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A Tale of Integrity, Fair-mindednesss and Hypocrisy


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The last few weeks have really been a hoot in the ever hilarious world of the SPL. As Rangers edge closer to an unprecedented 53rd league title and the chances of a worthy treble, the conspiracy theories are ever more wild as players, managers and commentating legends trip over their petted lips.

Rather than concentrate on Rangers' admirable domestic record via an orthodox playing style but with an ever- increasing goals scored column amongst chances aplenty backed up by one of the most solid defences in club football (wood touched!); the talk is of hard done by clubs, players and managers cheated out of points by officials allegedly ordered to gift the SPL to Rangers because of our financial problems.

The list of examples to 'prove' the theories are endless: Celtic denied a penalty at Ibrox; Celtic denied a goal at Parkhead; Motherwell denied a goal at Fir Park; St Mirren denied a penalty at Ibrox; Celtic captain unfairly ordered off at Ibrox; Rangers defender not sent off after being penalised for a few fouls; etc etc etc. You may suppress your grin at these claims when you find out it isn't your average Sean next door phoning the ever impartial Radio Clyde panel but this is Celtic Football Club making the allegations via their 'unnamed source' handing in a dossier of decisions going against Celtic and for Rangers.

Add in the club manager, senior players (such as Aiden McGeady - yes that, non-diving; non-hacking and non-dissenter of official decisions during games Irish internationalist); ex-playing legends such as Billy McNeil (ask Davie Hay about McNeil's managerial integrity); then the full picture unfolds of what is being attempted here.

This isn't a few fans moaning about a few decisions. This is a football club with strong political connections in the game and beyond questioning the partiality of officials and the authorities in Scottish football. All because they chose the wrong manager, spent too much money on loan players who weren't really any better than what they had and are looking for an opportunity to deflect (and deny) from their own inadequacies as their crowd numbers go into free-fall.

Let's be something they can't be and be objective though: Celtic have been unlucky when it comes to a few decisions this season and Rangers have also benefited from a few. Celtic should have had more than one penalty at Ibrox earlier this season (they did get one though - when was the last Rangers one at Parkhead?); Madjid Bougherra could easily have been sent off in the most recent game; and John Gilmour made our life a lot easier at Fir Park last month. I'm sure there are a few more debatable decisions that have went our way of late. I'll take them when they come though as just as many go against us.

Similarly, neither should anyone apologise for being right. Firstly, Scott Brown was harshly sent off at Ibrox the other week. However, we've spent the last 10+ years hearing about how John Rowbotham should have sent off Paul Gascoigne for exactly the same aggressive behaviour in a game against Aberdeen. Where is in the consistency? Secondly, Fortune's goal at Parkhead earlier this year was harshly disallowed. Yes, at first glance, he looked to have jumped higher than McGregor and the decision looked wrong. However, any fair-minded person would agree that Steve Conroy (that well-kent Rangers supporter!) was in fact correct when viewing the various replays available to us we see Fortune clearly fouled the Rangers goalie's arm when jumping impeding his chances of catching the ball. Such incidents are not always black and white but grey areas where consistency is the most difficult virtue to find for officials - as opposed to the lack of honesty implied by some!

Finally, when one wants to examine the officiating debate, one really needs to be balanced when doing so. Of course, I'm probably not such a person but were the red cards dished out to Kevin Thomson, Madjid Bougherra, Pedro Mendes and Kenny Miller really warranted this season? Maybees aye, maybees naw; but we got on with the games in question and secured points in all of them; away to Hearts, Motherwell and Kilmarnock amongst them. I could also list a plethora of other decisions that have arguably gone against us in recent times - from disallowed goals; to unpunished opposition players; to denied penalties but any impartial observer would come to the conclusion such decisions do even themselves out - perhaps not over the course of a season but certainly on an ongoing basis.

Or do they? A cursory look at the last five years of the SPL shows an interesting anomaly for the Celtic-minded wishing to infer bias against their team. Since 2005/2006 only in one season have Celtic had more yellow cards (07/08) or red cards (06/07) than Rangers. Much more often than not Rangers have the worst disciplinary record. Again, quick simplistic science based on basic stats but hardly signs of institutional bias year-by-year suggested by the likes of Billy McNeill?

And this is where the debate breaks down. Because we all have our valid arguments about that one game, that once incident where we lost the 3 points because of the barsteward in the black. So, the next time an Aiden McGeady, a Tony Mowbray, a Craig Levein and even Gus McPherson want to rant about being hard-done by, perhaps they should reflect afterwards to think where they may have been the one on the receiving end of a fortunate flag from an otherwise nameless linesman. And instead of questioning people's integrity or fair-mindedness they may show a bit more humility and class when attempting to discuss the foibles of our national sport. Anything else is just bringing the game into disrepute for the sake of a cheap jibe to deflect from their own failings.

That isn't the mark of fair people with integrity - just the actions of hypocrites who should know better.

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4 games in 8 days.

Vinegar in mahooselstink and Robson committing 2 dreadful assaults on Dailly and Faye with no repercussions.

5 minutes injury time so Vinegar could score the winner

Foul on McDonald outside the box which they got a pen for to win the game too.

Zander diamonds goal chopped off when nothing wrong with it.

2007/2008 season 5 reasons they won the league.

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You spoiled this Frankie by picking out Aiden McGeady, that's not fair, that poor lad doesn't even know what impartial means. It is easy to mock the afflicted.... :wink:

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Can't believe I'm writing this but Craig Burley's article in TNOTW yesterday was picking up a lot of these points. He certainly got tore into McNeil and Celtic. Very rarely agree with anything he says or writes but yesterdays piece was pretty much spot on.

Good article, by the way, Frankie !!

(And yes, I know I shouldn't read that rag but I'm a glutton for punishment.)

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Well balanced, well delivered. Top, top post Frankie! :clap:

Yes we've been lucky, but we've also had a few decisions against us, but did we complain?

Did we complain last season when DaMarcus Beasley scored a perfectly good goal up at Pittodrie, denying us the three points?

Did we complain the season before when we had to play 4 games in 8 days, including a title decider, a UEFA Cup final?

Did we complain when celtc called off a game for the death of Tommy Burns, when really it was because they had alot injuries and suspensions?

Rangers Football Club are a club off dignity and class, the same could not be said for the scum across the City.

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Good article. I just have one problem, when you say Fortune's goal was harshly disallowed. There was nothing harsh about it, the keeper was fouled no goal. There is no in between. It is either a goal or it isn't. And in this case it wasn't.

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The last few weeks have really been a hoot in the ever hilarious world of the SPL. As Rangers edge closer to an unprecedented 53rd league title and the chances of a worthy treble, the conspiracy theories are ever more wild as players, managers and commentating legends trip over their petted lips.

Rather than concentrate on Rangers' admirable domestic record via an orthodox playing style but with an ever- increasing goals scored column amongst chances aplenty backed up by one of the most solid defences in club football (wood touched!); the talk is of hard done by clubs, players and managers cheated out of points by officials allegedly ordered to gift the SPL to Rangers because of our financial problems.

The list of examples to 'prove' the theories are endless: Celtic denied a penalty at Ibrox; Celtic denied a goal at Parkhead; Motherwell denied a goal at Fir Park; St Mirren denied a penalty at Ibrox; Celtic captain unfairly ordered off at Ibrox; Rangers defender not sent off after being penalised for a few fouls; etc etc etc. You may suppress your grin at these claims when you find out it isn't your average Sean next door phoning the ever impartial Radio Clyde panel but this is Celtic Football Club making the allegations via their 'unnamed source' handing in a dossier of decisions going against Celtic and for Rangers.

Add in the club manager, senior players (such as Aiden McGeady - yes that, non-diving; non-hacking and non-dissenter of official decisions during games Irish internationalist); ex-playing legends such as Billy McNeil (ask Davie Hay about McNeil's managerial integrity); then the full picture unfolds of what is being attempted here.

This isn't a few fans moaning about a few decisions. This is a football club with strong political connections in the game and beyond questioning the partiality of officials and the authorities in Scottish football. All because they chose the wrong manager, spent too much money on loan players who weren't really any better than what they had and are looking for an opportunity to deflect (and deny) from their own inadequacies as their crowd numbers go into free-fall.

Let's be something they can't be and be objective though: Celtic have been unlucky when it comes to a few decisions this season and Rangers have also benefited from a few. Celtic should have had more than one penalty at Ibrox earlier this season (they did get one though - when was the last Rangers one at Parkhead?); Madjid Bougherra could easily have been sent off in the most recent game; and John Gilmour made our life a lot easier at Fir Park last month. I'm sure there are a few more debatable decisions that have went our way of late. I'll take them when they come though as just as many go against us.

Similarly, neither should anyone apologise for being right. Firstly, Scott Brown was harshly sent off at Ibrox the other week. However, we've spent the last 10+ years hearing about how John Rowbotham should have sent off Paul Gascoigne for exactly the same aggressive behaviour in a game against Aberdeen. Where is in the consistency? Secondly, Fortune's goal at Parkhead earlier this year was harshly disallowed. Yes, at first glance, he looked to have jumped higher than McGregor and the decision looked wrong. However, any fair-minded person would agree that Steve Conroy (that well-kent Rangers supporter!) was in fact correct when viewing the various replays available to us we see Fortune clearly fouled the Rangers goalie's arm when jumping impeding his chances of catching the ball. Such incidents are not always black and white but grey areas where consistency is the most difficult virtue to find for officials - as opposed to the lack of honesty implied by some!

Finally, when one wants to examine the officiating debate, one really needs to be balanced when doing so. Of course, I'm probably not such a person but were the red cards dished out to Kevin Thomson, Madjid Bougherra, Pedro Mendes and Kenny Miller really warranted this season? Maybees aye, maybees naw; but we got on with the games in question and secured points in all of them; away to Hearts, Motherwell and Kilmarnock amongst them. I could also list a plethora of other decisions that have arguably gone against us in recent times - from disallowed goals; to unpunished opposition players; to denied penalties but any impartial observer would come to the conclusion such decisions do even themselves out - perhaps not over the course of a season but certainly on an ongoing basis.

Or do they? A cursory look at the last five years of the SPL shows an interesting anomaly for the Celtic-minded wishing to infer bias against their team. Since 2005/2006 only in one season have Celtic had more yellow cards (07/08) or red cards (06/07) than Rangers. Much more often than not Rangers have the worst disciplinary record. Again, quick simplistic science based on basic stats but hardly signs of institutional bias year-by-year suggested by the likes of Billy McNeill?

And this is where the debate breaks down. Because we all have our valid arguments about that one game, that once incident where we lost the 3 points because of the barsteward in the black. So, the next time an Aiden McGeady, a Tony Mowbray, a Craig Levein and even Gus McPherson want to rant about being hard-done by, perhaps they should reflect afterwards to think where they may have been the one on the receiving end of a fortunate flag from an otherwise nameless linesman. And instead of questioning people's integrity or fair-mindedness they may show a bit more humility and class when attempting to discuss the foibles of our national sport. Anything else is just bringing the game into disrepute for the sake of a cheap jibe to deflect from their own failings.

That isn't the mark of fair people with integrity - just the actions of hypocrites who should know better.

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Good article. I just have one problem, when you say Fortune's goal was harshly disallowed. There was nothing harsh about it, the keeper was fouled no goal. There is no in between. It is either a goal or it isn't. And in this case it wasn't.

I think maybe he used the wrong word there? Maybe meant fairly disallowed...

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Good article. I just have one problem, when you say Fortune's goal was harshly disallowed. There was nothing harsh about it, the keeper was fouled no goal. There is no in between. It is either a goal or it isn't. And in this case it wasn't.

I think maybe he used the wrong word there? Maybe meant fairly disallowed...

I do know what he meant, it just bugs me sometimes when we play to the idea that they are hard done by.

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Well balanced, well delivered. Top, top post Frankie! :clap:

Yes we've been lucky, but we've also had a few decisions against us, but did we complain?

Did we complain last season when DaMarcus Beasley scored a perfectly good goal up at Pittodrie, denying us the three points?

Did we complain the season before when we had to play 4 games in 8 days, including a title decider, a UEFA Cup final?

Did we complain when celtc called off a game for the death of Tommy Burns, when really it was because they had alot injuries and suspensions?

Rangers Football Club are a club off dignity and class, the same could not be said for the scum across the City.

I may be wrong, but did they not get the game called off after Phil O'Donnell died, which meant that McGeady was available for the old firm game, and then played the game after Tommy Burns died, because they didn't want the league to be extended.

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I think it comes down to a bit of common sense with us more than anything else really. They seriously believe there is an agenda against them. Every decision is anti- Irish. We just get on with it. Like its been said, some of the decisions last season were a disgrace. Its why it went to the last day because Beasleys goal perfectly fine and cost the team an extra 2 points.

Things like that don't help but the club got on with it.

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