FUMING Hibernian manager Lee Johnson says the entire refereeing system in Scotland is ‘broken’ after watching the ‘worst refereeing performance I’ve seen’ from official Craig Napier in his side’s draw with St Johnstone.

Napier dismissed Hibs midfielder Jimmy Jeggo for a challenge on Connor McLennan, showing him a straight red for the tackle, much to Johnson’s disbelief.

The Hibs manager launched a blistering attack on the referee after the game, panning the decision itself, the failure of the VAR official to review the decision, the refereeing system as a whole, and even criticised Napier for not blowing his whistle loud enough during the 1-1 draw.

“The system is absolutely broken, and it needs to be fixed,” Johnson said.

“How do you stop a follow-through? It’s not a straight follow-through, he’s trying to half-tackle and half-pass but he doesn’t know if there’s someone there or not.
“He wins the ball cleanly, their player comes flying in 0.5 seconds after, and somehow Jeggo gets sent off. And did you see how quickly the referee whipped out the red card? And then to not go to the screen…honestly, it’s broken if that’s a sending-off.

“They’ll talk about the follow-through because of Graeme Shinnie’s one the other day but it’s a completely different angle, it’s completely different. Honestly, I’m up to my neck in terms of these decisions. I can’t believe it. I’m shocked by it.
“Seriously, it was like the show was all about the officials on too many occasions.
“And do you know what? He didn’t even blow his whistle loud enough! There were times when the game continued to play because he wasn’t blowing his whistle.

“I could name three occasions when he hasn’t blown his whistle either loud enough, or at all, and everyone’s playing on and he’s having a go at everyone for playing on. Yeah, because you haven’t blown your whistle!
“It beggars’ belief. That's as bad as I've seen. I've probably played 1000 games as a player, including youth, 500-odd games as a manager, and that's the worst I've seen. Unreal.”

Johnson’s lack of faith in the refereeing system extends to the appeals process, so much so that despite his certainty over the injustice doled out to Jeggo, he may not appeal the decision.
“Yeah, because obviously a frivolous appeal ends up in an extra game, and I don’t trust it,” he said.
“I don’t trust the system. I’ve been told I’m not allowed to say what I want to do!

“I was absolutely certain that the referee had made a bad decision but after speaking to him he was talking about the cut on the St Johnstone player’s leg. It’s still a contact sport! What am I teaching my players?
“There have been too many scenarios this year. Ross County away when David Marshall was bundled into the goal; then the Rangers one where we should have had points on the back of a handball that went to VAR and still went Rangers’ way. It’s unbelievable.
“What do I do as a coach? What am I articulating to my players? Lewis Stevenson’s handball [against Celtic at home in December] - are we defending with our hands behind our back, at our side? What are we doing? Some of the handballs have hit people from behind. If players are jumping, where do they put their hands?
“Where's the system where people get marked and then get promoted or demoted based on those marks? What we running here? It's ridiculous. Even to the point where every game should have been played at 3pm today, including Aberdeen v Rangers. This was the last game of the pre-split and there was too much going.

“It has to be fair, and fairness is everybody kicking off at the same time. We don't know what's going on (in the other games) and the difference in dynamic. It has to be 3pm.

“There are so many things (in Scottish football) that need looked at. The managers up here are probably not powerful enough. Down in England, the LMA is a powerful unit.

“We have good debate and feel like we have influence and can change the game for the better but up here I feel like we have no influence, and there's probably 11 other managers who feel the same. “It's only to make the game better. It's just not good enough, it's going to cost a fantastic competition a lot of integrity.”