Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Saturday December 23 2006
It might be the festive period, a time of generosity and goodwill to all men - but SPL bosses aren't getting into the Christmas spirit.
They have refused to pay £100 to put up referee Dougie McDonald in a hotel ahead of the Aberdeen v's Rangers match at lunchtime this weekend.
In an act of Scrooge-like money-grabbing, they wouldn't save Dougie McDonald the early trip from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, even though Scotland's lower division referees do enjoy the benefit of overnight expenses for long distance games.
McDonald will now have to travel 115-miles in the early hours of the morning, in the freezing cold temperatures, if he hopes to make it to the game at least 2 and a half hours before kickoff - as the SPL insist.
"We don't expect the public to feel sorry for us but we are asking for a degree of professionalism. Would Paul Le Guen expect his players to get up at six o'clock in the morning to head north for the game?" said one SPL referee.
Traveling long distances can make you feel tired, but Dougie McDonald will have to be at his best to take charge of a potentially volatile match between two sides who have graced similar encounters with brawls, off-the-ball incidents and fan participation.
Although, SPL secretary Ian Blair doesn't sympathize with McDonalds problem, he said "We have a method in place of paying referees' expenses involved in traveling to and from SPL matches which has been unchanged since 1998. There is a mechanism in place in the event where someone has to travel a long distance home after a game in the evening."
"There is a mechanism in place where they can claim hotel expenses for any costs incurred after the game but there is no mechanism for claiming expenses in advance of the game."
"In the event the referees would like to discuss the arrangements then we would be glad to do so but we're not about to do so by means of the media."
Date:Saturday December 23 2006
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|St. Johnstone||3||-||0||Dundee United|
|St. Mirren||4||-||1||Dundee United|
|Dundee United||1||-||0||Ross County|
|4. Dundee United||34||15||9||10||14||54|
|6. St. Johnstone||34||15||6||13||9||51|
|7. St. Mirren||34||9||7||18||-19||34|
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