By Keith Hackett

13th Jun, 2022 | 4:59pm

Ex-Premier League referee issues Celtic and Rangers claim after 'shock' Bobby Madden development

Bobby Madden makes games between Celtic and Rangers “look easy” and Uefa will be “shocked” he has stepped down from international refereeing.

That is the view of ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Madden confirmed he had stepped down as a Uefa official.

He revealed via Instagram last week (10 June) that he had ended his international career after over 12 years.

The 43-year-old officiated his final international game the day before the announcement (9 June) as Estonia beat Malta 2-1 in the Nations League.

“I rate Bobby Madden as a referee,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“I think he’s done really, really well for Uefa and you can tell that by how many games he’s had, over 100 in 51 countries. He’s a really safe pair of hands who Uefa trust so it will come as a bit of a shock to Uefa.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Maybe there is a tinge of disappointment that he wasn’t considered for the World Cup. There may also be that other pressure, and I faced it, and that is I don’t think he’s full-time with the Scottish FA.

“I found increasingly in my career that getting time off work to do games became a real problem. I once did to Stuttgart against Feyenoord and had a board meeting the next day and was told I would get fired if I missed it. I had to charter a private jet out of my own pocket.

“These are the pressures on referees. In addition, there is pressure on the family. It’s all-consuming being a referee.

“I respect fully what he’s done. The Scottish FA need to look at this, the pressure on international referees is enormous therefore they have to go full-time.

“He’s a very experienced official. We’ve seen him make Old Firm games with Celtic and Rangers look easy because of his personality. This is why I like Scottish referees, they are not robots, the’ve all got personality.”

In other news, Rangers have been tipped to sign the next Joe Hart after an update.