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Last Updated: Monday, 11 August, 2003, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
Airdrie fury over stand-in linesman
Stand-in linesman Chic Kavanagh congratulates Morton's Derek Collins
Stand-in linesman Chic Kavanagh congratulates Morton's Derek Collins
Airdrie United have made a complaint to the SFA after an emergency linesman was plucked from the crowd during their 3-1 defeat to Morton - wearing a Morton shirt.

The incident happened when match referee David Somers twisted his ankle in the 66th minute.

Somers was replaced by an assistant referee, while Morton fan Chic Kavanagh jumped out of the crowd and took over the role as linesman.

Airdrie chairman Jim Ballantyne confirmed: "We have lodged a formal complaint citing four points. The first is that Morton's tannoy announcement specifically asked for this person and did not ask for a qualified referee.

"The second is that he was in the middle of a group of Morton supporters and jumped out of them wearing a Morton top. He ran the line in front of them and they were chanting his name.

"Thirdly, he came across the pitch and shook hands with some of the Morton players before he took up his duties on the line. And fourthly, at the end of the game, some Morton players came over and hugged him."

"Fortunately he did not have to make any decisions which had any influence on the game and Morton scored three goals while we scored one and we accept that they won the game.

The management committee's views is that it happens so infrequently that it's not best value for money
SFL secretary Peter Donald
"But can you imagine what would happen if a Celtic fan came out of the crowd to run the line in front of Rangers supporters at an Old Firm game - or the other way round. They would not put up with this and nor should we."

However, SFL secretary Peter Donald has admitted that we could see a repeat of this bizarre incident as there simply isn't enough money to pay for fourth officals at every SFL match.

He said: "Simply bringing in a fourth official isn't as straightforward as that. We already spend the best part of 300,000 on referees' fees and expenses and as we know Scottish football and the Scottish Football League in particular isn't awash with funds.

"The management committee's views, and they represent the clubs, is that it happens so infrequently that it's not best value for money."



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