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SFA launch probe into reasons behind linesman Steven Craven quitting.


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SFA chief executive Stewart Regan has launched an investigation into assistant referee Steven Craven's resignation.

Craven last night informed the Hampden hierarchy he was standing down in the wake of last week's controversial game between Celtic and Dundee United. <br style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">

Referee Dougie McDonald pointed to the spot after Hoops striker Gary Hooper was challenged by keeper Dusan Pernis but then made a dramatic U-turn.

It was inferred Craven had alerted the whistler that he shouldn't have awarded the spot-kick but he didn't ask to speak to McDonald.

Although Celtic went on to win 2-1, Hoops fans were angry with the officials for the way they handled the incident.

Craven has since been targeted by angry punters and his family have endured a torrid week of verbal abuse.

He was also marked down by the SFA supervisor for his display - and that led him to quit after taking charge of a reserve game between Rangers and Hibs yesterday.

Regan now wants to know the full story and will have a meeting tomorrow with refs chief Hugh Dallas and Drew Herbertson of the SFA's disciplinary departmment.

It's understood McDonald and Craven will also attend to give their version of events.

Regan won't allow the issue to be swept under the carpet as allegations have been made of a cover-up.

http://www.&lt;No links to this website&gt;/2010/10/24/sfa-launch-probe-in-reasons-behind-linesman-steven-craven-quitting-86908-22655475/

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spoke to a mate whos a ref and knows craven hecsays score is mcdonald changed his mind, fuck all to do with craven and hes raging hes been hung out to dry and his wife and kids to be abused and threatened.

hes a celtic fan and a really nice guy aparently.

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spoke to a mate whos a ref and knows craven hecsays score is mcdonald changed his mind, fuck all to do with craven and hes raging hes been hung out to dry and his wife and kids to be abused and threatened.

hes a celtic fan and a really nice guy aparently.

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THE SFA fear several of Scotland's top referees are set to follow the lead of linesman Steven Craven and walk away from the game.

Record Sport can reveal a number of leading whistlers, including Dougie McDonald, have notified Hampden bosses they too are ready to resign following Craven's decision to chuck it in the aftermath of Celtic's win at Dundee United earlier this month.

The news comes as Old Firm ref Willie Collum recovers from the shock of receiving death threats at his Lanarkshire home on Sunday night after awarding Rangers a penalty in the first Glasgow derby of the season at Parkhead.

The SFA top brass are growing increasingly concerned about the strain their refs are being placed under.

It is understood top whistler McDonald is one of the high-profile officials to have expressed discontent with the powderkeg conditions.

McDonald was the man in charge at Tannadice when Celtic had a penalty decision overturned.

He initially pointed to the spot after Gary Hooper was sent sprawling by United keeper Dusan Pernis. But he then changed his mind after speaking to Craven about the incident.

Sources close to Craven insist the linesman was hung out to dry - and that it was McDonald alone who made a U-turn on his original call.

But the furore caused has led to Craven calling it a day and now the SFA fear a mutiny in the ranks as the pressure on their officials reaches unbearable levels.

A senior source revealed to Record Sport last night the extent of the crisis - and insisted our referees are now at breaking point.

The source, who wished to remain unnamed, said: "We have reached the point where something has to be said.

"Our top officials are now talking of quitting due to the pressure they are under and the affect it is having on their families.

"Look at what Willie Collum is having to deal with just for doing his job at Parkhead on Sunday. It's a wonder he hasn't chucked it already.

"Craven has walked away and others - more prominent officials - are now making it clear they are close to doing the same thing.

"They feel their honesty is being called into question and they find the constant insinuations from certain SPL managers intolerable.

"Unless there is a dramatic change in the way in which our referees are being scrutinised there are genuine fears that more will follow Craven in seeking a quieter life."

The SFA also revealed their probe into Tannadicegate will be finalised within 48 hours.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "I can confirm I have met with the match officials and referee depar tment members regarding the events that occurred during the recent match between Dundee United and Celtic.

"I can also confirm that Steven Craven has tendered his resignation and will no longer officiate in the professional game."

http://www.dailyreco...86908-22658560/

Sort of linked so I'll put this in here as well.

Isn't it about time that pathetic club were hauled through the coals? Death threats..officials quitting ?

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Dougie McDonald told me to lie to Neil Lennon about Celtic penalty U-turn, says quit linesman Steven Craven

Oct 31 2010 Mark Guidi, Sunday Mail

STEVEN CRAVEN today reveals the truth behind the lies of a controversial Tannadice cover-up.

In an explosive MailSport exclusive that will rock the SFA to its core, Craven lifts the lid on the spot-kick storm from Celtic's clash with Dundee United.

The linesman opens up about the lies and bullying that led to his resignation and reveals how: Ref Dougie McDonald lied to Hoops boss Neil Lennon about his sensational penalty U-turn.

Both he and McDonald came clean to refs chief Hugh Dallas.

Dallas tried TWICE to get him to repeat what he knew to be a lie.

Bullying, harassment and victimisation in the corridors of power will lead to refs quitting.

Craven told MailSport: "Dougie ran towards me and said: 'I think I've f***** up.' After the game Dougie said we should tell the referee supervisor (Jim McBurnie) that I called him over to question the penalty award.

"I went along with it because I wanted to be supportive of Dougie.

"But then Neil Lennon came in after the game and asked Dougie why he hadn't given the penalty kick.

"We told Neil the version that was a lie.

"It was wrong to lie. And I'm not proud that I went along with Dougie's suggestion.

"I decided to quit a few days later. I'd had enough of Hugh Dallas and John Fleming (the SFA referee development officer).

"For a while I felt I had been a victim of harassment and bullying from them.

"A lot of guys are not happy with it and are ready to walk away."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "Dougie hasn't accepted responsibility for Steven's resignation.

"His resignation covers other matters and we are looking at those."

Dallas tried TWICE to make me repeat what he knew was just a LIE

STEVEN CRAVEN knew he was wrong to go along with Dougie McDonald's lies after the Dundee United v Celtic game.

But he was stunned and shocked when refs supremo Hugh Dallas wouldn't listen to the TRUTH after the officials decided to come clean.

Craven says in his resignation letter that Dallas twice tried to make him repeat a version of events he knew to be untrue.

That was when the linesman realised he was going to be hung out to dry for McDonald's decision to overturn the penalty he had awarded the Hoops.

Inaccurate stories started to appear on a daily basis in an attempt to cover up the real version of events - and that's why Craven has decided to speak out.

Now the match official - who quit the SFA last week as exclusively revealed in the Daily Record - can tell us the full story.

He told MailSport: "I can remember it all clearly. Dougie blew for the penalty but I could see the United keeper Dusan Pernis did touch the ball.

"However, Dougie was no more than seven yards away from the spot-kick incident while I was 25 yards away.

"I was with Dougie in a game between Aberdeen and Kilmarnock two years ago.

"Craig Bryson fell inside the Aberdeen box and I screamed to Dougie to give Killie a penalty.

"But he ignored my call and cautioned Bryson for simulation.

"We spoke about it at half-time and Dougie was adamant he called it right. Television evidence proved he was right.

"So that incident was going through my mind immediately after he gave Celtic the penalty at Tannadice.

"I thought he had the perfect position. There was no way I could question him.

"He then ran towards me and said: 'I think I've f***** up. Did the keeper get a hand to the ball?' I told him I believed the goalie played the ball and that it wasn't a penalty. So he decided it should be a drop ball.

"To make it clear, Dougie approached me. I did not call for him to come over.

"After the game, in front of the other assistant referee and the fourth official, we spoke about it. Dougie said we should tell the referee supervisor (Jim McBurney) that I called him over to question the penalty award. He claimed it would give the decision to overturn the spot-kick more credibility.

"I went along with it because I wanted to be supportive of Dougie and back him up.

"That's the first time I've lied after a game. It was the wrong thing to do. With hindsight, I regret it. I'd never lie again.

"The supervisors have earpieces and can hear all communication between officials during games.

"Jim said he didn't hear me calling over Dougie but that the stadium was noisy."

Supervisor McBurney wasn't the only person the officials tried to deceive. They even lied to Hoops boss Neil Lennon when he asked for an explanation.

Craven revealed: "Lennon came into the room after the game and asked Dougie why he hadn't given the penalty.

"We told him the version that was a lie. He seemed fine with the explanation. But, then, I suppose his side had still managed to win thanks to a late goal.

"I told Neil it was better to win with a legitimate goal rather than a dodgy penalty. He agreed."

McDonald's controversial U-turn led to a media storm and the worried ref decided to come clean to Dallas.

But Craven claims the refs supremo wasn't interested in the truth and wanted the linesman to keep taking the flak. That then kicked off a series of events that led to Craven handing in his resignation and the SFA starting an investigation.

The first part of that probe led to McDonald receiving an official warning but the investigation is still ongoing.

Craven said: "On the Monday morning there was quite a reaction in the papers.

"I sent Dougie a text to ask what he thought of the fall-out.

"He called immediately and told me he had talked with Hugh the night before and decided to come clean.

"Dougie told Hugh lies were told to the supervisor. He then told Hugh the truth - that I had not shouted for him to come over.

"I was then urged to tell Hugh the truth when he called me. I was happy to do so and felt quite relieved.

"When Hugh phoned he asked me to talk over the penalty. He said: 'So what happened after you called out for Dougie to come over? You called out Dougie, Dougie, Dougie?'

"My wife was in the room and I told him that was not the case. I told Hugh he now knew the truth.

"The truth was the version Dougie had told him over the phone.

"But Hugh repeated: 'What are you talking about, you said Dougie, Dougie, Dougie and called him over' but I told Dallas I did no such thing.

"Dougie came clean and so did I. But Hugh didn't seem to accept that.

"I phoned Dougie back and told him Hugh tried to make out this wasn't true and denied having the conversation with Dougie on the Sunday night.

"Dougie's response was he thought Hugh was just trying to test me, that he wanted to see if I would tell the truth or stick to the previous story.

"My reading of the situation was Hugh wanted to protect Dougie and leave me to take the flak.

"It was wrong to lie and I'm not proud that I went along with Dougie's suggestion. Rewind the clock and I wouldn't do it.

"But it was worse to continue the lie.

"I was really upset after that conversation with Hugh."

Craven then got even angrier when he checked his email and received the official match report.

He was criticised for his performance at Tannadice and that convinced him it was time to get out of the game.

Craven said: "When I got my match report from the game emailed to me that proved to be the final straw.

"I was down-marked for getting an offside decision wrong.

"When I got the match report I phoned Drew Herbertson at the SFA and told him I'd had enough.

"I was going to quit at Christmas - but not because of my ankles, as has been reported elsewhere. It was because of all the nonsense with Hugh.

"I got my letter from the SFA on Friday morning to say my resignation had been formally accepted."

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