So this shambles at Livi, with Don Robertson encouraging Livingston to take their man off to avoid him being sent off.
Have we ever seen this in football before? So blatantly?
As we mentioned earlier, Gio rightly took a subtle dig at this, and we have to say, for our mild-mannered manager to actually take a passive aggressive swipe at the situation shows how absolutely mind-boggling it was.
For those still in the dark, Livi’s Philip Cancar got done by Scott Wright, fouled, and then received a yellow.
It happened exactly the same again, a while later, only for Cancar to receive just a warning from Robertson as Wright lay sprawled out on the Livi plastic. A clear second yellow, denied by the ref.
However, the ref spoke directly to Livi captain Nicky Whelan, effectively telling him to get Cancar off or he’d send him off.
Within a few minutes, David Martindale is sending on a sub and hauling the Aussie off.
Now, Martindale is a good chap, one of us, and we have no gripe with him – he was just the beneficiary of the ref’s information and ‘instruction’.
But for a referee to actually tell a team to remove their player or he’d send that player off is literally the biggest scandal in refereeing we’ve seen in Scotland for years.
It’s absolutely, 100% blatant bias in favour of the home side or of keeping 11 men on the pitch for either side.
To hell with the rules of the game, that Cancar deserved to be sent off, Robertson decided that would not be prudent and told Livi to take him off.
In short, Robertson was assistant managing Livi.
This is literally unprecedented.
Does this bring his integrity into question? Yes, it does.
Some might argue he was just trying to ‘apply common sense’ and Lord knows we praise refs who do this when the game benefits from it as a whole.
But this wasn’t that. This was not common sense – this was inexplicable.
But I guess David Martindale will just have to accept a new assistant manager whether he likes it or not.