Richard Gordon tackles, 68 games without conceding a penalty, elephant in the room

Richard Gordon breaking the mould…

Richard Gordon, long-time presenter of BBC Scotland Sportsound, has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons with his latest column in the Aberdeen based Press and Journal..

Richard is of course a well known Dons supporter and he has penned his thoughts after Aberdeen conceded a last gasp spot kick to theRangers last Sunday to deny the home side the three points. It’s not a one sided piece and Richard Gordon put across a very balanced argument on the matter when it comes to theRangers and penalties, but not the ones they are regularly awarded.

Richard was highlighting their luck at the other end and the astonishing stat that has seen them go 68 games without conceding a penalty kick in league football. How many penalties have they actually been awarded in those 68 games?

That’s nigh on two full years, yip two full years was the last time they were adjudged to have committed a punishable infringement inside the penalty area, and that was incidentally was also against Aberdeen at Pittodrie. It resulted in a furious letter being written to the Scottish FA and it certainly seems to have done the trick as far as theRangers are concerned.

Richard Gordon quite rightly points out that in that time they have conceded seven penalties outwith the league, four in Europe, two in the League cup and one in the Scottish cup. Richard also highlighted that even with the introduction of the eagle eyed VAR, the Ibrox side have still not committed a foul in their own six yard box. That is not down to clever defending or good luck.

Something is not quite right and these stats indicate a clear bias, and Richard Gordon has broken ranks with his hear no evil, see no evil colleagues in the Scottish mainstream media by putting that out there. Gordon still does some work for the Beeb now and again, after stepping back last year from the anchor role on Sportsound, but that may well now be in jeopardy.

Here’s some of what Richard Gordon has been saying in his column in the Press and Journal

“Since the start of the 2021/22 campaign, they (theRangers) have been given 26 in the Premiership while Celtic have had 23. You would expect the Glasgow sides to get more penalties, given how they dominate most games, and the pair have similar results. For comparison’s sake, the Dons have been awarded 18.

“It is the decisions at the other end of the pitch which produce incomprehensible statistics. In that same period, Aberdeen have conceded 23 and Celtic ten. Only three penalties have been awarded to teams playing (the)Rangers. Jordan White scored for Ross County in August 2021 and Dundee’s Jason Cummings had his effort saved the following month.

“When Lewis Ferguson stepped up to net from the spot on 18 January 2022 for Aberdeen, that was the last time Rangers faced a top-flight penalty. They have now played a staggering 68 matches without conceding one in the Premiership.

In that time, it would appear not a single Rangers player has committed a foul in their own 18-yard-box. Not once has a referee deemed a challenge illegal; not once, since its introduction in October 2022, has a VAR official highlighted anything of note while the Ibrox side has been defending its area.

It would hardly be a stretch to suggest there is bias there. I am not suggesting it is intentional bias, that the referees are deliberately ignoring incidents, but for whatever reason, it clearly exists. How else, unless those (the)Rangers defenders are somehow infinitely more disciplined than all their opponents, can that remarkable statistic be explained?

“Incidentally, since the start of last season, (the)Rangers have conceded seven penalties; one in the Scottish Cup, two in the Viaplay Cup and four in Europe. They have played 19 European ties during that time, so the concession of four spot-kicks seems pretty much what you might expect, one every four or five games, and it certainly puts into sharp focus that statistic of zero conceded in 68 league matches.”

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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.

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