JJ wants refs to be accountable

Celtic reopened the debate about referees by revealing they had a meeting with the Scottish Football Association to discuss their concerns about the standard of officiating this season.

Jefferies insisted he could not comment on other teams' problems but had a long enough list of complaints of his own both at Kilmarnock and Hearts this term.

"We get slaughtered if we don't get it right but they seem to get away with it," he said.

"Maybe it's because it's a tough job and there are not enough referees who are keen to come into it now because of all the hassle that goes on."

SFA head of referee development Hugh Dallas last week admitted he had been disappointed with the overall standard of officiating this season.

Jefferies acknowledged both Dallas and those he oversees had got extremely difficult jobs.

But the Jambos boss still believes they can do better and revealed he had brought up his concerns over "accountability" with the referees' chief.

"We have to be accountable for things, and players are," Jefferies said.

"We ask when we go to meetings about these things and we're told something (will be done).

"I've been looking out for it but I don't see it happening."

Scotland's elite referees have been in Malaga this week for warm-weather training and Jefferies joked: "I'm sure they're working hard in Spain this week to put it right."

He believes up-and-coming officials are often so afraid of making mistakes, they alienate themselves from managers.

"Every experienced referee that I've been involved with, the banter's quite good," said Jefferies, who takes his Hearts side to Aberdeen on Saturday looking to complete a hat-trick of SPL wins.

"He knows what you're like and he knows your track record, so you give him a bit of stick and he gives it back.

"It's sometimes the ones that are up-and-coming.

"They're maybe under a little bit of pressure to make sure they do the job right."

Jefferies reckons another problem is the trend of putting younger referees in charge of games at the bottom end of the SPL.

"They have to start somewhere," said Jefferies, who feels mid-table clashes may be a more suitable breeding ground.

"It always seems to be down at the bottom.

"You know you're not going to throw them into a Rangers-Celtic game - we understand that.

"But it's just as vital for clubs in the bottom half. One place up the league can be a fortune to them.

"Giving them games like that can be just as difficult as games in the top six."

And Jefferies put paid to the myth bad decisions even themselves out over the course of a season.

He said: "That's just a trendy term they use; I've still to see it."

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Source: Team Talk