John Hughes insists 'half of referees support Celtic or Rangers' as he claims smaller clubs 'get nothing'

Ross County manager John Hughes insists half of Scottish football referees support Celtic or Rangers and don’t care about smaller clubs in the country.

Hamilton Accies manager Brian Rice with his former boss, Ross County's John Hughes. Picture: SNS
Hamilton Accies manager Brian Rice with his former boss, Ross County's John Hughes. Picture: SNS

Hughes also disagreed with the notion that referees have a tough job, calling the role “easy” as he railed against the standard of officiating in the country.

The ex-Hibs boss backed up the point made by his former assistant Brian Rice after the Hamilton Accies boss bemoaned a penalty decision that went against his side during Saturday’s defeat to St Mirren in the Scottish Cup.

Hughes has been unhappy himself about decisions given against his side, particularly two similar penalty awards to their opponents in defeats to St Mirren and Hibs.

He said: “I asked the question of a certain referee about his team. I was told we don’t ask our refs which team they support because half of them wouldn’t be able to referee Rangers and Celtic — that’s the reason why!

“Going full-time would help them, but one or two referees have had a personality bypass as there is no talking to them. They put that wee uniform on and they are running about out there. They should just calm down and take a notch off their jockstrap. Part of being a referee is about having a bit of banter, your people skills and the way you conduct yourself.

“I feel I am together with Brian. Everything he is saying, he is saying for me as well. Everything he says, I agree with. I agree small clubs get absolutely nothing.

“The penalty against St Mirren, with the boy Greg Aitken, you are having a laugh. They were absolutely horrendous decisions. The one against Hibs was with John Beaton. We never get a penalty, but there have been plenty against us.

“Somebody will say, ‘Here he goes, ranting and raving’, but I am not. The proof is in the pudding and I have just highlighted two incidents. I don’t know why those decisions were given by two experienced referees. You expect better from them.

“It is easy being a referee. Just referee what you see and that is simple."

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