Jim McInally has hit out at the Scottish Football Association for not involving lower league managers in last week’s referees summit.
SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell chaired a meeting of Premiership managers and leading figures from the referees’ department – including compliance officer Clare Whyte – at McDiarmid Park on Thursday.
The attempt to clear the air by the Hampden supremo comes after widespread criticism of referees and the disciplinary process during the first half of the season.
Peterhead gaffer McInally, pictured, who is Scotland’s longest-serving manager, is unhappy that only Premiership bosses were invited.
The Blue Toon chief reckons the failure to involve clubs from outside the top flight shows the SFA don’t care about what happens below the Premiership – despite lower league clubs, in McInally’s opinion, suffering from the same poor decisions as Scotland’s top clubs.
He said: “It’s shocking that only Premiership managers have been invited to the meeting.
“I hope I am speaking on behalf of all managers outside the Premiership when I say this.
“If there is going to be some sort of summit about refereeing, why is everyone not involved in it?
“This is typical of Scottish football, really. It gives the impression that they don’t care about what goes on below the Premiership.
“They’ve got no respect for anybody below the Premiership. There are a lot of big clubs in the Championship who will be really disappointed they’re not involved.
“And I think the way they have gone about this sums up the leadership of the SFA.
“I don’t think this is about the standard of refereeing because we have all had to suffer the same mistakes.
“That’s why I’m not going to say that the standard is any worse farther down the pyramid.
“But I just think when we all suffer from mistakes – it’s not just Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs and the Premiership teams.
“We all suffer and when that is the case why are we not all involved? It looks like it doesn’t matter to them that we all suffer.”
This term top-flight bosses such as Steven Gerrard, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon have all criticised whistlers without punishment.
Hearts manager Craig Levein has also been controversial, but recently copped a two-match ban for comments about Bobby Madden.
Rangers and Celtic have also released highly critical statements of Willie Collum and John Beaton respectively.
Following Celtic’s statement after Beaton’s failure to send off Alfredo Morelos during last month’s the Old Firm game, Beaton and his family required round-the-clock police protection after receiving threats.
McInally believes SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte is the person who can solve the problems.
He added: “She needs to draw a line of how far the criticism can go. She has definitely let criticism of referees go too far this season.”
Maxwell said: “Thursday’s meeting was the first in a series of meetings with stakeholders on this subject that we plan to roll out across the divisions in the coming months.
“We look forward to engaging with all league club managers in Scotland at these meetings.”