Jim Goodwin makes Celtic referee demand

By Hamish Carton

September 26, 2019

St. Mirren boss Jim Goodwin has called on the SFA to be fairer with their referee appointments.

The Irishman is unhappy that his Buddies side commonly get rookie refs while bigger matches, featuring the likes of Celtic, Rangers and Hearts get tried and tested officials.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Former Celt Goodwin told the Daily Record: “I would be interested to see how many experienced referees do the so-called bigger games involving Celtic, Rangers or the Edinburgh derby as opposed to matches involving ourselves, Ross County, Hamilton or Livingston.

“I would like to see it balance itself out and everyone gets an experienced referee one week and then one less experienced the following week.”

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Goodwin should realise that Celtic games carry further pressure

Goodwin’s point is a valid one and it does seem a little unfair on the league’s smaller sides that they are effectively used as guinea pigs for aspiring officials.

However, there is a reason for that. Games featuring Celtic and Rangers generate an interest that smaller teams simply don’t. Every decision is scrutinised in those big matches, especially if they have a baring on the game.

You only have to look at some of the well documented refereeing stories that have emerged in the aftermath of recent derby matches. High profile referees have come in for vast criticism following big mistakes, with some of the feedback turning into personal abuse.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

To put a young, inexperienced referee into that atmosphere would be a bad mistake.

Plus, by leaving the system the way it is, you’re only incentivising referees to be as good as they can be so they get to ref the big games. Refs always talk about how many cup finals or derby matches they’ve officiated. It’s like a badge of honour for them.

Taking away the merit factor and just dishing out random games to officials would end that chat.