Rangers: Stewart Robertson says SFA disciplinary system needs addressing

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Scottish football is "re-refereeing" games under the current disciplinary system, says Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson.

Top-flight clubs met on Monday afternoon with the SPFL, officials and compliance officer Clare Whyte.

A summit also took place last month between referees and clubs after recent incidents.

"This season it certainly feels like [games are being re-refereed]," Robertson told Rangers TV.

"That is placing intolerable pressure on the referees which places pressure on the compliance system and disciplinary system."

Whyte took over as compliance officer from Tony McGlennan in August to become the third person to hold the post.

The duty of the role is to oversee the judicial and disciplinary process at the Scottish FA, and Robertson believes there has been a shift in interpretation in terms of retrospective action this campaign.

"Clare came in at the start of the season and there's no doubt things have been dealt with differently this year," he said.

"There is much more inconsistency. It also feels as though the incidents that are highlighted at the weekend are the incidents that are picked up by the compliance officer on a Monday.

"We could go back to the interpretation of the rules we had last season, where it was violent conduct and off-the-ball incidents in-essence that were being re-reviewed.

"That way, you are not going back to every incident and re-refereeing and examining it in minute detail. You're not having television pundits effectively setting the agenda of what should be reviewed.

"I've heard the expression 'trial by TV' or 'trial by Sportscene' and that certainly seems the way it's going."

There has been a groundswell of support for the introduction of Video Assistant Referees in Scotland.

At the summit last month, chief executive Ian Maxwell said there was now "a real appetite to investigate VAR" on the back of increased criticism of referees and officials this season.

It is a motion backed by Robertson, who said: "It is the direction of travel in football and we need to be looking at it seriously to give the referees all the assistance we can."

The Scottish FA have declined to comment.

Clare Whyte
Scottish FA compliance officer Clare Whyte at last month's summit in Perth

BBC respond to Robertson criticism

Meanwhile, BBC Scotland have insisted their coverage is "editorially fair" after Robertson claimed the broadcaster "vilified" striker Alfredo Morelos.

Robertson said an "inordinate amount of time" was spent examining incidents involving the Colombian in December's win over Celtic and that highlights show Sportscene was influencing decisions made by the compliance officer.

He also suggested that the club were being "treated differently" after the BBC asked in December to alter their stance of not reporting from Ibrox by instead covering matches at Rangers' ground without interviewing any players or manager Steven Gerrard.

However, in a statement BBC Scotland reiterated that the long-running dispute was over the ongoing ban of a particular journalist from Ibrox.

"We have offered to return to Ibrox to provide commentary, as per our contracted rights, while we try to find a permanent solution to the overall dispute, but Rangers have said this is unacceptable," the statement read.

"We will continue to speak to both Rangers and the SPFL about the situation as we believe it's in the best interest of our audiences to restore the ability to bring commentaries from all SPFL grounds."

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