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‘Jumped before he was pushed’ ‘Celtic dossier is damming’ ‘Tynecastle audio mysteriously deleted’ Fans react to Crawford Allan rumours

Crawford Allan’s departure from the SFA, announced yesterday and taking place at the end of the season has been greeted with complete cynicism from anyone paying attention to these matters.

While the mainstream publishers have been happy to parrot the statement from the SFA those with a little experience on these type of issues immediately started looking around for the real story.

Following a match on March 3 Brendan Rodgers will appeal against a Notice of Complaint on March 28, yesterday’s announcement wasn’t a coincidence.

It seems that after 18 months of the farcical operation of VAR events at Tynecastle at the start of the month took matters too far.

John Beaton has been one of the golden boys of Allan’s time heading up refereeing matters with the man from the Crown Bar refereeing the 2020 and 2023 Scottish Cup Finals, effectively recognition from the SFA for the best whistler over the season.

There can be little doubt that Motherwell’s win at Ibrox on March 2 wasn’t well received at the Crown Bar, the following day their most famous customer was on VAR duty for Celtic’s match at Tynecastle where a win would take the hoops into top place.

During the first half two incredible decisions were made by Beaton with his colleague on the pitch, Don Robertson agreeing with the observations from the VAR room.

Yang Hyun-jun was sent off for the type of challenge that barely merits a booking in most matches, a penalty was awarded against Tomoki Iwata for a handball decision much less deliberate than the type that Connor Goldson escapes punishment from in every second match.

As ever fans at the match were left in the dark, those watching on Sky Sports were given a version of the VAR conversation between Beaton and Robertson but the commentary team can’t relay exactly what was said.

Last season Andy Walker spilled the beans over collusion during an appearance on Go Radio, his co-commentary contract with Sky Sports wasn’t renewed.

With Rodgers hit with a Notice of Complaint and preparing to defend his reputation the audio conversations between the two match officials is absolutely vital to the hearing.

If there is hesitancy or any doubt between Beaton and Robertson the charge against Rodgers is instantly meaningless, his comments stand up and focus turns on two of the top referees in Scotland and the man that trains them and ultimately trusts them to apply the Laws of the Game.

Yesterday’s announcement might just have created a convenient fall guy, Allan taking one for the team but if the charge against Rodgers doesn’t stand up it calls into question the competency of Ian Maxwell and the entire team at the SFA.

In 1996 Fergus McCann proved the ‘incompetence’ of Jim Farry who resigned on full pension for holding up the registration of Jorge Cadete.

In 2010 Dougie McDonald abruptly announced his retirement from refereeing after being exposed to have lied to Neil Lennon, putting the blame for his own incompetence on Steven Craven.

A similar scenario appears to be brewing over the events at Tynecastle and the Notice of Complaint against Rodgers, this time there might be some people inside Celtic looking to push through proper reform rather than a fudge and compromise ‘for the good of Scottish football’.

CLICK HERE for two outsiders to replace Crawford Allan

With no club football for another 11 days, with the Rodgers hearing just over a week away there is only one issue concerning Celtic fans who have felt aggrieved since VAR was introduced in October 2022, ironically with two penalties awarded against their team at Tynecastle.

It seems that every second or third match some inexplainable decisions are made, frustratingly there has been a complete reluctance on the part of Michael Nicholson to challenge anything, until now.

Since the Notice of Complaint was issued there has been no comment from Celtic on the issue but their manager has made it quite clear that he won’t be handicapped by officials that appear incapable of applying the Laws of the Game, or justifying their decision making.

John Beaton, VAR, SFA, Graeme Shinnie, Crawford Allan

Announcing Allan’s departure on the SFA website, CEO Ian Maxwell said:

Firstly, I would like to thank Crawford for his four years as Head of Referee Operations and especially his efforts in implementing VAR within Scottish football and guiding refereeing through the Covid-19 pandemic.

In many ways, overseeing the introduction of VAR has been a thankless task. Yet it has been essential for Scottish football to remain at the forefront of on-field technology and in-step with the leading domestic competitions across Europe, as well as ensuring our match officials and VAR operators can continue to operate at FIFA and UEFA level.

Crawford has been integral to that process – from feasibility, to training, to roll-out – for much of his tenure and we are grateful that he will remain in place and provide continuity until the end of the season.

Whilst there is a recognition that, globally, the VAR processes need to improve, this is a challenge for all key stakeholders within Scottish football to work through in the context of our own domestic competition. This includes all key external stakeholders having a better understanding of the Laws of the Game, the lines of intervention for VAR, and the adopted guidance within Scottish football, especially in subjective areas such as the handball law.

We must work together to alleviate the unsustainable pressure on match officials and VAR operators, to remove the convenient blame culture attached to subjective or unpopular decisions, and to ensure more focus is placed on the entertainers rather than the on-field facilitators.

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1 Comment

  • by John Copeland
    Posted March 19, 2024 1:50 pm 0Likes

    Firstly ,Allan timed his ‘resignation ‘ to perfection with the domestic game on a two week break for International duties……less media intrusion ! Secondly and most importantly ,if there is anything resembling corruption to emerge from any kind of possible investigation whatsoever regarding referees and VAR ,no stone should be left unturned when doing so ? Can you imagine the implications if it ever came to light that referees were playing a rigged game with a ‘ stacked deck ‘ over the years and decades ? 2012 really would be a teddy bear’s picnic in comparison !

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