Rangers hero tells Aberdeen boss to sort players out - 'Barry Robson had way of just falling over'

Brown believes penalty call was correct and that cup final may be behind Dons comments

John Brown believes Aberdeen manager Barry Robson had a nerve to complain about the late penalty award against Rangers that deprived the Pittodrie side a win on Sunday.

Stefan Gartenmann tugged Connor Goldson’s shirt in injury time and although it was missed by referee Nick Walsh at the time, a VAR check led to a review. James Tavernier made it 1-1 from the spot in the third minute of injury time. Robson suggested it was the obligatory late VAR decision in Rangers’ favour and added that it was a “not a good look” the way the Ibrox side are able to profit from such awards, with a similar incident leading to a penalty against Hearts last month. But former Rangers defender Brown refused to accept Robson’s insinuation that there was something dishonest in the implementation of VAR at such critical moments.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Speaking at the launch of former Rangers chairman David Holmes’ book, One Voice, at Ibrox, Brown said: “I hear everyone talking about VAR. Barry Robson was a youth player that I had – and he had a way of just falling over without any contact ...

John Brown feels the referee got it right at Pittodrie.John Brown feels the referee got it right at Pittodrie.
John Brown feels the referee got it right at Pittodrie.

“To criticise a referee ... it’s a hard enough job for referees now, especially with VAR. You need to give them a bit of space. But when I can see a jersey getting pulled in the box, that’s a penalty kick. There is no other way. He needs to sort his players out and tell them they can block a run or get up against a man in the box but you can’t pull a jersey. You can’t have that type of contact.

“For me, it’s a penalty. There’s too much getting made of these VAR issues. VAR’s fine. It’s the guys in the control room that need to understand it.”

Brown claimed it was just Robson seeking to divert attention from himself in what has been a poor run of results for Aberdeen, who lost 6-0 against Celtic before the international break. He also believes it is an attempt at pre-Viaplay Cup final mind games. Aberdeen meet Rangers again at Hampden next month. “He knows he’s got a cup final coming up and he thinks if he can get that out there, they maybe get a decision or Rangers maybe don’t get a decision,” he said. “But if it’s a clear tug of the jersey it’s a penalty kick.”

Brown also made a novel suggestion – get Hugh Dallas involved. The former referee’s son, Andrew, was head of the VAR team that advised Walsh to take a second look at the Gartenmann shirt tug incident. Dallas Snr left the head of refereeing role at the Scottish Football Association in 2010 and is currently a Uefa referee officer. “I remember speaking to Hugh Dallas a couple of years ago and his comment to me was that officials don’t know how to work VAR,” said Brown. “He said they hadn’t been trained. It was like they were going through a manual with it. Maybe if you the advice of a referee who was well respected in Europe and in Scotland, too, maybe that would help.”

Related topics: