Another letter to Ian Maxwell.

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Joe O'Rourke
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Another letter to Ian Maxwell.

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:54 am

I have today written to Ian Maxwell CEO of the SFA regarding the quality or rather lack of it with the match officials in Scottish Football. In recent weeks there has been incidents at almost every match. Something needs to be done to improve the situation, guys like Ian Maxwell get well paid to sort out the problem, let’s hope he has the intention and support to do just that.

Dear Ian,
Good morning, I hope you are well and settling into your role as CEO of the SFA, I accept that at times it will very challenging and stressful, but I guess you knew that before you applied for the post.
I also have a role within Scottish Football and particularly with Celtic Football Club and our supporters, and that is to help to deliver the hopes and aspiration of our supporters in the best way I can, sometimes that will be to question certain aspects of the game in Scotland.
My main concerns at the moment is the quality, or rather the lack of quality with our match officials and their supervisor. There has been many comments in the media regarding that issue from some people who play a serious role in Scottish Football. And mostly not complimentary.
We HAVE a serious problem, and mainly because the people who are involved refuse to accept that position, it’s like many other serious problems in life, the first way to rectify your problem is by actually admitting you have a problem, and then look at ways of improving the situation.
There has been suggestions of bringing in VAR, notably by Craig Levein, funnily enough he thinks Celtic should pay for it, comedy was never Craig’s strong point. Everyone knows there is a substantial cost to introducing VAR to Scottish Football, even though it would most likely be for the SPL only, but there should be other options, and some would not cost anything, if anything would bring more to the table.
My belief is that we should start by firstly acknowledging we have an issue with quality and consistency of our match officials. Once you admit that you can start to address the problem. I think a major factor is the lack of honesty and accountability, and I don’t necessary mean by officials being less than honest, I mean by admitting you got something wrong.
Something that would help greatly would be the match official giving a summary of the match after a suitable amount of time after a match has finished. Like every other job in life you have a duty to explain yourself if the circumstances call for it, if you work in a shipyard or building site and do something which affects the quality of the job, you have to explain yourself, so why shouldn’t match officials?
The way thing are at the moment, both managers and Supporters believe they are being treated with contempt by some officials, some Managers have been in trouble with the SFA because of comments made regarding the poor performance of match officials, notably Neil Lennon and Stevie Clarke, the pressure would be taken off the Manager if he knew the official would explain the rational for making certain decisions, who knows, if explained properly the Manager might actually agree instead getting into trouble.
I know there is a reluctance to implement this change, but we have to do something to improve quality and consistency. Note this, at the World Cup in Russia this year, not one official from the UK was involved, surely that tells you something isn’t right.
Kind regards,
Joe O’Rourke,
General Secretary,
Celtic Supporters Association.

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