Referees rage at yet more targeted abuse from SPL managers

Referees rage at yet more targeted abuse from SPL managers
DUNDEE, SCOTLAND - MAY 11: Referee, Nick Walsh arrives at the stadium after being refused entry prior to dthe Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Dundee United and Celtic at Tannadice Park on May 11, 2022 in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As much as we don’t want to be talking about referees, as much as we’ve harped on about how much we hate talking about referees, the SSFRA’s (Scottish Senior Football Referees’ Association) statement recently is hard to disagree with, and calls out the nonsense from managers, especially Brendan Rodgers, who clearly went too far with what he said.

They said they were:

“extremely disappointed and concerned by another weekend of targeted and personalised criticism of its members. It has become too easy throughout the course of this season for managers and clubs to turn the focus – and resultant fan ire – on to match officials, often to deflect from team performance and results. We fully appreciate the importance of matches, especially now as we head into the defining period of the season for the destiny of the championship, European and top-six places, as well as relegation and play-off matters.

“Nonetheless, match officials should be able to carry out their duties without fear of them impacting their personal lives, their personal safety and the safety and security of their families. It is regrettable that criticism, which we generally accept is a part of the game for players and coaches as well as referees, has become much more frequent, disproportionate, and personalised towards our members. Everyone involved in Scottish football has a responsibility to behave professionally and respectfully and to understand the consequences of their actions.”

In short, Rodgers called out incompetence, and while he’s not strictly wrong (we gather one or two of the penalties in their match were farces and the red card was questionable) the more people like him use that kind of combustible language, the harder they make it for referees in the first place.

It’s true that Rangers’ actions regarding Willie Collum were not a lot better, but the fact is now Celtic and their cohorts are outright abusing refs because they didn’t get the result they wanted.

And when it gets to people fearing for their safety and that of their family you know it’s going a bit far.

This is not like England – yes, there’s a tonne of pressure, including on refs, but they do not have the goldfish bowl of Glasgow anywhere down south.

There are no two teams of the same city fighting for the title season-in-season-out and with the level of must-win and intensity we have in Glasgow, and that makes it harder when a Celtic manager rages in fury after a match.

Clement has done it too, in the sense he’s questioned things, but he’s always tried to offer olive branches and be as kind as he could in the process of doing so.

With referees offering this statement, clearly one of these men took it too far.

Always cheated never defeated?

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