Ahead of Rangers’ must-win clash against St. Mirren in Paisley, Buddies boss Jim Goodwin was turning the penalty pressure counter up on the officials.

For those watching, Goodwin’s rambling comments about Rangers not conceding a league penalty this season appeared both strange and multi-layered – especially when you consider his side benefited from one under a fortnight ago in the League Cup.

Motherwell v St. Mirren - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
St. Mirren boss Jim Goodwin was either turning up the pressure, playing mind games or making a point with his comments about Rangers and penalties this season. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Goodwin claimed that he wanted to see referees be “brave enough” to award penalties against the Gers, something which undoubtedly buys into an age-old narrative of pro-Ibrox conspiracy amongst referees.

This is what Goodwin was doing – being an ex-Celtic player he’ll be well aware of it – and for whatever reason, to help his side tomorrow or make a point in the title race, it all felt pretty orchestrated.

Ever since Rangers beat Hibs at the weekend – a match many of the club’s detractors were hoping we would stumble in – there’s been a strange fascination over our penalties.

Considering the Gers have barely conceded a shot on target this season, let alone a goal, the notion that we should somehow be higher up in the penalties conceded column is fanciful.

Conversely, our persistent attack is another reason why we’re amongst the highest in penalties awarded too. That’s six by the way, one less than Aberdeen and one more than Celtic.

Against Hibs the Ianis Hagi high boot was categorically not a penalty, whilst Tavernier being shoved into Ryan Porteous was another non-award.

Rangers v Hibernian - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
No matter how angry this gets you, it’s not a penalty. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

In fact, the only penalty shout which Willie Collum didn’t get right was Ryan Porteous’ dangerous lunging over the ball challenge on Kemar Roofe.

This is an incident which has been conveniently ignored from the narrative surrounding Rangers and getting help from the officials, it so obviously not suiting the agenda.

But this isn’t anything new.

Every time this penalty nonsense rears its ugly head the facts become superfluous.

Forget the fact Rangers went almost a full calendar year before being awarded a penalty up until October last year, that doesn’t suit the agenda.

Forget the fact these weren’t actually penalties, or that we were denied a spot-kick last time out in Paisley, or the numerous incidences were Rangers have been wronged, they don’t matter.

St Mirren v Rangers - Betfred Cup Quarter-Final
Here is Calvin Bassey clumisly brigning down Dylan Connolly to award St. Mirren a penalty against Rangers a fortnight ago. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

There’s this accepted narrative amongst rival fans that penalties are little gifts to be handed out by referees in equal measure across the season.

That whistlers need to be aware of how many, or how often, a team gets penalty before blowing them up and reciprocating awards to balance the books.

In other words, they want referees to cheat.

A penalty is only a penalty when it’s a penalty. You don’t give them when they aren’t – or at least you shouldn’t – and you don’t award them against to even up a score.

Referees are human, they all make mistakes, but this continuing nonsense about penalties isn’t just a delusional slap in the face over Rangers’ form.

Rangers
Jim Goodwin came through the youth ranks at Celtic – making one appearance for the club – and his comments feed into an age-old narrative which comes out of Parkhead. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s dangerous commentary which seeks to bring the game into disrepute and the likes of Jim Goodwin – once viewed as a consummate professional – should be ashamed for being party to it.

Here’s how Rangers fans reacted to the comments of Jim Goodwin as they urged their side to put the Paisley Saints in their place this afternoon.

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