Tom Boyd: Celtic need this to keep their treble hopes alive
By Matt Farr
Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd believes the club needs a referee that can ‘spot handballs on the goal-line’ to keep their domestic treble hopes alive.
Celtic were on the receiving end of a calamitous decision from referee Don Robertson during the 2-2 draw with Ross County on Sunday, where a controversial late penalty was awarded to their opponents.
Erik Sviatchenko was adjudged to have felled Ross County striker Alex Schalk in the area, only for evidence to show that Schalk had dramatically thrown himself to the floor.
But the decision from the referee to award the home side with a penalty saw Liam Boyce equalise and snatch two points away from Celtic.
Boyd, who won the domestic treble under Martin O’Neill in 2000-01, believes poor refereeing decisions could cost Celtic a shot at winning the treble this season.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Speaking to 90 minute Cynic’s weekly podcast, the 51-year-old worries that his former club could face even more bad luck when they take on Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi final on Sunday.
Ahead of the blockbuster tie, Boyd had this advice for Celtic: “Make sure you get a referee who spots handballs on the goal-line”, he said.
“Listen, on a lot of occasions we’ve not played well in semi-finals and we’ve deservedly lost, but in others it has been taken out of our hands through dodgy decisions.”
A win over their Old Firm rivals at Hampden on Sunday could take them to within just 90 minutes of a domestic clean sweep, having already cruised to victories in both the League Cup and the Scottish Premiership.
Celtic have not achieved the feat since O’Neill’s triumph, but Brendan Rodgers is on the verge of doing so in only his first season with the club.
Schalk, meanwhile, has been hit with a two-game retrospective ban for his simulation against Celtic.
In other Celtic news, Scott Brown is set to feature against Rangers despite his red card against Ross County.