Hughes Makes Official Complaint
Falkirk manager John Hughes was not pleased with the SFA's decision to allocate Scott MacDonald as referee for their game against St Mirren. His mood will not have been helped when MacDonald sent off midfielder Arnau Riera for a challenge on Andy Dorman minutes before the former New England Revolution midfielder scored the only goal of the game. Saturday's game was only MacDonald's second SPL game in charge and Hughes questioned the wisdom and motives of Donald McVicar, head of referee development at the SFA, and former FIFA referee Hugh Dallas, the SFA's referee development officer, for allowing MacDonald to referee the game.
"I am not going to have a go at the referee but I will have a go at the system"
Hughes said: "I am not going to have a go at the referee but I will have a go at the system, your Donald McVicars and your Hugh Dallases and all these guys that put the referees out. Basically they are taking the mickey. We have worked very hard to get into this league of 12 and we have the same rights as everybody else. So you tell me why we are getting lumbered with rookie referees week-in, week-out. Are we getting used as a learning tool for these guys? Yes, they have to learn but that guy has had five games all season and he was flung in at the deep end today. If he is good enough to referee in the SPL, he should be good enough to referee anybody in the SPL."
Hughes may not be having a go at the referee but he was called into MacDonald's room after the game after an exchange of words at the end of the game. McVicar said that Hughes hould go through the correct channels to register his complaints and concerns rather than using the media. He said: "John Hughes has never had any dialogue with us and has never asked for any dialogue. On top of that, Falkirk did not send a representative to the pre-season meeting (with the referees). Therefore, it would be better if he addressed us rather than making his points through a third party."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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