Who guards, the guards

Date: 16th February 2021

The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:

Once again Scottish football is covered in its own mess.

And I am not talking about the hefty independent report into sexual misconduct.

Jim Goodwin wants the drivers named and shamed. He has called for the compliance officer to get more involved.

Stephen Gerrard has gone as far to suggest that we should not have referees, so useless they have become. He was of course, attempting to use hyperbole to make his point – which is after a game of football if every decision has to be revisited then what is the point of them being there. Perhaps a couple of dads could referee first time round and then we get their decisions looked at again properly.

Once again we are facing a Tsunami of criticism over the way in which the game is run BUT… there is likely to be very little change.

I have written before about how, back in the dim and distant past, I attended one of these court room experiences – a disciplinary panel at Hampden – that made me feel like a couple of Australian marsupials were going to be ushered in for the verdict.

Gerrard is likely to have and does have support from the other half of an unlikely alliance – Glasgow Celtic. They too have spoken widely about inconsistency within the game and people being charged after the fact.

The idea that inconsistency happens to the two biggest clubs in Scotland is hardly new. They are given more penalties, they are favoured by the refs, they do not get treated the same and so on, and so on, and so on…

Gerrard has come to the Scottish game without being stepped in the traditions of Scottish west coast society. He is somewhat free of accrued prejudice from his upbringing, in a Scottish sense so for him to come out and make the remarks he has about how VAR should be introduced because that is the only way to ensure that some type of fairness is possible is easy on the press release but hardly easy to back up.

Ask English football.

They have been plagued by VAR since it was introduced and found it is far from the panacea that many believed it would be. Interpretation continues to be the key and the fact is, that it continues to rely on human beings and is now susceptible to human error. Removing the immediate decision has not always led to the correct one being made.

As Gerrard says, referees are humans and will make mistakes. Goodwin wants the compliance officer more involved, Gerrard is looking to VAR. I wonder which of them shall be disciplined for their comments first?

And there we once again see, plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose…


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