Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke offered a wonderfully refreshing take on refereeing in Scotland.
As most of you will know by now, the Ayrshire side’s boss went on a rant about inconsistency from Scottish football’s decision-makers. This came after Rangers were awarded four penalties with several of them debatable. It also came on the same weekend one Celtic player was booked for celebrating with fans, whilst the other wasn’t.
Clarke simply seemed disappointed at the lack of clarity and consistency in refereeing standards in our country. Here’s what the Killie manager had to say in the Daily Record.
“One of our players was suspended for two games for going to ground too easily earlier in the season. There was a media furore. A witch hunt against the player.
“Nothing on the same scale from Saturday’s game, Rangers versus St Mirren. Nothing. Hopefully the compliance officer will do her job.
“It doesn’t affect us, I am nor particularly advocating but I just want consistency. So if our player gets a two-game ban, I look forward to seeing what happens this week.”
Consistency is key
This is a key reference to the Jermaine Defoe dive at Ibrox on Saturday. As Rangers hammered St Mirren 4-0, the English forward clearly threw himself to deck under no contact to win Rangers’ second penalty. It was a clear dive, and Clarke is simply demanding consistency.
Even if Steven Gerrard would rather be petulant than highlight officials’ inconsistency levels, Clarke has made a positive step here. He’s putting the lack of same treatment on a pedestal and reminding everyone of a similar incident.
Another example this season is that of kicking. Alfredo Morelos of Rangers has been getting away with petulant kicks against the likes of Aberdeen and Celtic. Generally, however, kicking opposition players is against FIFA rules, and should go down as violent conduct and a red card.
Clarke is simply doing his job here in bringing up the ridiculous inconsistency in Scotland. Be it a lack of consistency in their decision-making, or a lack of consistency in following FIFA rules – referees aren’t doing their jobs properly.
It’s now down to other managers in Scotland to highlight it too. Chris Davies didn’t appear to want to get involved when asked on Celtic TV, and that’s understandable. Brendan Rodgers, however, could certainly do with highlighting the inconsistency too.
It’s getting beyond a joke, and Clarke decided to take a stand. Now, it’s time other managers in Scotland (including Rodgers and Gerrard) did the same.