Moonhowling Rangers conspiracy a distraction from bigger refereeing issue in Scotland
Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images

Rangers conspiracy talk distracts from bigger refereeing issue in Scotland

As Rangers were awarded a late penalty against Aberdeen, you could almost hear the moonhowling conspiracy talk from the eastend as soon the sharp blast on John Beaton’s whistle had finished echoing around Ibrox.

Rangers – at least to my interpretation of this tiresome and embarrassing narrative – shouldn’t be allowed them. Any award will be taken as part of an anti-Celtic conspiracy.

There is a growing adoption of this mad masonic-laden conspiracy where referees give Rangers penalties because they support them or because there’s been some kind of handshake pre-match. And not just in the tinfoil hat brigade of the Celtic support.

It’s become somewhat in vogue.

We’ve got Ricky Foster – a former Gers player – greetin’ his eyes out on Sportsound whilst Chris Sutton alluded to a culture of conspiracy on his official Twitter account.

This just makes the mania all the more rampant.

It was a soft penalty yes, but David Bates gets wrong side of Fashion Sakala, tugs his shirt in the box and gives the referee a decision to make.

https://twitter.com/Glen_Camera/status/1453488666920239108

Cry about it, moan about it, howl at the moon about it, but don’t misrepresent it because it involves Rangers.

Let’s drop the Rangers conspiracy talk and get serious over time wasting

Amongst all the bellyaching, the real reason why these voices are so upset by the penalty award becomes clear when they refuse to properly challenge a bigger issue in the Scottish game; time wasting.

Aberdeen are not as good as Rangers. That’s clear. But what that does not do is allow them to actively employ time-wasting tactics which disrupt the flow of the game and ensure the ball is not in play.

Motherwell came in for much criticism for the ball only being in play for 46 minutes in the 1-1 draw at Ibrox earlier in the season and we were told to swallow it.

Apparently pro-Rangers referee John Beaton once received threats from Celtic fans furious because their team were beaten by Rangers in a match he officiated. It’s proper screwball stuff this and it’s becoming commonplace. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

But referees must start flashing yellow cards at first sight of these tactics being employed in order to properly apply the rules of the game.

This is a bigger scandal than any upset, moany rivals crying because a penalty was given. The issue to them isn’t the penalty, it’s that Rangers benefitted from it.

If Aberdeen had time wasted their way to victory, they’d be applauding them despite it being against the rules. The moral compass swings dependent on the colour of the shirt.

There’s no conspiracy to protect Rangers in the SPFL – as evidenced by the last decade – and just because we’re winning or getting correct decisions doesn’t make it so.

Kemar Roofe dispatched a stonewall penalty for Rangers in the weekend’s 2-1 win over St Mirren. (Photo by Jshpix/MB Media/Getty Images)

This is done with the intent to place pressure on referees to think twice about taking other decisions, either for or against Rangers, because they will be scrutinised under the microscope of it.

An increasingly worrying percentage of Celtic fans in particular are swallowing this and referees must grow a spine and continue to officiate via the rules.

But part of that is also making sure that the game of football is allowed to be properly played and to start flashing cards at the first sign of time-wasting in order to eradicate it from our game.

Whilst Rangers dropped two points against the Dons, the Ibrox club’s support have commended a fans group for a touching tribute to Walter Smith.

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