Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke surveyed another weekend of officiating controversy in Scottish football and called for consistency.
Clarke had claimed referee Steven McLean had “no control of the game” on Friday night as his side lost 2-1 at home to Hearts. However, the four penalties Rangers were awarded by Andrew Dallas in the 4-0 win over St Mirren at Ibrox – Rangers manager Steven Gerrard thought his side could have had a fifth – led to much more analysis and criticism.
The most disputable of the four spot-kicks was given when striker Jermain Defoe went down easily inside the box as Buddies defender Paul McGinn closed in.
Clarke also noted that referee Willie Collum booked winger James Forrest for going into the crowd to celebrate his goal against St Johnstone on Sunday, with Celtic team-mate Timothy Weah escaping a caution for doing the same thing following his clinching goal in the 2-0 win.
Sitting in the Rugby Park media room ahead of the game against Dundee at Dens Park tomorrow night, Clarke said: “You sit here after a weekend where everybody talks about referees, consistency of refereeing.
“One player runs to the crowd yesterday to celebrate a goal and gets a yellow card. One player runs to the crowd to celebrate a goal and doesn’t get a yellow card. Five penalty decisions in one game, one correct, four wrong. There was an offside decision in our game on Friday night. Insignificant.
“It wasn’t in a dangerous position, it was offside, given by the east stand linesman. Three metres onside. The length of this desk and more.
“Has he been pulled up about it, has he been shown it? Has he been told he was wrong? Probably not. Probably doesn’t know it’s a mistake. It has to be sorted. It would be nice to see people in authority start to address the situation.”
Asked if he was becoming increasingly exasperated, the former West Brom boss said: “Increasingly disappointed that nothing has been done to address it. Nothing.
“One of our players [Jordan Jones] was suspended for two games earlier in the season for going to ground too easily.
“There was a media furore. A witch hunt against the player. Nothing on the same scale from Saturday’s game, Rangers versus St Mirren.
“Hopefully the compliance officer [Clare Whyte] will do her job. It doesn’t affect us, I am not particularly advocating [a sanction], but I just want consistency. So if our player gets a two-game ban, I look forward to seeing what happens this week.”
Dundee lost a late goal in a 1-1 draw to fellow strugglers Hamilton on Saturday but Clarke was impressed by Jim McIntyre’s much-changed team. He said: “I thought they were good considering it was the first time they had really played together.
“So we go there and expect a tough game.”