Glenavon official demands action on referees

Referees in the Irish League are being talked about more and more
Referees in the Irish League are being talked about more and more

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton has demanded that Irish League officials are subject to more accountability.

The former Northern Ireland international has felt aggrieved at decisions which have gone against his side in recent weeks and has called for stricter penalties on officials who aren’t performing.

“Irish League referees, at the minute, aren’t really having to answer to anyone,” he said.

“Every other person involved in football is subject to punishment if they aren’t performing - players get dropped, managers get sacked.

“In England, if a referee has a bad game, he’ll not referee a Premier League game for another two or three weeks.

“I understand that they don’t have a big pool of officials to select from but if they have a bad game then like in England, they should be put down to the league below.

“In any job, if you’re not doing it well something happens to make you buck up your ideas.

“All the managers are saying the same things as well, it’s not just me.”

Hamilton also wants the IFA to make the reports on refereeing performances available to the clubs themselves as, in the Irish League, it is the home club of a particular fixture which pays the wages of the match officials.

“At the managers’ meeting we have been saying that we want to see the assessor’s reports,” he said.

“Currently, the IFA isn’t allowing clubs to see those. In England, the referees are paid full-time by the FA but here, they are paid by the clubs.

“There is no other line of work that people pay somebody to do a job and don’t get feedback on how they’re doing.

“It would be different if the IFA were paying their wages, then it’s their responsibility but the clubs are paying them so it’s different.

“When the officials are underperforming, the clubs at least want to see a report on that rather than nothing being done.”

Back in October, when several local officials had been criticised by several managers for poor performances Irish Referee Development Officer Alan Snoddy told the News Letter there was accountability.

At the time he insisted there was “no escape” for referees and claimed that anyone who thought there was no accoutability “did not have a clue how the system worked.

Snoddy said: “There is accountability left, right and centre – there is no escape or hiding place.

“We want high standards and we are all working hard to get that.”