Steven Craven, the SFA and refereeing


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. Para Noid says:

    No mention of Dallas’ PR offensive where he claimed that Lennon agreed with the decision, in fact Dallas is on record repeating the false version of events even after he knew them to be false. Hopefuly Celtic have the bottle to pursue this to the very end, no doubt guys like yourself will continue to put your fingers in your ears.

    To blame Celtic and their support for any abuse a ref may or may not get after a match is completely unfair as well and smacks of deflecting the blame from where it lies. Craven’s resignation had nothing to do with Celtic or its fans according to himbut still we are to blame.

    You couldn’t make it up except you just did.

  2. jocky bhoy says:

    Wow. Well that is as comprehensive a missing the point as I have seen in a long time Gavin.

    The fact that deliberate lies have been told in an official capacity to cover-up what is still a very questionable decision (the SFA said it was ok – the SFA hjas said it’s ok to lie to cover-up a contentious decision – how can we take them seriously!), lies that were agreed to by the very highest levels of the refereeing fraternity, lies which were then were disseminated through the media and to the public through official channels – all the time with those responsible for policing the game knowing they were lies – and you see fit to criticise teams such as hearts, celtic, dundee united (let’s not forget Houston’s rant at mcdonald after the game) for questioning referees’ integrity?

    “They” have been caught out this time, you think this is the only time there has been collusion amongst referees to cover errors or even deliberate cheating? Wow. 100% exposure rate for discovering falsehood? If you believe that I have a bridge I want to sell you…

    You propose that the footballing establishment should have time to “reinvestigate”? They investigated once, agreed and accepted there were deliberate lies, and let the perpetrators off scot-free (no pun intended). Then they got found out. And you want to give them the chance to cover up AGAIN? And even more bizarrely, without the media glare (which was at best luke-warm last time, preferring to believe craven resigned because of “death threats” presumed to be from celtic fans). That’s crazy talk.

    Everyone involved in this should either resign (Dallas) or be fired (McDonald) for gross misconduct/bringing the game into disrepute. They have shown they are capable of lying to suit their own agendas and as such cannot possibly been seen as fair and impartial.

    Once those proven to have lied or been complicit in those lies have gone, only THEN might teams and fans give the refs and SFA respect – respect that must be earned not demanded.

  3. Gavin says:

    The only ones caught lieing are McDonald and Craven – the suggestion in both those comments that Dallas told a version he knew to be false is, unless he made some other statements than the ones I’ve seen widely reported, simply not true.

    No I don’t think that’ll be the only time refs have agreed such cover-ups after the game. Though it’s interesting that McDonald himself felt bad enough about it to decide to come clean the following day, before any of the subsequent outcry – that doesn’t suggest to me that it’s something he does every week. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t be dismissed lightly. And Craven has made further allegations since last week’s initial inquiry which also need investigation.

    But none of this means we need to indulge anyone in their paranoid fantasies about wider reffing biases against certain clubs, or about Dallas’s alleged bias during his own career, or any of the other various things that have been wheeled out lately.

  4. jocky bhoy says:

    So the only two people “admitting to lying” are McDonald and Craven and their testimony implicates Dallas in the same.

    The two people who have “come clean” (your words) have implicated Dallas are actually implicating him for no good reason? They have admitted their misdeeds, which inherently implicated an otherwise innocent man?

    If Craven’s testimony is suspect (is anyone’s testimony in this whole debacle NOT tainted?) why would McDonald state this?

    McDonald coming clean BEFORE the susbsequent outcry? The outcry started the minute the penalty HE awarded got rescinded by HIMSELF. He knew he’d get found out and decided to cut his losses! The idea that you portray his actions as that of “an honourable man” is, to be frank, barking.

    He got caught, they got caught. You still can’t accept that the refs did something wrong can you? It’s Celtic’s fault for asking! For you everything is still rosey in the SPL, SFA Scots Refs (lost the will to even look up the acronym tbh), yet the rest of the world is incredulous. It’s interesting (and for me, massively incriminating) that the English press are the opes leading the calls for resignations and sackings whilst the Scottish press is “business as usual, nothing to see here, honest mistakes….”

  5. Gavin says:

    To clarify that – there was an “outcry” rigtht away insofar as Celtic got a decision they didn’t like so of course it was controversial. But to the best of my awareness (and I’m willing to be corrected on this) the particular allegation that McDonald had lied to the match observer and to Lennon after the game didn’t come out publically until later in the week – after McDonald had already admitted as much to Dallas.

    I simply don’t accept your interpretation of the facts in your second paragraph there I’m afraid. Neither man has accused Dallas of saying anything he knew to be false, and nor did he actually do so, as far as I can see. Craven has, however, accused him of asking him to (continue to) lie. That’s a serious accusation and as I said in the article I don’t think it should be brushed aside lightly.

    I have not said everything is rosey, nor have I given an opinion on whether or not McDonald and / or Dallas should go. I don’t really have an opinion either way on that, as it stands. This article was intended to be more about the atmosphere and context in which the debate is taking place.

  6. jocky bhoy says:

    OK, let’s just deal with the facts as they are laid out – forget the fact that Craven has gfone on record saying Dallas encouraged him to lie and Dallas said he didn’t.

    I think we’re both agreed MacDonald called Dallas post match and confessed (according to the refs’ uniopn head, Craven AND McDonald, though Dallas said it was the other way round), “Dougie, on leaving Tannadice, immediately realised that’s not the way he wanted it to be conducted… He informed Hugh Dallas of that fact. Hugh, quite rightly, was very upset at what he had heard and instructed and informed at that point that all of the match officials tell the truth”.

    However, subsequent to that conversation Dallas released a statement saying “Neil Lennon took the time to go to the referee’s dressing-room about 40 minutes after the match was concluded. They had a discussion and Neil accepted that the decision was correct… He received a full explanation, which he found acceptable after the match.”

    You say neither man has accused Dallas of saying things he knew to be false, but at that point Dallas knew Craven hadn’t been called over and he knew Lennon had been lied to and he knew there were lies in the match report. Surely if you repeat something you know to be untrue that is a lie?

    Simple question to Dallas – why didn’t Dallas comne clean and nip this in the bud? Why did he propagate this lie? Perhaps because they’ve got away with it before?

    The reality is Dallas as chief of referees and he has been seen to, at best have covered up deliberate falsehoods to a manager and to the public at large, making him complicit in the lie*, at worst encouraged and expanded on the falsehoods already made.

    Dallas’ position is one requiring being seen to be impartial and to apply rules equally without fear or favour. He has fallen short of that requirement and should resign.

    *An individual is complicit in a crime if he/she is aware of its occurrence and has the ability to report the crime, but fails to do so.

  7. Gavin says:

    Okay. I do at least see where you’re coming from.

    Dallas was very careful in that statement to say nothing untrue (and he didn’t, as far as I can see). He did, admittedly, skirt over the issue of who had initiated the conversation between McDonald and Craven, but I don’t see that as a big deal – did you expect him to come out and draw everyone’s attention to that and publically criticise them for it? I wouldn’t expect any (good) manager to do that to their staff, myself. But if you’re saying the failure to correct the earlier version was effectively a lie by omission then probably I see your point, whether or not I agree. (I think the allegations subsequently made against him by Craven are more serious.)

    Again, I’m not suggesting it be brushed under the carpet. I’ve no particular beef to defend him or McDonald and have no real opinion on their futures. (I suspect McDonald especially is going to find it very difficult to come back and my guess is he’ll retire early after a discreet interval.)

    But again – and I’m repeating myself here so I’ll make this my last – none of this justifies most of the crap that’s been talked in response to it. Even if the worst of the allegations are true, even if both have to go, there’s nothing to back-up any of the allegations of bias for or against any clubs that have been aired or encouraged not just by the usual suspects among the press but – most disgracefully – by a couple of the clubs. (Hearts being the worst offender.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>