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Rodgers and Clarke renew call for full-time referees

The managers made their case before a summit between coaches and the Scottish FA.

Brendan Rodgers and Steve Clarke have both reiterated their calls for top-flight referees in Scotland to go full-time to improve standards.

Their comments come ahead of a meeting between Premiership managers and the Scottish FA referees and compliance officer. The summit aims to bring clarity and progress after a series of high-profile controversies over officials' decision-making and comments from managers and clubs.

Celtic boss Rodgers will be among the ten Premiership managers in attendance and he believes that talking can bring benefits.

"I think it's just probably about the communication between the referees and the managers and probably to get some clarity on one or two items," he said.

"I think the agenda has been set by the referees' association and the federation. It's good to communicate and there'll be a positive action from it afterwards, I'm sure.

"We all respect that it's a very, very difficult job for referees but you're always looking to improve.

"Whether you're a coach or manager improving players, we all want to try and help everyone be better. So that communication between managers and referees is important. I'm sure it'll really be a productive meeting."

Put working hours ahead of VAR

While the introduction of VAR has been a talking point this season amidst the debate over decisions, Rodgers still feels the first step is to put referees on an equal footing with professional players by making them full-time.

"I've always been an advocate of full-time referees and it's something I've said since I came up here," he said. "If the referees are working at the weekend then if they are full-time then they can congregate on a Monday and analyse and look at their clips, look at games and have mentors that can help them improve.

"I think when you work that hard, and I'm sure the part-time refs work as hard as they possibly can, but if they are full-time then you're working hard to improve your game and be better. that ultimately gives you confidence you can take into your games and what I would say is a greater chance to improve on your performance.

"It's no different from being a player or a manager. You're watching and analysing how you work and where you could be better.

"It's something I've always said is that the level up of the game up here is very, very good. You have high-profile clubs, a lot of coverage and I think the referees do their very best but it's certainly something that I would advocate and have done since I first came up."

Speaking earlier, Kilmarnock boss Clarke made the same argument.

"I've always said it's important to support the referees," he said. "If I could just throw my hat into the ring, everybody talks about VAR  but first thing that has to happen in Scottish football is for the referees to go full-time.

"It might not be immediate, it might be a slow process  but somewhere along the line the referees have to go full-time.

"That'll improve the decision-making and then if you can add VAR to that you'll have a much better game and a much better product".

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