So, I’ll open with this, because it’s really all you need to see.
This slow motion replay of Conor Goldson’s handball at Ibrox last night against Aberdeen tells us one thing:
If I was the Aberdeen owner/chairman I’d be releasing a statement and demanding they release the audio.
Blatant handball 😏pic.twitter.com/tQ7jrGeePH
— Celtic Now And Forever (@celtic_now) February 6, 2024
They are going to get everything from here on out.
But here’s the thing, that was the first handball Goldson got away with.
He then got away with another.
Both were checked, both were not deemed to warrant penalties.
Decisions like these are completely baffling.
You can be certain if these incidents had occurred at the other end of the pitch, they would be given as penalties.
There is no doubting this, because we know how things operate at Ibrox.
We’ve seen it all too often.
Both Don Robertson and Greg Aitken’s allegiances are well known.
None more so than Aitken’s:
This guy doesn’t even try to hide it.
Shocking 😊 imagine thinking refs would cheat for the new rangers like they cheated for the dead rangers 😳 Greg Aitken was the guy who gave a penalty for morelos diving into a defender but missed a 2 handed push on the same defender in the rangers box 🤷♂️🙄 honest mistakes eh 😏 pic.twitter.com/1LJ1FbKUTT
— Yogi il Tempo (@Yogi_theTim) October 5, 2020
That much is clear when he wouldn’t review either of those incidents involving Goldson with any kind of scrutiny.
To the likes of Aitken, it was imperative that the Ibrox club drew level with Celtic last night.
After all, there is a huge amount at stake this season.
Everybody at Ibrox knows that if they land the £60 million on offer for Champions League qualification, their medium term survival is secured.
I say medium term, because that club never looks at anything long term.
While our club suffers from short-termism, which has resulted in the Ibrox club now drawing level with us.
The Ibrox club only looks at the short-term, but in an entirely different way to us.
Their short-term goal has always been, and always will be, to knock us off the pinnacle of Scottish football.
If they can achieve that, Ibrox will stop at nothing, NOTHING, to keep us off that pinnacle.
While our board will squirrel away that £60 million, the Ibrox club will invest it in their playing squad.
They will do that to ensure they can stay ahead of us.
Our board will not think that way.
The magical £30 million transfer kitty for the Celtic manager that was spoken about so often last summer, never materialised.
Philippe Clement will easily be handed an amount like that to invest in his squad.
Going for broke in the pursuit of keeping us down didn’t scare the previous Ibrox entity.
It sure as hell won’t scare the current one either.
So, if you think the refereeing fraternity won’t be going all out to ensure this happens, then you’d better think again.
Last night was a prime example of the kind of decision making that lies in front of us between now and the end of the season.
When we had a 7 point cushion, which is entirely squandered now, we had some chance of being able to mitigate against decisions like last night.
Now that that cushion is gone, all it will serve to do is drive the likes Aitken, Dallas, Beaton, McLean, and Robertson to even more ridiculous levels of decision making.
They will pull out all the stops, of that you can be sure.
Last night was perfect evidence of that.
Meanwhile, our spineless board will stand idly by, and allow it to happen.
Just as they’ve always done.
Brendan Rodgers and his squad have their work cut out for them.
That starts tonight.
Anything less than 3 points against Hibernian, and we’re going to find ourselves off top spot by this time next week.
We cannot afford another performance like Saturday’s at Pittodrie.
The Ibrox side will not drop points against Ross County next Wednesday, a side that are in complete free fall.
That much was clear in lieu of their performance against Motherwell last night.
You can expect them to rack up the goals in that one, which will also wipe out our goal difference advantage.
We face St. Mirren in a tricky Scottish Cup tie on Sunday.
If we go into that one after dropping more points tonight, then St. Mirren and Stephen Robinson will see us as there for the taking.
If, by Thursday of next week, we are out of the Scottish Cup, and the Ibrox side are sitting on top of the league, then all hell is going to rain down on the Celtic board at our next home game.
It will be long overdue.
It is overdue regardless.
The goal is clear for the next two fixtures.
Win tonight, and win convincingly to stay top.
Win on Sunday, and stay in the Cup.
If the Board cared, they would be watching these next two fixtures very closely.
The question is, do they care?
Well, I’ll put it this way, if the next two results don’t go our way, then they’ll be left with no choice but to start caring.
We are mired in a title race that we could very easily lose a grip on.
That is down to them, nobody else.
They’d better be prepared to face the repercussions, if a 12 year old club manages to win it’s second title in 4 years.
And I can guarantee you those repercussions will not be good for them.
They got away with facing us during Covid.
This time, there’s nowhere to hide.
On their heads be it.