17 Apr The end justifies the means
Well done Alex Schalk, you might just have secured Ross County a crucial point that could be the difference between survival in the Premiership or a possible play-off.
In Dingwall, there will be no public flogging or shame attached to the County player for his dive to secure the Staggies a penalty, an equaliser and a point against Celtic.
The end will justify the means if County stay up and Schalk takes a paltry ban.
The outrage that has followed the way Jim McIntyre’s men achieved a point against the champions is understandable but no great surprise.
Any decision against Scotland’s big two clubs usually comes with a barrage of anger, disgust and disbelief at the lack of sporting integrity.
Players cheat, if they get caught they take the punishment, if they don’t, they cheat again, that’s what they do.
The attitude of many players has nothing to do with how they gain an advantage and everything to do with leaving the referee to make a decision on whether he was deceived or not.
There will be a few old Etonians raising their hand to object to my stance and claim they are whiter than white, there are always exceptions.
The amount of professional players that have said to me that it’s down to the ref to make the call on an incident and when the opportunity arises they will take the chance to gain that advantage legally or not.
If you expect players to be role models for honour, integrity and honesty, you are naïve and living in cloud cuckoo land.
The referee Don Robertson made an arse of it on Sunday, He wasn’t helped by his linesman either, when the penalty decision was hotly contested by the Celtic players.
Jim McIntyre hasn’t come out and criticized Schalk for his deception and he won’t be doing it anytime soon because Jim knows that is football. No luck Alex, you will have to take a ban but we’re happy with the point is exactly what the County boss is thinking.
Thankfully, this wasn’t a game that had an impact on the destination of the title but can you imagine it was a penalty that ended Celtic’s hopes of remaining undefeated all season?
County chairman Roy MacGregor might have had to build a wall at the end of the Kessok bridge to keep the hordes of Celtic fans storming Dingwall.
The next few days will bring calls for referee Don Robertson to be demoted. There will be conspiracy theorists aplenty highlighting his previous mistakes and listing a number of other wrong calls against Celtic.
Start with Josh Meekings of Inverness in a cup match to set you on your way, in case you are struggling!
Before Celtic fans stampede to the moral high ground on this, there will be countless incidents involving their players with dodgy decisions that will find their way on to the social media platform.
Alex Schalk cheated to win his side a penalty, it’s not right, it’s not fair and it’s not a good example to set for youngsters, but that’s football.
The Ross County player will pick up a ban but, he will be back in that situation again sometime in the future, the only impact it will have on his mindset is trying to make sure he’s a little closer to the player before he tries to deceive the ref.
Cheating will continue because players want to gain a sporting advantage for their team, in some cases at any cost. Just ask Thiery Henry.