SCOTTISH football is on the brink of a sensational refereeing revolution.
Plans to draft in foreign match officials to the country’s top flight for the start of next season are to be tabled on the back of a secret summit between the SFA and Premiership clubs.
Reports indicate the governing body have agreed to consider a historic overhaul of their own disciplinary rule book after talks with all 12 of the top-flight sides at Hampden on Monday.
At the conclusion of discussions, which were described as heated. chief executive Ian Maxwell, compliance officer Clare Whyte and refs’ chief John Fleming, the clubs were given a mandate to draw up a dossier of demands they want rubber-stamped before new season’s kick-off.
NO ACTION TAKEN…Alfredo Morelos catches Scott Brown in a tender area.
That is set to include a call to hire referees from other countries – a motion which is being driven by Celtic, but which is believed to be gaining support from other clubs.
A working group made up of a number of Premiership clubs will now be set up with a view to addressing the current standard of refereeing as well as the controversial judicial review process which has caused widespread unrest since Whyte’s appointment during this campaign.
It is understood the champions are keen to play a major role in drawing up the recommendations and that they are behind a proposal to recruit officials from other countries, including England, Wales and Ireland.
Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers has already mentioned the possibility when he called for Scotland’s pool of elite whistlers to be supplemented by referees from outwith the country – and club ambassador Tom Boyd, the team’s former skipper, went even further, sparking condemnation by calling for “neutral” officials to be shipped in from abroad.
During the whistlers’ strike in November 2010, the SFA sourced replacement officials from Israel, Luxemburg and Malta.
NO ACTION TAKEN…Morelos lands on grounded Celtic defender Anthony Ralston.
It is also understood the Premierships clubs plan a further round of discussions in the next two or three days as they urgently seek to set their working group in motion.
There have been several controversial situations this season and John Beaton was in the spotlight following his handling of Celtic’s loss at Ibrox in December.
The referee failed to take action against striker Alfredo Morelos who had been involved in THREE flashpoint incidents with visiting players Scott Brown, Ryan Christie and Anthony Ralston.
The most explosive incident concerned the young right-back who appeared to be stamped on by the Colombian while he lay on the ground.
Beaton ignored the actions of the fiery frontman who has been red-carded FOUR times this term, but TV pictures highlighted the incident.