Scottish Football Association Chief Executive Stewart Regan:
“In light of recent publicity surrounding Allan McGregor’s retrospective punishment for violent conduct in Rangers’ Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Aberdeen, I would like to clarify a few points which, hopefully, will better explain the process that culminated in the one-match suspension imposed.
“Firstly, I can understand the media and supporter interest in the situation that arose at the start of the international double-header. The timing was unfortunate - and not how I intended to spend my first day in office - but the investigation process is designed to ensure violent conduct is eradicated from the game, while also providing a support network for match officials who may have missed such instances.
“There are elements of the process that I, as a newcomer to the Scottish FA, am not entirely content with. I have already requested a tightening-up of certain elements which I believe will help improve the transparency and functionality of the procedure.
“It is my intention that formal notification of investigations will be made sooner and that a fixed timescale for any subsequent appeal is established. It should be noted that, compared to previous procedures, the current investigation system is now completed within a two-week timeframe and is therefore more efficient.
“In response to some questions raised in the last few days, I would point out the following: It is the responsibility of the Referee Development Department and Disciplinary Department to be aware of instances that may be worthy of investigation. This will be highlighted primarily by using television footage or feedback from the referee observers.
“While some of our more prominent clubs argue that their media exposure leaves them unfairly at risk of such investigations, I would point out that, adopting the same principle, they are also in a position to have a higher percentage of Claims for Wrongful Dismissal acted upon. Furthermore, we have dealt with many cases from lower divisions using club television or analysis footage.
“The process, when initiated by the Chief Executive, is referred to an independent review panel before being ratified by the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee. This is a far more streamlined process than previously was the case. The review panel consists of a pool of former players, with input from PFA Scotland, former managers, with input from the League Managers’ Association, and former referees.
“It ensures a cross-section of opinion across the football family but to reveal their identities on a case-by-case basis would be detrimental to the integrity of the process.
“Finally, it has been mentioned that while the process deals with misconduct missed by a referee, it does not include instances where it is believed a referee ‘maybe didn’t judge properly’. This falls under the category of Claims for Wrongful Dismissal, a procedure with which clubs are familiar. It should be emphasised, though, that the investigation process is designed to assist match officials. To intervene in instances that fall between investigations into incidents missed by a match official and claims of wrongful dismissal would compromise the authority of referees in relation to the Laws of the Game.”