SFA Have A Cheek Criticising SPL Managers
Every so often I see comments in the press attributed to an SFA representative called George Peat, and every time I ask myself, 'who is this guy'?
I don't mean this in the sense that I don't actually know who the man is, but more in the context of 'who does he THINK he is'? Seriously, there are so many faceless buffoons at the SFA that it really is difficult to distinguish one from the rest, and it doesn't help that every time they crawl out from under their stones to speak to the media, it's the same old party line each time.
On this occasion Peat is having a go at the various SPL managers who have had the audacity to criticise Scottish referees over the past year or so, citing that these guys are merely attempting to hide their own inadequacies by blaming others.
It definitely would be fair to say that referees are easy targets when it comes to looking for a scapegoat, as without the use of video evidence in the game (a decision that Peat & co are ultimately responsible for) there will always be some decision or another that you could pinpoint as being a bit dubious.
But for Peat to drone on about the pressure that refs are under these days being even more intense really is a bit rich. Yes they are under pressure no question, but do they get seriously punished for their mistakes? It certainly wouldn't appear so, otherwise the likes of Mike McCurry would scarcely have been seen in the game this season.
I wonder what Peat thinks would happen to the likes of Csaba Laszlo, Craig Levein or Walter Smith if they made as many consecutive and glaring errors as the likes of McCurry in recent years? Does he seriously think that they'd still be in a job?
For managers every major decision that goes against them counts against their livelihoods, and although it could be argued that many of these guys are very well off and don't really need the money anyway, well, that's not really the point here. The fact is that managers are accountable for their errors but referees do not appear to be, and that is the crucial difference here.
Perhaps if referees were encouraged to be a little more approachable both during and after matches then we wouldn't have the apparently poor relations that exist between clubs and officials these days. Years ago no matter how many mistakes that refs generally made, relations were far better on the field of play because they treated the players like human beings i.e. they had a laugh and joke with them, and even heated arguments that didn't always end up in cards being dished out all over the place. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this, but unfortunately when the likes of Hugh Dallas arrived in Scottish football, things took a serious turn for the worse. And who is calling many of the shots these days in the world of refereeing? That's right - Hugh Dallas - perhaps therein lies the real problem.
As for George Peat, instead of criticising people who are merely speaking out against incompetence that has nearly (or actually in some cases) cost them their jobs in the past, why doesn't he instead concentrate his efforts on attempting to introduce something to our game that would actually be of benefit for a change? Like TV evidence for goal-line and penalty area decisions for example. This would at least go some way to taking the weekly sense of injustice that many managers have to go through, and perhaps set us on a path whereby match officials and football clubs can once again start to work as a team.
Until something like this happens, then I'm afraid that things are only going to go one way on this matter....