Hearts boss Craig Levein hopes referees meeting can resolve conflict

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Hearts manager Craig Levein hopes a forthcoming meeting between managers and referees can resolve conflict and lead to a better understanding

Criticism of Scotland’s officials takes place almost on a weekly basis, while many managers are frustrated that their complaints often fall on deaf ears at the Scottish Football Association.

Craig Levein received a ban for criticising referee Bobby Madden. Picture: SNS.

Craig Levein received a ban for criticising referee Bobby Madden. Picture: SNS.

The situation peaked last week when referee John Beaton called in Police Scotland because of threats, coupled with Celtic releasing a statement questioning why there was no retrospective action taken against Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos following the match Beaton refereed between the Glasgow clubs in December.

The SFA decided to act by calling a meeting to restore harmony. Levein himself has just received an immediate one-game touchline ban plus one suspended for criticising Bobby Madden, but is willing to get round the table with officials.

He attended a disciplinary hearing at Hampden Park on Monday when his punishment was issued. “I’m disappointed with the outcome. There are a couple of meetings coming up shortly so I want to see what happens,” he stated.

“I’m not supposed to talk about it. There’s an attempt to have a meeting to talk about things, which I think is a good thing. I don’t know when it is but that’s a positive thing for me.

“There has to be something better. The stuff that’s going on with John Beaton is a nonsense. It’s not just about one thing. I hope it’s not. I hope it’s about concerns on both sides.”

A separate meeting to discuss introducing Video Assistant Referees in Scotland is also to be held soon. “It’s different to that but I really don’t know enough about it,” commented Levein. “I feel there is a genuine attempt to bring the managers and the referees together and come up with something that suits everyone.”