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It would hardly be a stretch to suggest there is bias- BBC presenter calls out the 68 match penalty scandal

Richard Gordon has highlighted the penalty issue that the Scottish media are afraid to go near.

These days stats can be produced to order with every penalty from James Tavernier celebrated as he gets closer to Alfredo Morelos as the top goalscorer for the Ibrox Tribute Act.

‘Penalty to Rangers’ has become a gag that has reached the Celtic boardroom with Peter Lawwell and Mick Nick happy to join in with the side-splitting banter.

That is only half of the issue- how the second placed club over the last half dozen years has always been awarded more penalties than the club that has won the title in five of those years.

The other end of the park seems to be the subject of an exclusion order, both from the media and Scotland’s elite referees led by Crawford Allan.

It is now 23 months, three managers and 68 matches since a penalty was awarded against the Tribute Act in the SPFL, a run that includes more than a year of VAR being in operation.

There’s not a chance that Kenny Macintyre, Tom English, Neil McCann, Steven Thompson, Lee McCulloch and Kenny Miller will be discussing the issue on Sportsound despite their hours of air time.

Gordon has been getting eased out the door at BBC Scotland by the ever-staunch Macintyre, it looks like the Aberdeen fan is embarking on the slow goodbye that Jim Spence went through a decade ago.

As a freelance he can look elsewhere to share his views, in the Press & Journal he gets a lot of his chest:

When Lewis Ferguson stepped up to net from the spot on January 18 2022 for Aberdeen, that was the last time Rangers faced a top-flight penalty.

They have now played a staggering 68 matches without conceding one in the Premiership.

In that time, it would appear not a single Rangers player has committed a foul in their own 18-yard-box.

Not once has a referee deemed a challenge illegal; not once, since its introduction in October 2022, has a VAR official highlighted anything of note while the Ibrox side has been defending its area.

It would hardly be a stretch to suggest there is bias there. I am not suggesting it is intentional bias, that the referees are deliberately ignoring incidents, but for whatever reason, it clearly exists.

How else, unless those Rangers defenders are somehow infinitely more disciplined than all their opponents, can that remarkable statistic be explained?

Incidentally, since the start of last season, Rangers have conceded seven penalties; one in the Scottish Cup, two in the Viaplay Cup and four in Europe.

They have played 19 European ties during that time, so the concession of four spot-kicks seems pretty much what you might expect, one every four or five games, and it certainly puts into sharp focus that statistic of zero conceded in 68 league matches.

Newcomer Mathew MacDermid will referee today’s match at Ibrox against St Mirren with John Beaton ensuring no slip ups from the VAR studio in Bellshill.

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