Date: 20th February 2007 at 5:40pm
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Are Aberdeen paranoid?

After another poor showing by Craig Thomson in an Aberdeen game statistics have been wheeled that suggest that perhaps the referee does have something against the Dons.

In the 13 games he has handled involving the Dons; he has booked 27 players in red shirts and sent off 4. This is in stark contrast to their opponents during those matches who have only been given 12 bookings and 1 red card.

Aberdeen are not a dirty side and are well placed in the fair play league table (5th best with 106 penalty points; top are Celtic with 86 and Dunfermline bottom with 220) so such a gulf in only 13 matches is perhaps not just a coincidence.

Thomson upset all involved with Aberdeen when he awarded a free kick to Celtic against Russell Anderson in a very dangerous place for a foul he insists he did not commit.

Dons boss Jimmy Calderwood seemed surprise at the statistics but they have possibly backed up what he had been thinking.

Calderwood said when told of the figures: ‘A lot of people will be amazed by those statistics. We always feel disappointed after games when he has been in charge.’

‘I hope I’m not just being a bad loser but he made it very difficult for himself with the bookings he made.

‘I don’t want to see players booked but Vennegoor of Hesselink kicked the ball away after we had Scott Severin booked for saying ‘Why is it always us?’

‘Our players were booked for silly wee things and the Celtic players didn’t see a card.’

Russell Anderson is rightly aggrieved with Thomson as despite the Celtic forwards giving him next to no bother all day his team still lost with the result hinging on one of Thomson`s dodgy decisions.

Anderson said: ‘You can’t really come out and criticise Mr Thomson’s decision because you’ll get into trouble for it.

‘But I thought it was a soft decision.

‘Considering the size of Vennegoor of Hesselink you have to ask what was going on there.

‘You have to ask refs to show some common sense and have knowledge of the game.’

North-east referees’ boss Sandy Roy who was the SFA referee supervisor at the Celtic match threw a damp cloth on the fire to put out suggestions that a referee would deliberately victimize or favour one club.

He said ‘I don’t believe referees picking on one team or another goes on.

‘My report on Craig’s performance at Pittodrie is favourable.

‘He got all four cautions right and certainly didn’t look to favour one team or the other.

‘You have to bear in mind that there is only a pool of 14 referees to handle games in the SPL.

‘It is inevitable that they are going to get certain teams on a regular basis.

‘The statistics for Craig’s games involving Aberdeen are a bit surprising.

‘But I’m sure if you were to check you would find similar things with other referees and other teams.’