Brendan Rodgers: Celtic manager wants full-time referees

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'Full-time referees would make fewer mistakes'

Having full-time referees in Scotland would help cut down the number of mistakes made by officials, says Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.

John Beaton's performance in Rangers' win over Celtic last month was the latest to come under criticism.

Celtic want a meeting with Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell about the issue, with the governing body saying it would be happy to meet with clubs.

"They're being judged as professionals and they're not," Rodgers said.

"To improve and standardise everything, I think being full-time would certainly help. You can devote your time to it, you can analyse, you can have different relationships. It would be a starting point."

Both Aberdeen and Hearts have said they are willing to hep finance Video Assistant Referees and full-time officials, with the Scottish FA planning to meet with clubs to discuss a way forward.

Assistant referee Douglas Ross told BBC Scotland in December that making referees full-time would not stop controversy, and Rodgers acknowledged it would also be a challenge to recruit officials.

"I know it's difficult because some of these guys are probably in good jobs - they then have their money subsidised on top of that," the Celtic manager added.

"But I think it's something that really would help."

Following Celtic's defeat by Rangers, the club called on referee Beaton to be allowed to explain his decisions publicly.

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was cited for three separate incidents in the match at Ibrox, but because Beaton saw all three at the time no retrospective action could be taken.

The referee then had to be given a police escort to his next match after allegedly receiving threatening messages.

Rodgers condemned such "unacceptable" abuse and stressed the need to help officials.

"John will analyse the game himself and probably admit he didn't have the best of games," he said. "We all make mistakes. The follow up from a poor performance shouldn't mean you get a death threat.

"We can blame and we can look at VAR and everything else, but there's just been some poor decisions made."

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