In the wake of their 1-0 defeat to Celtic, Rangers Football Club are taking an unusual step. SunSport has revealed that the club plans to write to the Scottish Football Association’s referees’ chief, Crawford Allan, demanding an explanation for the disallowed goal. But is this a legitimate inquiry or just a case of sour grapes?

Let’s rewind a bit. During the match, VAR Alan Muir informed referee Don Robertson that he’d made a ‘clear and obvious’ error by missing a foul by Rangers striker Cyriel Dessers on Celtic defender Gustaf Lagerbielke. The goal was subsequently disallowed, much to the chagrin of Rangers fans and management alike. But was this decision really so controversial?

Soccer Football – Scottish Premiership – Rangers v Celtic – Ibrox, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain – September 3, 2023 A big screen displays a VAR review message disallowing a Ramgers goal Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Bobby Madden, the former Scottish referee who’s no stranger to the complexities of the Glasgow derby, took to social media to clarify why the decision to disallow the goal was absolutely correct. He stated, “The defender is in control, the defender’s action is to play the ball with his left foot. This is the important part, the attacker has not played the ball at this point, and puts his foot between the defender and the ball, it’s a foul anywhere on the pitch no matter what happens thereafter.” Madden further elaborated that VAR provided the necessary angles to make an unequivocal decision. “When you have VAR and all the angles, you cannot allow a goal with all that evidence,” he added.

Given Madden’s clear and unambiguous explanation, Rangers’ decision to write to the SFA comes across as nothing more than an exercise in futility, or worse, a case of sour grapes. It’s as if the club is trying to find an external reason for their defeat, rather than focusing on the shortcomings that led to it.

Soccer Football – Scottish Premiership – Rangers v Celtic – Ibrox, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain – September 3, 2023 Celtic’s Matt O’Riley in action with Rangers’ Kemar Roofe Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Celtic’s win was a statement of intent, a demonstration of skill and resilience that puts the Bhoys four points clear at the top of the table. Instead of acknowledging the quality of the opposition and the clear-cut nature of the referee’s decision, Rangers seem to be spiralling into a realm of denial and blame-shifting.

So, as Rangers pen their letter to the SFA, one can’t help but wonder if they’d be better served focusing on their on-pitch performance rather than seeking explanations for a decision that has already been clarified by experts in the field. After all, the league won’t be won or lost in the offices of the SFA, but on the football pitch where, so far, Celtic have shown they are the team to beat.


  1. Excellent article except for one matter…this is not unusual but totally expected. Remember they are now 60(?) games without a penalty following on from a 42 game run. 103 games; 1 penalty.

    This all an effort to put pressure on VAR referees. Let’s remember the laws of football don’t usually apply to Rangers in Scotland…as proved by the number of penalties conceded in Europe.

  2. A whole lot of pish, and Sevco know so. How many Var decisions have they go their way and not against since this merry-go-round started????

    They will be chokin’ on their own tongues, as they slabber on, and on about fuc&in nothing. The game was won, not by the Boshe. Ha fuc&en Ha.

    They will be complaining to the Crown services police force and the Spfl about not being able to sing sea shanties about their grandma’s auld tattie threadbare scarf, or their hunchbacked, homosexuality unstable horse riding Queen of Billie next.

    Get a grip of their stupidity. Their own crossed armed fan base too.


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