Hibs supremo reveals discussions with head of referees and SPFL chief as he makes 'frustrations' admission

Ben Kensell has had sit-down talks with SPFL boss Neil Doncaster and refereeing chief Crawford Allan as part of wider efforts to improve the Scottish game.
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The Easter Road supremo met with former top-flight whistler Allan, now tasked with overseeing the Scottish FA’s refereeing operations, following what he termed “some inconsistencies".

But Kensell, who arrived at the Capital club last summer, insists he is more concerned with making improvements at Hibs – and has vowed not to follow the route of some club leaders by going public with his concerns.

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"I met with the Head of Referees, and I was quite open on what we believe were some inconsistencies but it was a constructive, behind-the-scenes way of conducting ourselves.

Hibs chief Ben Kensell has met with Crawford Allan (inset, top) and Neil Doncaster (inset, bottom)Hibs chief Ben Kensell has met with Crawford Allan (inset, top) and Neil Doncaster (inset, bottom)
Hibs chief Ben Kensell has met with Crawford Allan (inset, top) and Neil Doncaster (inset, bottom)

"I don't want to go out and publicly do anything like that,” he told the Evening News.

"There will always be frustrations, but there are more club frustrations than there are SPFL frustrations."

The last time Kensell spoke publicly was in early November, as Hibs dealt with a Covid-19 outbreak that decimated the club’s first-team squad and under-18s, forcing the postponement of two Scottish Premiership fixtures away to Ross County and Livingston. At the time he expressed some frustration with the SPFL’s rush to reschedule the Staggies clash for just four days after the initial call-off when the club was mired in coronavirus mayhem.

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However, he insists his main focus is on making the Edinburgh side as good as it can be on and off the pitch.

"I want to get things operating in a best-in-class way at Hibs, so my time is more consumed by stuff that I need to get right at Hibs with the teams that we've got here rather than necessarily just the Scottish FA and the SPFL.”

He continued: “There are things that I think and I voice quite freely where there could be some improvements but Neil knows that and we're working through a lot of them.

“We'll talk to the relevant people if we feel that there are things that we need to address, but we just do it behind closed doors, because that's the way that I think we should conduct ourselves.”

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