As reported by The Scottish Sun, a former English Premier League referee has come out in support of the much criticised Bobby Madden after his performance in Sunday’s Celtic vs Rangers derby.
Dermot Gallagher knows a thing or two about refereeing, having been a Premier League whistleblower for 15 years and a FIFA-registered ref for 8 of those seasons.
It’s certainly enough experience that attention should be paid to his comments about the refereeing in Sunday’s big match-up in Scotland.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, Gallagher said:
I thought, for his first Old Firm game, the ref did brilliantly. I really did. He kept his nerve, he booked players at the right times. It was so easy to hook yellow cards out left, right and centre, which he didn’t do. It was a ferocious game at times and it was a great game to watch because the referee took part in it and took part as an equal.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that a former ref would back a fellow official but it’s an interesting viewpoint in the wake of criticism from Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and striker Leigh Griffiths, both feeling that a decision in the final moments cost them the chance to win Sunday’s game with a penalty.
That criticism was mild compared to some of the Celtic supporters’ view of the situation, some of whom even brandished Madden a cheat in the wake of the game.
However, in terms of that decision, Gallagher backed Madden again.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, he said:
I think it was a foul. But he can’t see, he has no idea if he has played the ball or not. In that situation, he can’t gamble. He can’t give a penalty.
Regardless of rights or wrongs, it’s a refereeing performance that Celtic supporters won’t forget and it certainly ramps up pressure on whoever the ref is in the upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final between the two clubs.