Kurtis Guthrie launches astonishing rant at 'arrogant' referee and claims decisions always go with bigger teams after latest VAR row

Livingston striker Guthrie says officials are not interested when they are spoken to by players

Livingston’s Kurtis Guthrie has accused referees of siding with the bigger teams as he launched an astonishing attack on referee Grant Irvine in the wake of defeat to Hibs on Saturday.

The loss – the West Lothian side’s sixth successive on Premiership duty – leaves them five points adrift at the foot of the table. But the aggrieved forward was fuming that the officials and VAR denied the home side the opportunity to take at least a point from proceedings.

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The Englishman went down after a first-half coming together with Joe Newell and was adamant that he deserved a spot kick but the match referee and his VAR equivalent disagreed, leaving Guthrie frustrated. "It was 100 percent a penalty,” he said, “vut when you're the little club playing the big club and the run is going against you, you just don't get them. There's nothing you can do, it's just the way it goes up here.”

Referee Grant Irvine checks VAR during the match between Livingston and Hibs.Referee Grant Irvine checks VAR during the match between Livingston and Hibs.
Referee Grant Irvine checks VAR during the match between Livingston and Hibs.

Following on from a controversial penalty that was given, against Livingston, when they faced Rangers last month, Guthrie said it was another example of decisions being weighted. “The ref gave a foul against me,” Guthrie continued. “And when I asked him if he'd at least have a look back at it, he just said no. It's a waste of time. They want you to speak to them but then when you try to they're not interested. People like that are just too arrogant.

“What's the point in having the technology and not looking at it? They are the ones you have got to have a look at. In the position we are in, surely they understand the context that we're fighting for points. I can't understand it at all. The bigger teams get the decisions against the smaller teams and you see it all the time up here. At this point now, I'm not even surprised."

According to his manager Davd Martindale, the officials said that they believed it was Guthrie who had initiated the contact, which is why they rejected appeals but the 30-year-old questioned that explanation. “If I'm taking the ball in, I'm protecting the ball,” said Guthrie. “If my leg is planted and someone comes through my standing leg, how is that initiating contact? Are you not meant to protect the football? That's what the game is all about, getting your body in a good position so they have to go through you to get to the ball. Then you get nothing for it. But, [complaining] is a waste of time. People fob you off, someone will give a pathetic excuse and then it moves on."

But, with so much at stake as the side attempt to escape automatic relegation, Guthrie admits that the controversial calls are becoming harder to accept. “Any moment like that is crucial in the game,” he added. “Points are points and everyone's fighting for them, but we just need them a bit more right now. That can give you a boost and change the course you're on. When they don't take the opportunity to even look at it, it's just ridiculous. We want to go into the new year picking up points. I know we got beat and it's a kick in the you know whats but I feel there are positives there. On another day, you get that pen and get something out of it.”