. Full stop. In respect of the Dundee United game, again I'm not sure what they are expecting here as penalties have been over ruled or given on the advice of an Asst Ref several times before now.
    1. CropleyWasGod's Avatar
      CropleyWasGod -
      Quote Originally Posted by Retired Ref View Post
      The SFA have now published their findings which can be found at www.scottishfa.co.uk. In summary MacDonald had doubts and he instigated the chat with Craven, Craven then advised that he didn't think it was a penalty. I therefore conclude that Craven neglected his duties as an SPL official and if he hadn't resigned then he would've been given a 'rest' at the very least.

      .
      Interested in why you say this. Is it because, having seen that DMcD got it wrong in his opinion, he should have put his flag up or "buzzed" him?
    1. Retired Ref's Avatar
      Retired Ref -
      Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
      Interested in why you say this. Is it because, having seen that DMcD got it wrong in his opinion, he should have put his flag up or "buzzed" him?
      Yes, it's an absolute pre-requisite of any asst referee (or 4th official now) if they believe that a decision is incorrect and they are able to add credibility by having a closer or better angle that they must inform the referee before the game re-starts.
      Indeed the SFA refereeing dept have hammered home this point since the start of the season after the St Johnstone V Hibs game last season (where Nish sent off after the game had re-started)
    1. HibbingtonHibs's Avatar
      HibbingtonHibs -
      I'd be very interested to hear your point of view in the light of the revelations that McDonald and Craven both lied (after Craven chose to ignore the wrong decision in the first place), then Dallas acted the workplace bully to try to put the blame and the pressure on Craven.

      No wonder fans suspect the refs of cheating when info like this comes out.
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