Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou believes the abuse directed towards referee Kevin Clancy should serve as a reminder to take care over the way matches are analysed.
Postecoglou was concerned by news that, in the wake of taking charge of Celtic’s 3-2 win over Rangers last Saturday, Clancy received threatening phone and email messages which police are looking into.
The Celtic boss claims pinpointing Clancy’s decision to disallow an Alfredo Morelos goal as the reason Rangers lost at Parkhead gave a false impression of last week’s derby and heaped unnecessary pressure on the referee.
Rangers boss Michael Beale felt Morelos should not have been punished for a push on Alistair Johnston after converting a corner with the game goalless, and also claimed Jota should have been penalised for handball in the build-up to Celtic’s second goal.
But Postecoglou has argued that players and managers made more mistakes than Clancy during his side’s 3-2 victory, which put them 12 points clear in the cinch Premiership.
When asked about the subsequent abuse directed at Clancy, the former Australia head coach said: “It’s concerning for any person, mate. We shouldn’t even be talking about it.
“We all understand we work in a public space and with that comes scrutiny, but that should begin and end within the professions we work in, not go into our personal lives.
“And particularly with officials because, for the most part, we have clubs or supporter bases we would like to think would go into bat for us in situations like this. But the officials are kind of left out on their own.
“I think it’s a really timely reminder to all of us about the language we use and the reasonings we use behind things.
“I mean last week, if you look at it, was a real derby game and it had a bit of everything, but it wasn’t a great game.
“It was a game that was riddled by mistakes from both sides. Both sides. Players and, dare I say it, managers made a lot more mistakes than the officials did on the day.
“So why we need to separate that, from my perspective, if anyone analysed that game and think one moment decided that, then they are not really looking at the big picture.
“From my perspective there is a decision there where everyone has opinions on it but it’s not fact-based because it’s not like it’s an offside or something you can clearly see. It’s an opinion-based thing. Everyone gives their opinion and ultimately one person has to make the decision.
“It’s all right for us to give our opinion and be really brave but when you have got to be there and make a decision, that’s when we have to have respect for the officials and allow them to do their job.
“Within the context of that, whatever opinions we have, I thought we should have had a penalty at Ibrox. But it doesn’t really matter, you give your opinion and you move on, and you analyse the game.
“As I said, that was a mistake-riddled derby by both teams and to isolate the officials as to the reasoning why the contest went one way or another, I think gives a false impression and adds to the unnecessary pressure on the people making decisions.”
Celtic return to action at Kilmarnock on Sunday with midfielder Reo Hatate and wingers James Forrest and Liel Abada still missing.
“The ones who were unavailable last week won’t be available this week either,” Postecoglou said. “They are all edging closer to it but none of them will make it back.”