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Refs in Scotland going full-time would drive up standards: Murty


By Andy Newport

Rangers boss Graeme Murty believes Scottish referees need to go full-time if the standard of their officiating is to improve.

The performances of whistlers north of the border has come into sharp focus once again following Neil Lennon's furious bust-up with Kevin Clancy on Saturday.

The Hibernian boss was sent to the stand after angrily remonstrating with the official following his decision to hand Kilmarnock a disputed penalty during the 2-2 draw at Rugby Park.

Unlike Premier League referees in England, who earn up to £70,000-a-year on full professional contracts, Scottish officials currently work as self-employed contractors who are paid on a game-by-game basis.

But Murty says the only way to drive up their displays is to copy the lead taken by top-flight chiefs down south.

"Until we have a professional core of referees in Scotland, who are training every day with financial backing commensurate to the task, they will find it difficult to reach the standards of the Premier League in England," said the Ibrox boss. "That's nothing to do with their own desires or their wants - it's to do with the reality of being professional and getting paid to do a job.

"It's exactly the same as professional footballers playing at the top level with all the facilities behind him as opposed to a part-time footballer having to do a day job then going to play on the weekend.

"Unless we get to that level we will continue having this conversation."

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers admits he can sympathise with his compatriot following a "catalogue" of calls which have gone against the Easter Road side.

The Ulsterman said: "I have seen strange decisions. The guys are doing the best they can, but some of it I can understand where Neil would come from.

"We have to try to help the referees and improve the standards of everything."

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