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New refs 'no worse' - MacPherson

By John Barnes

St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson chats to fourth official Steve Nicholls
MacPherson is often seen in conversation with match officials

St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson says referee performances are no worse this season compared to previous years.

Motherwell boss Jim Gannon has spoken out about the low quality of officials in the Scottish Premier League.

Dundee United's Craig Levein and Csaba Laszlo of Hearts have also berated recent refereeing performances.

"I don't see the referees being poorer this season," said MacPherson. "There's a different, younger crop who seem to be criticised week-in, week-out."

The Buddies boss has spoken out previously about refereeing performances, but he feels his concerns have fallen on deaf ears. However, he hopes that Hugh Dallas, head of referees development at the Scottish FA, takes the present concerns on board.

"There are different periods in your career when you're more vocal than at other times," insisted MacPherson.

"I would say to Jim (Gannon). I've been there, seen it, done it, but it hasn't got us anywhere.

"I haven't spoken to him but, having read some of the things he's said, I have suggested them in the past.

"For example having more communication on a more regular basis rather than just one meeting a year between the managers, coaches, club captains and referees. I suggested that a couple of years back but nothing changed.

"One meeting prior to a season starting doesn't solve any problems that may arise throughout a season. I still have that belief. But that was just the St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson saying that two or three seasons ago .

"I now see other manager suggesting that, so it may change but we'll just have to wait and see.

"It depends how Hugh Dallas looks upon it."

Early in the season, MacPherson voiced his concerns about the number of inexperienced referees being allocated to St Mirren matches.

He said he had no objection to callow officials but wanted them allocated equally to all teams in the top flight.

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see also
Hearts seek ref answers from SFA
10 Dec 09 |  Hearts
Gannon eyes league table for refs
03 Dec 09 |  Motherwell
Gannon hits back at chief of refs
02 Dec 09 |  Motherwell
Buddies boss hits back at Dougal
28 Oct 09 |  St Mirren
Referee concerns for Buddies boss
17 Sep 09 |  St Mirren

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