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Referee’s conflict of interest kicks off in EPL but is encouraged by SFA appointments

The appointment of Chris Kavanagh to referee Saturday’s match between Manchester City and Liverpool has been attracting attention with his background being reviewed.

There is no love lost between the people and football clubs in the north west with attention drawn to Kavanagh being born five miles from the Etihad Stadium and still living in the Greater Manchester area.

With referees drawn from all over England it would seem logical to bring in officials from the midlands or London area to take charge of Saturday’s match.

In England match officials have to declare the club’s that they support, any that they live close to or have a work association with, it appears that the system has slipped up this weekend.

The SFA have no such controls for Scottish football which has resulted in the Lanarkshire and Glasgow Referee Associations supplying most of the officials involved in top level matches with other areas virtually written off.

If you are from Edinburgh or Dundee the chances are that your career won’t go as far as referees from Bellshill or Motherwell.

On Saturday Steven McLean will referee the match between Celtic and Motherwell, his brother started his football career with Rangers and played for Northern Ireland at u-21 level before discovering that he was ineligible.

Assisting McLean on VAR is David Dickenson whose Mum and Uncle are prominent on Facebook about their support for the Ibrox Tribute Act founded in 2012 by Charles Green.

On Saturday Nick Walsh will make the long and lucrative journey to Aberdeen from his Glasgow home, just to be safe he will probably leave on Saturday and enjoy a hotel night and expenses before his Pittodrie pay day with Philippe Clement’s side.

Back at the day job on Monday he’ll be working on the fitness of Murray Park starlets at their partnership school, Boclair Academy in Bearsden.

Andrew Dallas from Lanarkshire will be on VAR duty, in February 2019 he awarded four penalties against St Mirren on a visit to Ibrox.

In today’s Daily Mail SFA President Mike Mulraney is praising the amazing job that referees are doing with VAR.

It is now 67 SPFL matches since a penalty was awarded against the Ibrox club, a run covering three seasons, three permanent managers and one caretaker.

McLean’s brotherly connection has made the Mainstream but no one has drawn together the connection between Walsh’s school and a member club of the SPFL Premiership.

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