“Celtic And Rangers Are Treated Differently,” Claims Yogi Hughes

Ross County boss John Yogi Hughes is unhappy at the way in which smaller clubs are officiated in Scotland. The former Hoops defender also claims that Celtic and Rangers get preferential treatment by the SPFL.

The Staggies are battling against relegation and Hughes feels that his current club have been hindered by poor decisions. In an explosive press conference, he suggested that rookie referees are kept away from Glasgow’s biggest two clubs and blasted that fact.

As reported by the Daily Record, Hughes said: “It shouldn’t be going on, we are in the 21st century. How can it be in a league of 12 and it gets split where you can referee that team up there but you can’t referee that team up there? That is not equality, that is rules for one and rules for others.”

Photo:Jeff Holmes

Hughes, who played for Celtic in the 1995/96 season when Jim Farry illegally prevented Jorge Cadete from playing for Celtic for several weeks (and was subsequently sacked for gross misconduct), is well placed to know a thing or two about differing treatment.

He continued: “We need to highlight that, you can’t get away with that. I am at the same table as Celtic and Rangers and I play to the same rules but we are treated differently, that has to be exposed.

“You have to ask the reason why. They might say he is practising but that is discriminating against my club.”

Hamilton manager Brian Rice has recently claimed that his team have been given a raw deal of late too, but Hughes insists the Staggies have had things worse.

“We could be sitting with a few more points because we have had a couple of horrendous refereeing decisions. The one against Hibs with John Beaton. I heard my mate, Brian Rice, the other day there and I was laughing but not at Brian.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

“I stand by him but try being the Ross County manager, Chipper. With the penalty against Hibs, you are having a laugh. The penalty against St Mirren, with the boy (Greg) Aitken, you are having a laugh. They were absolutely horrendous decisions.

“I was laughing at that because I know what you are going through Brian. I feel your pain but ours is worse than yours. We never get a penalty but there have been plenty against us. Everything Brian is saying he is saying for me as well. Everything he says I agree with. I agree small clubs get nothing. We get absolutely nothing.

“Somebody will say here he goes ranting and raving but I am not, the proof is in the pudding and I have just highlighted two incidents. I don’t know why those decisions were given by two experienced referees. You expect better but you get on with it.”

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.


  1. Jim O'Rourke on

    Are people in Scotland still scared to just the rangers are treated differently? I find it disappointing when an ex Celtic player can honestly say that we get the same preferential treatment that the rangers get and just not from referees.

  2. His Inverness team was the beneficiary of one of the worst ever decisions in Scottish football. 6 officials failing to spot a blatant handball that would have given Celtic a penalty and to play against 10 men for the rest of the game.