VAR – ‘It Really Has To Stop,” Says David Potter

It really has to stop! This VAR can only be described as real rubbish. It is odd to be arguing from this point of view, because in this case VAR worked to Celtic’s advantage (not that we needed it!)

Dougie Imrie, Manager of Greenock Morton arrives at the stadium prior to the Scottish Cup Fourth Round match between Celtic and Greenock Morton at Celtic Park Stadium on January 21, 2023  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Full sympathy to Morton and Dougie Imrie, and a major black mark to referee Kevin Clancy who otherwise had a good game and who on this occasion himself did not think that it was a penalty, but allowed himself to be bullied by a TV screen into giving a penalty he did not believe in! It is not often that I have seen Celtic Park embarrassed, but that was certainly a major emotion as Aaron Mooy ran up and scored the penalty.

 Aaron Mooy of Celtic celebrates with teammates after scoring the team’s fifth goal during the Scottish Cup Fourth Round match between Celtic and Greenock Morton at Celtic Park Stadium on January 21, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Why do we put up with this? My real fear is that something similar might happen in, say, the League Cup final. Say, for example, the score is 0-0 in the 88th minute when something like this happens. It would be difficult not to imagine serious violence occurring, no matter which side it favoured.

That said, this sad incident must not be allowed to detract from what was another good performance from our team. The other four goals were first class, and the play in the second half, albeit not over-productive in terms of goals, was very neat and smart. Tomoko Iwata looks like a really good recruit, and it was nice to see Bosun Lawal. (I thought that was the Chairman, but that is a different bloke altogether, apparently!)

 Brian Schwake of Greenock Morton fails to stop a goal scored by David Turnbull (not pictured) of Celtic, his team’s third goal during the Scottish Cup Fourth Round match between Celtic and Greenock Morton at Celtic Park Stadium on January 21, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It was a pleasant day and nice to see so many youngsters there, making their first trip to the stadium with proud parents and grandparents. They saw a fine Celtic side which could hardly be faulted in any respect, and the BBC audience would have been impressed as well. Morton started strongly, and one had to be impressed by the size of their support which dwarfed the size of the St Mirren, Kilmarnock and Livingston ones that we have seen at Celtic Park recently. Neither the Morton team nor their support would look out of place in the Premier League and we look forward to seeing them again soon. They will have done well financially out of today, and really deserved more luck from VAR.

We may have seen the last of Josip Juranovic. It is to be deplored, but it is not a disaster, for there is no lack of quality full backs at Celtic Park. Giakoumakis may be a different matter, for we need someone with an aerial presence, for Kyogu for all his other talents is really too small to be a good header of a ball.

So, no midweek game this week and we meet again at Tannadice next Sunday at 4.00 pm on League business, but before that, we shall find out this Sunday whom we are to meet in the next round of the Scottish Cup – our favourite competition!

David Potter

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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.


  1. It’s as plain as day that we were given a penalty, in a game we were going to win, to post our quota of “VAR givens”. Something they will be able to mention when we are NOT given them in important games.

  2. VAR isn’t the problem but our officials.
    The decisions are showing our referees up for what they are: incompetent people promoted way above their real level.
    How much longer are the clubs going to put up with paying £1,000 for this level of officiating.

  3. Ur spot on john its when we are playing big teams in the spfl we need the correct decisions not against we clubs i know something like this would happen so that the media can talk about the penalty against morton i remember matt penalty when the ball bounced of a celtic player leg and hit matts elbow they gave that 1 with no problem so see ur VAR i would get it tae fuck honest because this is whats going to go down game after game and if the ball hits ur arms our hands it should be a penalty thats afact but not in corrupt scotland sfa.spfl..

  4. Stephen Lochrie on

    To say that if this happens in the league cup final, that there will be violence is a disgrace. Over the years there has been plenty of contentious decisions but never anyone reacting ott. Like the MSM you seem to be encouraging violence.