A prominent Celtic site poses a deadly question about the conduct of the SFA.
Alan Morrison of Celtic By Numbers is not a guy prone to hyperbole or exaggeration.
It processes data. In the facts.
His site has become a must-read because of these things.
When he introduced an Honest Mistakes section and started trying to figure out whether or not officiating “mistakes” actually cost us over the course of a season, a lot of people cried out “conspiracy theory.”
Imagine their shock when their product was balanced, reasoned and fair.
Alan is one of those sites where the editor knows what he doesn’t know, and that’s why his honest mistakes section is required reading. He actually brought in an expert, a former arbitrator, to rule all contentious decisions.
Some of us who read it religiously don’t always agree with what the former maintainer says… but that Alan went so far to make his site believable says a lot about the man he is and the standards it sets.
That’s why when he asks a question like the one he asked today – ‘Did the SFA lie to Celtic again?’ – it’s extremely difficult for anyone who might otherwise fire a blogger who asks for such a thing as a crank (I should know, I get my fair share of that kind of abuse) to do so. Alan is just too straight and sane for this libel to stand.
The Celtic By Numbers site does not publish sensationalist content, which makes this matter all the more sensational and damning. Worse still, for the governing body, is that Alan Morrison seems convinced that we were deceived at the very least on what the operator saw and did not see on the offside against Jota.
He lays out the three ‘options’ the on-field referee and the VAR team had. His conclusion that the picture we have all seen is so inconclusive that the officials should have just ‘did nothing’ and given the striker the benefit of the doubt is based on what is actually written in the regulations. . This leaves the SFA nowhere to go.
But it’s his dissection of the SFA statement where the real meat of the story can be found. To begin with, he pointed out how this statement misinterprets the offside rule, which is an astonishing “mistake” piled on top of what is already an extraordinary incident and consequence. Their claim that Jota was offside when he ‘received the ball’ is ridiculous as only matters where he was when the pass was made.
Anyone familiar with the offside rule knows that. It’s etched in our consciousness. There is no referee anywhere on the planet who is not fully aware of this fact. Nor very many football fans.
But somehow the SFA tried to pass this observation off as answering the questions to our satisfaction.
In fact, he only raised new ones.
“It doesn’t really matter if Jota is in or not,” writes Alan. “What matters is that it looks like the governing body could once again deceive Celtic and the wider Scottish football community. The SFA is far from clear on how the technology supporting VAR is used They are supporting a decision that is supposed to be final but which, based on all available evidence, could not be and, indeed, the decision-making process does not appear to follow the guidelines of the SFA.
Alan raises big questions in his article, ones that demand answers.
He ends the article with a summary of the times we know – for a fact, with documented evidence – that the SFA blatantly lied to our club. This is not a new phenomenon. It is not unique.
There is a story about this that all our fans know well and cannot ignore.
Celtic cannot ignore the questions raised by Alan either. That’s why his last line might just be the most important in the whole play.
“Over to you, Michael Nicholson.”