Celtic’s Complaint about Referee Chief Crawford Allan will fall on deaf ears

Celtic have lodged a formal complaint with the Scottish FA after the intervention on BBC Radio Scotland last weekend from Referee Chief Crawford Allan into the Hearts hysteria surrounding a tight offside decision that was too tight for Sky Sports with all their cameras to call and the decision by referee Bobby Madden to restart the game after blowing up for an injury to Jota with a drop ball in the middle of the park for Celtic rather than Hearts.

Given everything else that has gone on in Scottish football this season starting on the opening day of the season when Celtic had a goal by Liel Abada wrongly ruled out for offside and Bobby Madden didn’t even caution Andy Halliday for a recklessly high challenge on the Celtic captain Callum McGregor.

:Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon confronts the officials during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian at on December 02, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Where was Crawford Allan after that match and many others this season?

Stephen McGowan reports this morning in Scottish Daily Mail that Celtic have now formally complained to the Scottish FA although anytime that’s happened in the past they simply get patched. The fact that McGowan has the story is also indicative of Celtic passing the news along to him as a trusted journalist established by the former Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell.

Here’s what McGowan has written:

Celtic have contacted the SFA expressing unhappiness over comments made in a radio interview by referees’ chief Crawford Allan.

Head of referee operations at the governing body since January 2020, Allan angered the Parkhead club when he claimed that Kyogo Furuhashi’s winning goal against Hearts was ‘probably’ offside.

Reacting to comments from Tynecastle boss Robbie Neilson, he also acknowledged a mistake by referee Bobby Madden, who stopped play when Parkhead winger Jota pulled up injured and then failed to give the ball back to Hearts.

Surprised by a rare public intervention from the head of Scotland’s referees, Celtic have made their feelings known to the governing body, expressing surprise over both the content of the comments and their timing.

Some of the comments: “It’s appropriate that Celtic seek clarification. I’ll accept the accusation of green tinted glasses but it feels like open season on Celtic players. Lots of reckless and dangerous tackles are not being dealt with at the time yet Celtic seek to pick up bookings for very little.”

“Spot on, I’m glad the club have done this as well. The gnashing and wailing over a tight offside has been ludicrous when you compare some other decisions this season.”

 Robbie Neilson, manager of Heart of Midlothian reacts from the sideline during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian at on December 02, 2021. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As we reported last weekend Allan told BBC Sportsound: “I’ve said all along since I’ve been in this role — I’ll support my referees and I’ll come out and say if there’s an error as well.

“On Kyogo, is he in front of the defender? Yes, he probably is. You’ve then got to look at the angle of the ball and the speed of it in real time, and it is very, very tight. So it’s an understandable decision.”

And on the dastardly decision to award the drop ball to Celtic and not Hearts the referee chief said: ‘It’s not just head knocks (that stop the game), it’s serious injuries to a player. You can argue all day long on whether it is a serious injury or not — but the fact is the player got taken off and replaced.

“Bobby’s decision at the time was, and he was very close, it was clear that the player was in severe pain. Is a hamstring a serious injury? Yes it’s debatable. Although where I think there definitely is an error, and I’ve chatted to Bobby about this, is with the re-start.

“By the time Bobby had got the whistle to his mouth, which was only half a second or so, Hearts then had possession of the ball. And what should have been done was Hearts should have had the drop ball.”

Crime of the flaming century following on from Roy Aitken stealing a throw-in in the 1989 Scottish Cup Final – reported as akin to a war crime at the time, and don’t forget Nakamura was awarded a free kick against St Mirren that time when he was barged in the back (it was a stonewall free kick) but it was debated for days.  An interesting point is that both Japanese Celtic stars have been targeted, anything peculiar about that?

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. Playing to the gallery as thats the last we will hear anything about it. They should be pushing for answers and WHEN 🤣 they get them they should be made public so we know that they have done something about it HH 9×2