Anyone who watched the post-match interview given by Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers on Sunday after his side had been denied a win by Ross County forward Alex Schalk’s now infamous dive, would struggle to label the current climate as a high point in manager/referee relations in Scottish football.

It was “an embarrassing decision”, according to Rodgers, who left his interview with the print media with the ominous promise to speak to referee Don Robertson “if he lets the lock off his door.”

But for the SFA’s head of refereeing operations, John Fleming, we are at a high point in terms of the working relationship between managers and officials, with the two parties working together more closely than ever to ensure that the players understand the rules, and the referees are capable of applying them fairly and accurately.

That mutual understanding clearly doesn’t extend to managers calling their players out for diving, as Ross County boss Jim McIntyre refused to do at the weekend, instead offering the flimsy excuse for his player that he expected contact.

But Fleming thinks that the closer relationship between himself as head of the SFA’s refereeing department and the young up-and-coming managers in the SPFL Premiership, can lead to a new era of openness and transparency from officials, with Fleming himself happy to discuss any decisions with managers who feel aggrieved.

To that end, it’s a safe bet that he can expect a call from a certain Mr. Rodgers any time now.

“I wouldn’t speak about individual managers, but I see all managers here to be very positive in this day and age,” Fleming said.

“There will be incidents in the heat of the battle that somebody says something or whatever, but everyone is entitled to their view.

“In general, I find the managers to be very accommodating. When I go back to my own time in refereeing, everything was a bit more closed off, but nowadays the managers can have a dialogue with us.

“They are all up to date with technology, and you can go over an incident with them.

“It used to be that a manager would ask you about a tackle, but nowadays they have the footage, so we can have a proper talk through everything and see exactly where each of us is coming from.

“I think the managers here now are up to date with the laws of the game, and they are entitled to their opinions.

“Any of the managers will phone me during the course of a week to discuss matters, so the relationship I’ve got with the managers is very favourable.

“We have some experienced young managers in Scotland just now who are doing exceptionally well like Jim McIntyre and Brendan Rodgers, you can go through them all. I don’t have any issues with managers. We have to build on the relationship we have with them.

“Some will phone and have a general chat and ask if we can clarify a situation, some others don’t and that’s absolutely fine too.

“But I’m here if they want to speak to me. I’m more than happy to speak to them if they want to.”

Fleming is an vocal supporter of introducing video assistant referees into football to help officials get the big decisions right. Despite successful trials though, it is unclear when Scottish referees will be able to lean on replays to assist them.

“I’ve no idea when it might come in here, that’s a decision for the respective league bodies and the Scottish FA to see if they want to put it into their cup competitions,” Fleming said.

“From a referee’s point of view though, there is no doubt that it would assist us. Anything that helps us get the right decision is important.

“The game will always change, and the countries with the resource will adapt to modern technology, there’s no doubt about that.

“There are plenty of trials going on around the world just now, some in cup competitions and some in leagues, so it is gathering momentum and there is a lot of positive feedback.

“Look at Spain against France a few weeks ago where there were two decisions overturned that the official had made and they were proven to be right to do so.

“You can show as many replays as you want though, as soon as you put the human being in to make a decision based upon what they think, then it is open to opinion after that and it becomes a bit subjective.

“So, it won’t cure all the ailments of football, but it will certainly help the referees to get to the right decision, there’s no doubt about that.”