Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Honest mistakes or poor referees? 15 Shocking decisions against Celtic

Referee mistakes over 20 years have been put together onto one video clip by the team at the Celtic Forever podcast.

The video is a year old but covers some shocking decisions which clearly shows a pattern of unusual decisions or honest mistakes across a whole range of Scotland’s leading referees.

John Beaton doesn’t feature in the 15 minute clip but Lanarkshire is well represented by Bobby Madden and Willie Collum.

With so much to choose from there are a few howlers missed out such as Steven Smith wiping out Neil Lennon at Ibrox in 2006 with Kenny Clarke deciding not to award Celtic a penalty in front of the Copland Road Stand to go 2-0 in front.

The classic Dougie Dougie moment from Tannadice in October 2010 is included, a week later Collum tried to surpass that by awarding a penalty against Celtic for an incident that he didn’t see.

Celtic v Inverness Caley Thistle April 2015, Steven McLean

One of the absolute classics, as well as being a very obvious ‘mistake’ it turned out to be very costly.

Leading 1-0 in a cup semi-final when Josh Meekings pushed his arm out to block a net bound header from Leigh Griffiths it should have resulted in a red card and a penalty to Celtic.

Referee Steven McLean decided not to award, Additional Assistant Referee Alan Muir did likewise with linesman Frank Connor not wishing to over-rule his superiors.

Shown live on Sky Sports the decision generated almost two full weeks of follow up, Peter Lawwell’s request for clarity was ignored by the SFA with Ronny Deila denied the opportunity of a treble.

McLean, Muir and Connor continue to get the biggest fixtures, the following season McLean was rewarded by being put in charge of the Scottish Cup Final.

Ross County v Celtic April 2017, Don Robertson

Don Robertson couldn’t wait to award an 90th minute penalty to Ross County when Alex Schalk took an outrageous dive with the best part of a metre between him and Erik Sviatchenko.

Liam Boyce scored from the spot to level the scores at 2-2, Robertson was able to send Scott Brown off in stoppage time, for the first time we saw Rodgers confront an official at the end of the match.

Schalk was given a two match retrospective suspension, Brown won his appeal against the red card but the result stood and Robertson was on an accelerated route to the top of Scottish refereeing.

Celtic v Sevco March 2017, Bobby Madden

Bobby Madden had worked all his career for this moment, Celtic fans had watched his progress closely and he performed exactly as expected.

Kenny Miller and Jason Holt escaped unpunished from brutal attacks on Stuart Armstrong and Patrick Roberts with the visitors taking heart from the backing they were getting on the pitch.

With five minutes left to play Leigh Griffiths got goalside of Clint Hill, as he prepared to shoot he was wiped out with Madden refusing to award a penalty kick.

Rookie boss Graeme Murty escaped with a draw, having delivered Madden was cemented into the rota for top fixtures, signing off his career with an outrageous performance in the 2022 Scottish Cup semi-final.

Bobby Madden, SFA, referee

Celtic v Sevco February 2015, Craig Thomson

The much anticipated first ever match between Celtic and Charles Green’s Tribute Act claimed its first casualty with Ally McCoist walking away after the draw to leave Kenny McDowall in charge.

Dundee United had beaten Aberdeen in extra time in the first semi-final the previous day to ensure that the pitch was churned up but there remained a fear that Celtic would humiliate their city rivals.

Leading 2-0 after 31 minutes Craig Thomson feared a route, after Scott Brown had shrugged aside a foul from Ian Black to send Leigh Griffiths clear on Steve Simonsen Thomson panicked and turned to the disadvantage rule to bring play back.

There was no further scoring with Black and Lee McCulloch somehow escaping a red card as Thomson saw the match through to a face saving 2-0 result.

Dundee United v Celtic October 2010, Dougie McDonald

A classic that should have paved the way for transparency, now known as Dougiegate or Dougie Dougie.

Having won their first eight SPL matches of the season Celtic were drawing 1-1 at Tannadice when Dusan Pernis came flying out at Gary Hooper, flooring the striker.

McDonald’s instinct was to give a penalty, realising the importance of the points to new Celtic boss Neil Lennon he went over to consult with his assistant Steven Craven then returned to restart the match with a drop ball right in front of a Dundee United defender.

Hooper scored an 89th minute winner but the post match focus was on McDonald’s change of mind.

Hugh Dallas, pre Papal Visit emails, emerged to put out the story that Craven had changed McDonald’s mind to save the reputation of McDonald.

Craven was prepared to accept that but once he started getting more and more obscure appointments he called foul telling the Sunday Mail that he was put up as the fall guy, that McDonald had lied to Lennon with Dallas spreading the lies to his media mates.

McDonald stepped down from active refereeing soon after but returned to train aspiring referees a few years later.

Celtic v Rangers, October 2010, Willie Collum

The spotlight was firmly on the RE teacher from Lanarkshire as the media highlighted his other career in the lead up to his first Glasgow Derby.

Collum put in a performance that his mentor Dallas would have approved of, with Walter Smith’s side leading 2-1 Kirk Broadfoot dived in the penalty box, with his back to play Collum awarded a penalty against Dan Majstorovic which was converted.

Celtic lost 3-1 with Collum passing the test with flying colours, 14 years on he is still on the gravy train.

Willie Collum, SFA, referee

Partick Thistle v Celtic, January 2020, Alan Muir

Celtic were leading 2-0 in a Scottish Cup tie when Dario Zanatta rounded Fraser Forster and seemed likely to score.

Jeremie Frimpong thought differently and nicked it to put the ball out for a corner before Zanatta could shoot.

Muir thought differently and awarded a penalty, knowing what he was doing he bottled out of sending off the Celtic defender. Forster saved the penalty.

Hibs v Celtic, September 2019, Kevin Clancy

After winning at Ibrox with a makeshift defence and only 800 away fans Neil Lennon’s side were in the early driving seat in the title race.

With the match level at 1-1 Moritz Bauer was completely wiped out in front of Kevin Clancy who gave his trademark shocked look and pointed for a corner kick.

Later that season Clancy was given his first of four Glasgow Derbies with Celtic losing the first three of them.

Hearts v Celtic, July 2021, Bobby Madden

After being knocked out of the Champions League away to Midtjylland Ange Postecoglou’s skeleton squad were drawing 1-1 away to Hearts in the SPFL opener.

It looked like Liel Abada had given the hoops a late winner but Madden was delighted to accept the wrongly raised flag from his assistant to disallow the goal.

In the same match Andy Halliday raked his studs down the Achilles of Callum McGregor, his podcast buddie awarded a foul but no card against the Hearts midfielder.

CLICK HERE for Shinnie hits out as Beaton suspends him from Scottish Cup semi-final.

CLICK HERE for the full SFA charge again Rodgers.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment