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Ross County manager says smaller clubs get nothing from referees


By Andrew Henderson

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Ross County boss John Hughes has echoed Brian Rice’s frustrations over refereeing decisions in the Scottish Premiership.

Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. St.Mirren(1) v Ross County(0). 27.02.21. Still complaining after the penalty award - Ross County's Alex Iacovitti and Leo Hjelde with referee Greg Aitken.
Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. St.Mirren(1) v Ross County(0). 27.02.21. Still complaining after the penalty award - Ross County's Alex Iacovitti and Leo Hjelde with referee Greg Aitken.

Hamilton Academical manager Rice, formerly Hughes’ assistant at Falkirk, Hibernian and Inverness, caught headlines last weekend for venting his anger after the Accies’ defeat to St Mirren.

It is not a new subject for Hughes either, who previously spoke of the need to help officials after controversial penalty decisions went against them away at St Mirren and at home against Hibs, so the Scottish Cup winner can empathise.

“We could be sitting with a few more points because I think we have had a couple of horrendous refereeing decisions,” the Staggies manager reasoned.

“I heard Brian Rice the other day and I was laughing. I stand by him, but try being Ross County manager.

“With the penalty against Hibs, you are having a laugh. The penalty against St Mirren, with Greg Aitken, you are having a laugh. They were absolutely horrendous decisions.

“I was laughing at that because I know what you are going through Brian.

“I feel your pain but ours is worse than yours. We never get a penalty but there have been plenty against us.

“Although I am laughing at it, I am in it with him. Everything Brian is saying, he is saying for me as well. Everything he says I agree with.

“I agree small clubs get nothing. We get absolutely nothing.”

Possibly the most frustrating thing about the decisions for Hughes is the lack of repercussions stemming from those mistakes.

“If those penalties had gone against Hibs in an Old Firm game there would have been an outcry,” he said.

“You talk about the quality and we are all the same and that is where I think Brian is coming from.

“We just need to take it on the chin and get on with it but that is a problem in Scottish football– something has to be done about it, there has to be accountability.”


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