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Gagging managers not the answer - Colin Calderwood


Bosses have right to speak - Calderwood

Hibs boss Colin Calderwood supports clearer guidelines on the criticism of referees but insists managers have a right to voice their opinions.

"There's got to be a certain amount of control and legislation about what people say about referees," he said.

"There has been a question about a referee's performance after every game that I've been involved in so far.

"But we're answering questions put to us. I think it's a talking point that should be aired and viewed."

Scotland's leading match officials have reaffirmed their decision to withdraw their labour this weekend as they seek a "fundamental reappraisal" of their "relationship with football and society".

However, the Scottish Football Association is seeking foreign officials in order to fulfil this weekend's fixtures and says all six Scottish Premier League games and the ALBA Challenge Cup final will go ahead.

People up in Scotland have got to get a grip of themselves and stop slaughtering referees every week

Alex McLeish
Birmingham manager

And Calderwood fully anticipates Hibs' home match with St Johnstone will proceed on Saturday.

"The games will go ahead - I think that's clear in our mind and we've prepared that way," he said.

"It would be wrong not to have the games. I expect them to take place. Whoever referees it, I'm sure they'll be of the right standard."

Calderwood hopes a long-term solution can be found and admits he has been impressed by the "solidarity" shown by referees over the impending strike.

"We've got to have some progress from what's happening," said the former Scotland defender.

I get on well with refs - Stevenson

"We need referees and they administer the laws of the game as best they can - we all better adhere to them.

Calderwood believes officials are right to express their grievances in such a way, adding: "What else can they do? I would imagine they've got to go through the power brokers of football and set down what they think is right and wrong.

"I think it's quite a good thing that they've all come together and shown solidarity.

"It really does bring it into focus that they are required come the weekend."

Calderwood, who was installed at Easter Road last month, has had no complaints over refereeing in his short tenure.

"I haven't had a bad performance yet," he said. "But criticism is part and parcel of being in the football game.

Referees have a very tough job. For 90 minutes every Saturday they are getting absolute dog's abuse

Ryan Stevenson
Hearts midfielder

"Their complaint is the actions by the people involved - I think that can be addressed."

Alex McLeish, a former manager at Hibernian, believes criticism of officials has to be toned down.

"It is pretty sad that it has come to this," said the Birmingham boss, who also had spells in charge at Motherwell and Rangers. "The Scottish refs deserve better, deserve better treatment.

"People up in Scotland have got to get a grip of themselves and stop slaughtering them every week.

"I know referees have been hammered since time began and it will continue until time ends.

"But we should know when to draw a line - and we've gone over that line."

Meanwhile, Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson thinks it is terrible for referees' integrity to be questioned and has a great deal of sympathy for match officials.

"Referees have a very tough job," he said. "For 90 minutes every Saturday, they are getting absolute dog's abuse.

"One set of fans are saying that's the right decision and the other set are saying it's not.

"For people to say that they are biased is a disgrace."

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see also
SPL survives referee withdrawals
27 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
STUC chief backs referees strike
23 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Scottish referee crisis explained
22 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Chick Young's view
22 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Scottish referees vote to strike
21 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier

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