Celtic v Rangers


Good bye for today

GB at 2017-03-12 15:28:39

Thanks for your company again this afternoon – please tune in again later for Liverpool v Burnley.

Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-03-12 15:26:08

#Celtic #Rangers

Here are the main talking points from that game from the Officials perspective:

  • An overall excellent performance for his first time in the middle of an Old Firm Derby, will always be remembered for Bobby Madden not giving a penalty to Celtic in the 89th minute
  • Total control of one of the most famous local derby’s in the world was maintained almost effortlessly by the referee because of the way he communicated with the players throughout.
  • An excellent level of fitness and credible distance from play helped the referee sell most of his decisions, but did he keep enough back for the end?

I need to start at the end, and talk about what was clearly a missed penalty decision by the referee when Leigh Griffiths (CFC 9) was chopped down by Clint Hill (GRFC 3) in the Rangers penalty and it was not spotted by the officials. That just goes to show what a hard life it is for a referee. Madden had undoubtable managed this game really well and had hardly missed a thing for 90 minutes, then he is faced with a game changing decision right at the end, which he has “no view of”. The slow motion and camera angle from behind the goal clearly shows that the Celtic player is impeded by his opponent and unfairly brought down, but the referee would have had to “guess” to get that call right. So for me, he could not give it from where he was, and he was where he should have been! Unless you are 100% sure, you can’t give a penalty.

There were a few other “meaty” challenges which may have got away, but you have to look at the bigger picture when assessing the referee’s performance in a game like this. Take out the big penalty call and look what we have left? In my opinion Bobby Madden can enjoy a wee dram tonight and toast a job well done!

Communication was the name of the game, and the referee obviously “spoke the player’s language”. By that I don’t mean “Scottish”, what I mean is that he got into the zone early in the game and judged his level of involvement very well. The players seemed to appreciate this and took heed of his warnings when they came along, whether they were “public” or “quiet” words administered – this showed an excellent reading of the game.

I was impressed by the referee’s level of fitness overall and he demonstrated a great turn of pace when required, particularly in the first 3/4s of the 90 minutes. If I was to be hyper critical though, I just felt that he did not leave himself quite enough in the tank for the very closing stages, as the difference in his mobility was noticeable in the final minutes. In a way, it was only noticeable because he was so sharp at the beginning, but he may have learnt a very valuable from this game, as there is no doubt that physical exhaustion can effect mental ability at the end of a game.

I am sure that will not be the first and last Old Firm Derby which this referee takes charge of, and apart from the penalty shout at the end, I expect he would settle for them all going like that! Well done Mr Madden and cheers to the next one!

GB at 2017-03-12 14:53:16

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More Ref Cam this weekend

GB at 2017-03-12 14:51:57

#Celtic #Rangers

My final summary will follow very shortly.

RefCam coverage has just started today with this game, so tune in again soon for EPL action with Liverpool v Burnley at 4.00PM.

Then later tonight, we round off the weekend with our second MLS featured game this term between the two new boys on the block:

Minnesota United v Atlanta United KO 10:00PM

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at  Info@you-are-the-ref.com

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:  http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2017-03-12 14:51:10

Full Time

Celtic 1 v 1 Rangers

And the honours are even!


GB at 2017-03-12 14:50:16

3 minutes of added time – what a finish to this game!


GB at 2017-03-12 14:49:07

#Celtic #Rangers

What a shame!

I have to say that looked like a clear penalty to Celtic which got away!

Madden did not help himself by looking to raise his whistle then drop it, as it was impossible for him to see the contact from his angle – and there was no way he could get wide enough in time to see what happened.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:45:52

Now we have a GAME ON


GB at 2017-03-12 14:45:11

GOAL!  Clint Hill (GRFC 3)

Celtic 1 v 1 Rangers



GB at 2017-03-12 14:43:02

It is safe to say that the referee will have nothing left in the tank at the end of this one, but he just needs to make sure he has enough to get over the line. It is noticeable that he is a yard or two off the pace he demonstrated earlier in the game.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:40:54

#Celtic #Rangers

Massive call for the referee then as a scissors tackle by the Rangers player is not spotted and Rangers go close to scoring. Mikael Lustig (CFC 23) then picks up a Yellow Cardfor moaning about the referee’s lack of 20/20 vision. I have to say he has a point!

That must go down as the first real mistake by Madden and I hope it does not reflect that he physical exhaustion is affecting his ability to maintain his concentration.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:36:38

Bobby Madden is far too experienced to be conned by the action of Martyn Waghorn (GRFC 33) as he backs into his opponent then goes to ground.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:34:51

Yellow Card for Scott Brown (CFC 8) as he takes one for the team for breaking up a promising attacking move. Great timing again by the referee to remind everyone that he is still in charge.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:32:23

Bobby Madden’s speed off the mark is definitely not as sharp as it was in the first half. I would expect his coach to pick this up and point it out for the future. It just goes to show that however experienced a referee is, a game of this stature can effect the way they perform.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:29:04

There we have another example of not best practice by AR1. He moved back again so could not see if the whole of the ball crossed the touch-line for a throw-in, then when the ball “just” crossed the goal-line for a corner, he ONLY pointed to the Corner flag with his Flag, instead of raising it in the air first to sell his decision. That is basic stuff again which Assistant Referees at this level should be doing as second nature.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:26:01

As the manner of the challenges remain careless rather than reckless since the last yellow card, the referee’s tactics are shown to be sound again.

Great positioning again by Madden to be right in to see that a penalty should not be awarded as the Celtic player takes a tumble after “feeling” a hand in his back – no penalty for me there.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:22:21

The referee continue to show off his fitness as he powers through into the penalty area, rather than stopping outside as if he has hit a brick wall!

I may be imagining things though, but he does seem to be just slowing down a little. I do hop he has kept enough in the tank for a frenetic last quarter. Pacing yourself in games like this is always very important.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:19:15

#Celtic #Rangers

With 30 minutes to go, I am sure Bobby Madden would have settled for how well this one has gone so far for him and his colleagues. None of the officials can afford to relax though, as there is plenty of time for this one to bubble up again yet.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:17:34

That was not exactly best practice by the referee as he ran away with his back to the ball as he signalled for the re-start. Always best to keep an eye on the ball or at least wait until you are ready and looking at the ball before you signal for the free kick to be taken.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:15:18

Great call for no hand ball by the referee as the ball was blasted into the Celtic player’s chest


GB at 2017-03-12 14:11:36

#Celtic #Rangers

Its almost as if Bobby Madden is reading my blog, as he steps in again there with the 4th Yellow Card of the game for Clint Hill (GRFC 3) which makes him the second Rangers Centre Back into the notebook. That could have an effect on this game the longer it goes on.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:08:52

There was a great example of the referee showing everyone that he was displeased by the Glasgow player with that very public last warning. That was precisely the step change I expected to see in the second half as he demonstrates his man management skills and sets up future disciplinary action if required.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:06:36

The referee’s excellent change of gear when he needs to increase his speed was demonstrated again in that last attack.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:05:01

The action of AR1 David McGeachie then as he stepped back as the players and ball moved towards him on the touch-line is not the best practice IMO. Better to go “down the line” and look back so you can judge the whole ball in or out of play, which can’t be done if you step backwards away from the touch-line.


GB at 2017-03-12 14:01:52

Rangers get the second half underway

Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-03-12 13:57:19

#Celtic #Rangers

What a first half that was for the referee. Boddy Madden now knows how it feels to be in the middle of one of a classic Old Firm Derby – and so far so good from me!

Yes he has taken a few chances with his tolerance level, and yes I have seen games when players have taken things into their own hands when the referee fails to be seen taking strong action for unfair challenges, but sometimes it can work.

The factor for me which I think is help the referee is the way he is constantly communicating with the players. I know I have suggested that he could have made his opinions a bit more public at times, but I have to admit that he is always making his point to the player concerned. As long as he keeps doing that and the players respect him and don’t “push their luck”, then he will be able to keep the lid on things.

Excellent fitness is another characteristic which Bobby Madden has displayed in that half.

Only half a job done so far though, and I would expect the officials to lower their tolerance level just a shade in the second half, to ensure that this one does not get away from them, as it has shown all the signs of being likely to at times.

GB at 2017-03-12 13:46:39

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GB at 2017-03-12 13:46:07

Half Time

No added minutes – that’s unusual, but in a game like this, I have to admit it was credible and sensible.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:42:44


#Celtic #Rangers

The tackles continue to fly in, but here comes a point when a demonstration of authority is required, and that was it again as Yellow Cardfor James Tavernier (GRFC 2) was the only option for the referee then for that reckless challenge with a high foot.

Madden continues to do well to raise his profile just when required.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:38:27

Great example of the referee using the pitch markings to get his point across as he told the Rangers player to go back into his own half of the field of play to take the thrown-in – good basic refereeing technique!


GB at 2017-03-12 13:36:09

GOAL! Stuart Armstrong (CFC 14)

Celtic 1 v 0 Rangers


GB at 2017-03-12 13:35:01

That advantage in the centre as another wild lunge went in shows the confidence of the referee, but he cant afford to not go back and hand out a public warning or a card for those.

If this one does kick off – and to be fair it is showing all the signs of doing so – then there is already enough to hang it on.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:32:11

There is a lot going on out there both on and off the ball at the moment and the referee did really well again then by taking his time in setting up that last “ceremonial” free kick for Celtic. This was a classic example of tempo management as he took his time to let everyone settle down and relax for a few seconds.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:29:11

#Celtic #Rangers

The longer this first half goes on, the more respect you must give to the referee for the way he is managing the game. He is getting his personality across to the players and is happy for them to compete physically as long as the respect a certain level of fair play. As long as both teams are prepared to take as well as give, then that tactic can work.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:25:42

Excellent “not offside” call by Dougie Potter in that last Rangers attack.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:24:27

5 minutes gone since the first yellow card of the game and it seems to have worded wonders as the temperature stopped going up for a moment.

Madden needs to make sure he is not drawn in too close to the play though in his effort to keep on top of things – he does not want to get in the way.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:21:39

#Celtic #Rangers

Yellow Card Yellow Card for Martyn Waghorn (GRFC 33) for a “very” reckless challenge. They always look worse in slow motion but that could have been a leg breaker!

It was vitally important the referee made a stand about that one as the game is already showing signs of coming to the boil!


GB at 2017-03-12 13:18:49

Fair play to Madden for keeping his tinder dry for that one, but I suggest he will need to step in soon.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:17:28

Excellent sprinting action demonstrated by the referee then , but he was so fast he missed a little “off the ball” tug by Jason Holt (GRFC 23). These little things have a habit of becoming big things in games like this.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:15:18

The game has certainly started fast and furiously and to be fair, despite my reservations about the lunge in the 8th minute, the referee has done well to let things flow without over-reacting to the 100% commitment being shown by both squads.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:12:07

#Celtic #Rangers

Kenny Miller (GRFC 9) can count himself very lucky there that he missed the Celtic player with everything he had as he jumped in with both feet off the ground. Personally I would have liked to see Bobby Madden stop the play and have a word about that, just to send the message out that , that type of challenge will not be allowed to be the norm in this game.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:09:06

The officials are giving themselves thinking time in these early stages so they get the early decision right.

The foul for the little push was expected out on the touch-line, followed by a good look at each other to get the corner right.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:06:57

That’s the type of sharp clear direction signal I refereed to for the second free kick of the game


GB at 2017-03-12 13:05:19

#Celtic #Rangers

First impressions of Mr Madden’s body language looks very alert and purposeful – just as you would expect. Getting those early signals out loud and clear help to portray a referee who means business.


GB at 2017-03-12 13:02:37

First free kick inside first minute goes down well and will settle the nerves a bit.

Even though it was straight forward, it is always important not to over look the obvious in the opening seconds.

GB at 2017-03-12 13:01:17

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Kick Off

GB at 2017-03-12 13:00:14

Rangers won the toss so it will be Celtic to kick off.

Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at  info@you-are-the-ref.com


GB at 2017-03-12 12:55:00

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel


GB at 2017-03-12 12:51:51

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GB at 2017-03-12 12:50:51

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GB at 2017-03-12 12:49:27

#Celtic #Rangers

Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Bobby Madden (FIFA 2010)

AR1: David McGeachie (Technical Area) (FIFA 2016)

AR2: Dougie Potter (FIFA 2013)

4th Official: Kevin Clancy (FIFA 2012)

Every Referee with any ambition, will always have a few fixtures on their bucket list which they would love to do, at whatever level they are operating. I does not matter whether you have just started and you would relish the challenge of refereeing the County U16 Women’s Cup Final, or you are an EPL Official and you have never done the FA Cup Final, that ambition to show everyone what you are capable of, and the desire to be rewarded for ones efforts always creates a goal worth striving for. And in the Scottish game of course, they do not come any bigger than this one.

Step forward Bobby Madden for his first shift at the helm of the Old Firm Derby, and I expect that he can’t wait to get this party started! This fixture has turned into a battle a few times over the years, but Madden will definitely be up for that, having returned from his own battle earlier this season after undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer which kept him out of action for two months.

The highly-rated 38 year old from East Kilbride qualified with Scottish Football Association in 2002 and was promoted to the SFL / SPL in 2008 and soon earned his FIFA badge in 2010.

All referees should have a game plan in mind as they prepare for every game, and the first intervention today will set the official’s tolerance level for what is to come. Thousands of fans have turned up today, or tuned in, to see the highest standard of football available in the SPFL, so the skill factor involved in allowing the game to flow, whilst also maintaining authority and control at the same time, will be the primary consideration for the officials. Getting the big calls right will obviously be a main factor in whether this is achieved.

Madden will be assisted by David McGeachie and Dougie Potter, with Kevin Clancy making up the full crew of FIFA men as the fourth official.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-03-12 12:48:20


1       Craig Gordon (CFC 1)

6       Nir Bitton (CFC 6)

8       Scott Brown (CFC 8)

10     Moussa Dembélé (CFC 10)

11     Scott Sinclair (CFC 11)

14     Stuart Armstrong (CFC 14)

20     Dedryck Boyata (CFC 20)

23     Mikael Lustig (CFC 23)

28     Erik Sviatchenko (CFC 28)

49     James Forrest (CFC 49)

63     Kieran Tierney (CFC 63)


5       Jozo Šimunovi? (CFC 5)

9       Leigh Griffiths (CFC 9)

12     Cristian Gamboa (CFC 12)

24     Dorus de Vries (CFC 24)

27     Patrick Roberts (CFC 27)

42     Callum McGregor (CFC 42)

88     Eboue Kouassi (CFC )


1       Wes Foderingham (GRFC 1)

2       James Tavernier (GRFC 2)

3       Clint Hill (GRFC 3)

5       Lee Wallace (GRFC 5)

6       Danny Wilson (GRFC 6)

9       Kenny Miller (GRFC 9)

10     Barrie McKay (GRFC 10)

17     Lee Hodson (GRFC 17)

20     Emerson Hyndman (GRFC 20)

23     Jason Holt (GRFC 23)

33     Martyn Waghorn (GRFC 33)


11     Josh Windass (GRFC 11)

14     Joe Dodoo (GRFC 14)

15     Harry Forrester (GRFC 15)

24     Philippe Senderos (GRFC 24)

25     Jak Alnwick (GRFC 25)

27     David Bates (GRFC 27)

29     Michael O’Halloran (GRFC 29)


GB at 2017-03-12 12:45:08

#Celtic #Rangers

Celtic start today’s match having won all three derbies this season and 33 points ahead of their arch rivals in the league. The back-to-back victories 5-1, 0-1 (League Cup Semi Final) and 1-2, were presided over by Willie Collum, Craig Thomson and Steven McLean respectively. Each of these games had their particular “pinch points” and required 16 yellows and 1 red card to keep the lid on things.

Celtic will be desperate not to lose their unbeaten record today of all days, as a maximum toll on their own cabbage patch this afternoon will officially make it mathematically impossible for them not to be crowned Champions again, with 8 games left in the season.

Rangers on the other hand are looking to build on a 6-0 win over Hamilton in the Scottish Cup last weekend and to also burry the ghost of the 5-1 mauling they suffered when these two titans clashed at Ibrox for the first time in years last September.

Stay tuned for my minute by minute assessment of the official’s performance in what promises to be an action packed 90 minutes.


GB at 2017-03-12 12:41:36

#Celtic #Rangers

Welcome to this RefCam coverage of Scottish Premier League game between Celtic and Rangers.

Whatever time of the day this game kicks off and whatever day of the week it is played, it would be fair to say that the expectations for a full-blooded encounter are always the same.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com .