Referee told Celtic player he’d never give a penalty against Rangers

Alan Stubbs has caused a bit of a stir eh? What he had to say isn’t exactly far fetched…

20 Sep 1998: Charlie Millar of Rangers is tackled by Alan Stubbs of Celtic during the the Scottish Premier League at Ibrox in Glasgow, Scotland. The game ended in a draw 0-0. Photo Ben Radford /Allsport

Alan Stubbs caused a bit of a storm this week when he revealed in a recent podcast what a Scottish referee remarked to him an over a quarter of a century ago. Alan said that the referee, who he declined to mention to spare his blushes, told him that he said “while I’m refereeing you’ll never get a penalty against Rangers.”

Former Blackburn and Spurs player Tim Sherwood gasped in disbelief, but to those of us familiar with the Scottish game aren’t too surprised by Alan Stubbs’ ‘revelation’. The media and the Rangers support might sneer and rubbish what Stubbs has revealed, but deep down like the rest of us they know fine well that it’s accurate, truthful and indeed shameful.

The fact that the Celtic supporters have a few theories to which game he was referring to tells its own story. In numerous occasions during that spell we were denied a ‘stonewaller’ against Rangers, not to mention a whole host of other strange decisions.

In fact it’s been going on for well over a century. Funny handshaking referees is not a secret, it’s all out there, even in more recent times. The Rangers supporting linesman who chopped off a legitimate Jorge Cadete goal which Sky Sports clearly showed was well onside.

Bobby Tait, Dougie McDonald, the reverend Mike McCurry. Hugh  Dallas, take your pick. Even today there’s little chance of a big decision going their way in a Glasgow Derby.

Remember last season after Celtic had won 3-2 and a few decisions caused Mick Beale to lose his cool in the post match media conference, claiming a Morelos goal should have been given despite a push on Alistair Johnston’s back and remarkably that Jota had handled the ball before scoring the winner. Beale later admitted he was wrong.

And what about the Conor Goldson handball at Ibrox back in January? Even with VAR Celtic didn’t get the stonewall penalty.  This goes well beyond beyond Glasgow Derby matches. Remind me, when was the last time a penalty was given against them in the Scottish Premiership? More that a season ago!  And if you watched the Aberdeen v Hacken game last night there were two penalties given after the intervention from VAR after the referee reckoned he’d seen two dives.

Kilmarnock v Celtic – Viaplay Cup – Second Round – The BBSP Stadium Rugby Park Celtic s Sead Haksabanovic is tacked by Kilmarnock s Lewis Mayo l during the Viaplay Cup second round match at The BBSP Stadium Rugby Park, Sunday August 20, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

The contact for the Aberdeen penalty was remarkably similar to the penalty claim that Celtic had at Kilmarnock in the closing stages of the recent League Cup defeat. What happened last night is that VAR pointed out the contact to the referee and sent him to the monitor and on both occasions he changed his decision and awarded a penalty.  Have a look at this video.

That did not happen at Rugby Park because if it did they would have had to give Celtic a penalty. The referee and VAR operator that day change positions this weekend to take charge of the Glasgow Derby at Ibrox. Why Celtic never speak up is a mystery.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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.