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Scottish referees could go on strike again

Craig Thomson took charge of Rangers v Hearts at Ibrox on Sunday. Picture: SNS

Craig Thomson took charge of Rangers v Hearts at Ibrox on Sunday. Picture: SNS

SCOTTISH football referees could go on strike for the second time in four years if demands for increased wages when officiating Championship matches are not met.

The referees believe it to be unfair that a marquee match between any two of Rangers, Hibs or Hearts only earns the standard second tier fee of £195, while a contest between two relatively smaller clubs in the Premiership would earn them £840.

Since neither of those two SPFL divisions has a sponsor, there is a reluctance to hand out any pay rises. Instead, the SPFL are proposing what they believe to be a fairer distribution of the monies, where Hibernian v Hearts would earn significantly more than St Johnstone v Inverness, for example.

However, the referees are not happy with those proposals and discussions between Scottish Senior Football Association chairman James Bee and the Hampden authorities have broken down, though they are due to meet again later this week before any strike action would be voted on by the union.

In November 2010, the Scottish referees decided to strike amid concerns they were not receiving adequate protection from the SFA against criticism from players, coaches, fans and the media. Replacement officials from other countries were brought in until the strike ended.

 

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