Crawford Allan jumps before pushed. Step forward Madden or Andrew Dallas

Crawford Allan resigning can only mean one thing – Step forward Bobby Madden or Andrew Dallas…

Andrew Dallas, ‘retired’ as a referee to concentrate on VAR duties

Crawford Allan, the head of the Scottish refereeing fraternity has today stepped down from his position to pursue new opportunities.  Jumped or pushed it doesn’t matter but he’s clearly paid the price for the VAR shambles he has overseen.

While that is good news, as Crawford Allan is a man who only seems to make himself heard when it’s to be critical of one club. That club namely being Celtic. It only leaves the door open for another like minded individual to take his place.

Bobby Madden saving Morelos from further trouble

The smart money will be on the likes of Bobby Madden, who has recently been pimping himself out for numerous jobs within the Scottish refereeing department, or Andrew Dallas the son of SFA favourite Hugh. We all remember him.

It’s a stick on that one of those or someone of that ilk will be hired for the job. The man who used to attend The Rangers games in his youth, or the son of a known anti-Catholic bigot. They both have all the right credentials to be put in place. To many, myself included the Scottish refereeing brotherhood is a cult, and it’s not what you know, but who you know, and certain preferences that you may have will have stand you in good stead.

Yes Crawford Allan might be on his way after falling on his own whistle, but he will be replaced by someone just as, shall we say, ‘incompetent’. Or should that be consistently incompetent.

Brendan Rodgers, Celtic and the club’s legal advisors will be watching this carefully ahead of the Celtic manager appearing before the Scottish FA after being charged by their Compliance Officer for remarks made about VAR operator John Beaton at Tynecastle a fortnight ago.

Rodgers branded Beaton as being incompetent, today’s news suggests that the Scottish FA might be agreeing with him after all.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy


The Scottish FA released details of Crawford Allan’s departure via a statement posted on their official website this morning, where Ian Maxwell the Scottish FA’s CEO admitted that VAR had to improve. The statement reads as follows:

Ian Maxwell  of the Scottish Football Association said authorities must seek to alleviate the unsustainable pressure on match officials and VAR operators as it was announced Crawford Allan will step down as head of referee operations at the end of the season. Monday March 18, 2024. Photo Steve Welsh

Crawford Allan to step down as Head of Referee Operations

The Scottish FA can confirm that Crawford Allan will leave his position as Head of Referee Operations at the end of this season.

Crawford’s departure to pursue new opportunities will effect a review of the existing role and remit to reflect the demands placed on it by the introduction and optimisation of VAR.

This will coincide with a planned review of the operational priorities of the department based on the insights to date from VAR implementation, as well as feedback from Category One Match Officials and VAR operators, the Scottish FA’s Professional Game Board, the SPFL’s Competitions Working Group and the Independent Review Panel.

The recruitment process will begin immediately to ensure an experienced replacement will be in place for the new season.

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “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.

“We will continue conversations and improvements with all stakeholders with this as a non-negotiable and unifying premise as we seek to improve the experience for all.”

Crawford Allan: “It has been an honour to lead Referee Operations in Scotland especially during such an historic period of change.

“Taking the role, after almost 30 years as a match official including 15 years in the top-flight, coincided not only with two years affected by the COVID pandemic, but also the inception and then introduction of VAR in Scottish football. While there are refinements and improvements to be made to VAR, as there are in leagues across the world, it has taken a monumental effort from my team at the Scottish FA and the match officials to have it embedded in the Premiership and cup matches at Hampden Park.

“VAR is only one aspect of the role, albeit one that can overshadow the positive strides we have taken forward. I am grateful to my team for their support. I would also like to thank the wider team in Referee Operations for their professionalism, often seven days a week, and the Referee Committee for their support and counsel.

“Above all, I would like to thank the match officials at all levels for their unwavering commitment to our national game.”

About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. The Scottish FA have remained rotten and corrupt to the core over this position for many a long year now?
    Wouldn’t surprise me in the least for the 2 names you highlighted to get the position now?
    So again it would keep the Scottish FA corrupt and rotten in only aiding scum with its agenda in operation imo?
    So will the Scottish FA make a decision to actually clean up the state of Scottish football, and the ridiculous cheating officials within the game?
    Would be amazed if they did?
    But will look on in interest, and no doubt the board are under increasing pressure to allow the next appointment to be scrutinised properly, and if the 2 names you mentioned were to get the role, then this Celtic board will have increasing anger from our support to answer to imo?

  2. Like him or loathe him, Bobby Madden was a good referee. He was fair. Sure, he made some bad calls in games against the new club, but I don’t think they were made from bias or bigotry.
    Unlike the othe bigot and corrupt person named, Andrew Dallas. He on the other hand is a blatant bigot. A blatant anti-Celtic cheat just like his dad was and probably still is.
    There is no way Dallas should ever be considered for such a position now, or ever.
    Corruption in the Scottish game has been rife for years and won’t go away anytime soon. But there’s no need to make it ridiculously more corrupt than it already is!

  3. Allen wasn’t going to be pushed! Who are you kidding? He will go with a nice reward for doing what they set out to do if he has managed to stop us win the league!

  4. He has nothing to lose now. he’ll make his time left to screw Celtic anyway he can for the rest of the season
    He won’t go quietly. the cheating is about to get worse. These people are not incompetent they’re bigoted
    sevco cheats getting plenty of money as well. If celtic wanted a cleaner game they would act now but i’m
    not holding my breath