Kenny Clark has made an astonishing – and dangerous – intervention in the row over whether or not Scottish football should adopt similar rules as in England, where referees have to declare a footballing allegiance, so that they might be removed from games where an inherent bias undermines their performance or let’s others call it into question.
Kenny Clark is no stranger to controversy, but he hasn’t always been on the wrong side of it.
Back in the sands of time he blamed Celtic for the refereeing strike – a quite risible suggestion – but he has also been hypercritical of the SFA at times, such as over the Shame Game hearings which cleared Bougherra, McCoist and Diouf on serious misconduct charges.
Today’s comments are ridiculous though.
Clark seems to believe, as many others do, that putting in place measures to ensure our game is clean somehow makes it the opposite.
“If the SFA were to start deciding appointments on the basis of the PGMOL criteria then it would become virtually impossible to avoid some kind of perceived problem,” he said. “Once we send out a signal that we’re not sure about the integrity of our officials then, I’m sorry, it’s the road to ruin.”
What absolute cobblers that is.
This is one of the reasons we never get proper reform at the SFA; too many people live in a wee bubble, thinking that any criticism or scrutiny itself implies corruption.
If there is an earthly reason not to do this;I have yet to hear someone put it forward.
When someone like Walter Smith can sit in front of the media and say that bitterness and hate are motivating factors for fans and for players, how can it be alright for, say, a Sevco fan to referee a match involving Celtic or his club?
Even with the best will in the world, you can’t be wholly neutral with that sort of atmosphere swirling around, and Scottish football, because of the Victim and Survival Myth’s, is going to have to live with that kind of stuff for a long, long time to come.
Perhaps he means there wouldn’t be enough top class officials to take control over the club’s games if these rules were put in place; that begs the question of why there are so many potentially conflicted supporters of one or two clubs in the refereeing ranks.
When you look at the standards they are incredibly poor (if we’re being generous.)
Are we to believe that we really do have the cream at the top here?
Or is something else going on?
Let’s face it, a lot of supporters throughout Scotland are already convinced that at least some of our refs are biased or bent. These regulations will do more to dissuade them of that concern than anything else the SFA can do. It doesn’t cast aspersions on anyone’s honesty.
Quite the opposite.
It maintains the overall integrity of our sport without making broad, sweeping assumptions.
It treats everyone equally for a start.
It assumes nothing about any specific individual, but acts to protect fans and officials alike.
A suspicious mind might wonder what these people were so scared of us finding out.
That three quarters of the Grade 1 officials in our country are Sevco fans?
This is nothing we’ve not long suspected. It wouldn’t lead to riots in the streets.
What it would do is ensure that none of them were allowed to manage games involving the club.
I don’t think that’s unreasonable, do you?
The SFA and the Scottish refereeing community thinks it is.
We are not wrong to wonder why.