Peterhead boss Jim McInally has been given a slap on the wrist by SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte for comments about behind-closed-door football.
Scotland’s longest-serving manager received a letter from Whyte regarding recent remarks he’d made and warning him about his future conduct.
When talking about the impact starting next season’s Premiership behind closed doors could have on Celtic and Rangers, the Blue Toon manager said they wouldn’t have “the adrenaline of 50,000 supporters behind them” and “wouldn’t have the bias of 50,000 supporters shouting for a decision off a referee.”
A complaint was made to the SFA that McInally had insinuated officials were biased towards the Old Firm, something that’s in breach of rule 38 of the governing body’s rulebook.
However, he insists that wasn’t what he meant and said: “Firstly I did get my wording wrong and what I meant to say didn’t come across as I intended.
“I didn’t mean that referees are biased towards the Old Firm when there are 50,000 shouting for a decision.
“What I meant was that, behind closed doors, Celtic and Rangers won’t have the influence of a crowd putting pressure on them for decisions.
“At the end of the day, do I think referees biased? No, I don’t think for a minute they’re biased. But can you be influenced? I think that’s human nature that you can be influenced by a crowd.
“It wasn’t meant to be detrimental to referees I was talking about the influence of playing behind closed doors and how it could impact Celtic and Rangers if they don’t have their crowds putting pressure on referees.
“That’s what it was meant to be and was I surprised to be given a warning about it? Yes I was, because there’s been a lot going on in Scottish football in recent months with people making allegations about each other.”
Although accepting he got his wording wrong, McInally felt the point he was trying to make was clear and that he was not trying to discredit officials.
He added: “I do feel like an easy target, but I suppose it’s my own fault because I keep speaking to the press and going on the radio, that’s part of my duty as a manager to talk to the media.
“And if there’s something I disagree with then I’ll speak out about it. At the end of the day I got my wording wrong, but did I expect a complaint about it? No, anybody that understood football I think would’ve known what I meant even if I got my wording wrong.
“I suppose I should be grateful it was never taken any further. It’s just disappointing that they didn’t understand what I was saying.”