FULL-TIME REFS? LEGEND DISAGREES

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BRENDAN RODGERS made a plea to the SFA for full-time referees in the aftermath of the Alfredo Morelos fall-out from last month’s derby encounter at Ibrox, as CQN reported last week.

The Celtic boss and a majority of top-flight managers appeared at the crucial talks in Perth for a summit meeting in an effort to get clarification on the rules after a particularly mystifying performance from match official John Beaton in Govan.

The whistler admitted he witnessed three separate incidents involving in the controversial Colombian striker and three Hoops players, Scott Brown, Ryan Christie and Anthony Ralston, but deemed no action was required on any of the occasions.

No retrospective action could be taken against Morelos in light of the ref’s declaration.

Rodgers believes changes must be made, but ex-Parkhead gaffer Davie Hay doesn’t necessarily agree with the Irishman.

The club legend, who has managed and played for the team, said: “I don’t care whether referees are full-time or whether they are part-time. It would just be nice to have GOOD referees.

“I think all you want is a little bit of consistency and a bit of commonsense being allowed to prevail.

“We have seen some pretty dreadful decisions this season, but the problem is that it is not isolated to a short burst of poor calls.

“In my day, I always felt that it was far harder to get a decision if you were a Celtic player. Nowadays I don’t think that so much purely because there is far greater transparency with countless television angles and cameras while the use of VAR seems to be more likely up here, too.”

Seventy-year-old Hay, who is now a club ambassador, added: “But you have to say that there have been some odd decisions.

“I remember years ago saying that when it came to games between Celtic and Rangers we should have someone coming up from England to take charge of them. Which, in hindsight, would never have worked either.

“Someone would have produced a photo of the whistler’s Scottish granny wearing a Celtic scarf or an uncle at a Rangers game and it would just have gone on and on.

“I do think there is substance in believing there were deliberate decisions that went against Celtic historically.

“I don’t think the same applies now, but I did have a chuckle to myself when I saw those pictures of John Beaton in the Crown pub in Bellshill – if, of course, that is where he was.

“Funnily enough, I thought he had an alright game at Ibrox. The incidents with Alfredo Morelos obviously overshadowed all of that, but if commonsense had been imparted in its aftermath then it wouldn’t have been the stooshie that it became.”

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