Rangers manager Graeme Murty believes that until referees in Scotland are professional then there will continue to be rows like the one that saw Hibs boss Neil Lennon sent to the stands at the weekend after a touchline mental due to a controversial penalty was awarded against his side.
Lennon was sent off after abusive behaviour towards referee Kevin Clancy before blasting the official after the full-time whistle as his side dropped two points in their draw with Killie after being 2-0 in front.
The Celtic icon has a lengthy rap-sheet after a series of rows with officials in Scotland – even causing them to go on strike – and was furious with Clancy’s display at Rugby Park.
Murty believes that until officials don’t need to work a day job before taking charge of games then nothing will change.
“Until we have a professional core of referees in Scotland, who are training every day with financial backing commensurate to the task, they will find it difficult to reach the standards of the Premier League in England,” Murty said, as quoted by Radio Clyde’s website.
“That’s nothing to do with their own desires or their wants – it’s to do with the reality of being professional and getting paid to do a job.
“It’s exactly the same as professional footballers playing at the top level with all the facilities behind him as opposed to a part-time footballer having to do a day job then going to play on the weekend.
“Unless we get to that level we will continue having this conversation.”
Scottish officials are self-employed contractors in comparison with their elite English counterparts who can earn up to £70,000 per year as a top-flight official.
Lennon has only just come to the end of a two-match suspended ban after an altercation with Morton boss Jim Duffy last season.
Lennon’s Hibs have been on the end of some ridiculous refereeing decisions this season such as the red-card issued to Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack when the two sides met at Ibrox earlier this season.