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Why are Celtic silent over the Tynecastle audio?

Celtic have yet to comment on the decisions made at Tynecastle at the start of the month or of the Notice of Complaint served on Brendan Rodgers by the SFA.

The issues from Tynecastle remain a mystery, the sending off of Yang Hyun-jun has been appealed and rejected without any explanation, the player has served a two match suspension with nothing mentioned on the reasons for the penalty awarded against Tomoki Iwata.

In contrast, across the city they do things differently, a series of statements were shared to media partners, their reasons for their defeat to Celtic on December 30 have been completely rewritten.

Best of all they know that Willie Collum won’t be near any of this season’s SPFL matches with all other match officials warned about of what is expected of them.

Imagine the boost Celtic’s title hopes would get it John Beaton and Don Robertson were removed from their rota for the eight remaining matches?

True it would mean an increased likelihood of David Dickinson, Alan Muir or Steven McLean being involved but they’d know that Celtic are no longer the pushover that they’ve been since 27 July 2012.

Celtic fans are none the wiser about how their club feels about the decisions and issues from Tynecastle, the consistently inconsistent interpretation of the Handball Rule while the culture of secrecy remains, stronger than ever.

Showing their city competitors how to deal with refereeing matters, on the evening of January 3 The Sun reported:

After a meeting between the SFA and Rangers today, a Rangers spokesperson said: “Rangers FC today met with Scottish FA officials to discuss the VAR handball call and subsequent miscommunications from Saturday’s Old Firm match.

“From the meeting, there was an overriding consensus the VAR decision of no handball was incorrect.

Having listened to the audio, there is no mention of a potential offside at the time of the handball decision.

“Rangers is also deeply concerned at the haste at which the erroneous no handball call was made.

Rangers has appealed to the Scottish FA to release the audio and explain this decision, and future contentious decisions involving all clubs, to the public, as would be common practice in England for such a decision.’

The club has made a number of specific requests that it hopes the Scottish FA will respond to in order to improve matters going forward.”

The following day the SFA hit back, again using their favoured media messengers rather than communicating through the own website.

The Sun reported:

The Scottish FA is disappointed by contents of the most recent statement issued by Rangers in relation to a match incident during the club’s recent Premiership fixture against Celtic. 

Chief Executive James Bisgrove and Director of Football Operations Creag Robertson attended a private briefing with the Head of Referee Operations, Crawford Allan, to review the incident in question, including the use of matchday audio. 

We understood from the chief executive that the meeting had been constructive and informative, and conducted amicably. This does not appear to be reflected in the club’s statement. 

During the meeting, it was pointed out that the incident in question was a subjective handball and that the VAR did not deem it a sufficiently clear and obvious error to refer to On Field Review. 

Furthermore, the offside would not have been mentioned at the time as it was not part of the VAR’s decision-making on the handball. 

It was highlighted within Clydesdale House that had the VAR considered the incident to be a handball offence and asked the referee to carry out an On Field Review, the Attacking Phase of Play would have been checked and an offside would have been identified. 

This supplementary information was relayed to broadcasters in-game, and we are reviewing the process of information dissemination to avoid any perceived ambiguity in future. 

Tellingly no Notice of Complaint was issued against the Ibrox club, in 10 SPFL fixtures since Collum hasn’t been near any matches involving Philippe Clement’s side.

Next week promises to be very lively with Rodgers appearing before the SFA on Thursday to answer his Notice of Complaint.

The audio that from the defeat to Celtic was quickly made available to Ibrox CEO James Bisgrove. Within four days of the match meeting had been held with the SFA called to account and misquoted, strangely nothing is known of Celtic’s feelings about what went on in the match where defeat denied them the opportunity to go top of the SPFL Preniership. That audio should have been released to Rodgers and his legal team.

Celtic are unlikely to be leaking/briefing in the same manner as their city rivals but there are a few trusted outlets that are bound to be in the loop with the Hampden hearing coming 10 days before a pivotal Glasgow Derby at Ibrox.

At the very least Celtic should be spared the prospect of Beaton or Robertson being involved in that match, if they are Michael Nicholson and Peter Lawwell will have some explaining to do to their customers.

CLICK HERE for the rumours about Crawford Allan.

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