Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon slams SFA's 'trial by television'

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon
Fenlon is frustrated to lose striker Leigh Griffiths to a ban for offensive gesturing

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon believes the Scottish FA's disciplinary trial-by-television process is unfair on referees and players.

"My straight answer to whether I am in favour of trial by television would certainly be a no," said Fenlon.

Leigh Griffiths was given a two-match ban for making an offensive gesture and misses Saturday's game at Rangers

"I don't feel it is fair and the process at the moment is all one way," added Fenlon.

"It has to work in favour of the players as well as against them.

"I personally think it's an insult to referees. Let them referee the games."

A one-fingered salute from striker Griffiths to fans was captured by cameras during last weekend's 3-2 loss to St Johnstone, with the SFA taking action on that evidence.

It is the third occasion in the last two months that Griffiths has been handed a suspension for making a gesture towards supporters.

Griffiths has since apologised for his behaviour via the club's websiteexternal-link and Fenlon said that the player's conduct has been dealt with internally.

"It's driving me mad at the moment, it's something I have to deal with though as there's not much I can do about it," said the Irishman.

"It's difficult to be doing without big players like Garry O'Connor (who is also suspended) and Leigh for the game on Saturday," Fenlon said.

"We have dealt with Leigh in-house and the situation will remain in-house."

With Hibs stranded at the foot of the SPL with Dunfermline, Fenlon has dipped into the loan market this week to bring in midfielder Tom Soares from Stoke and Coventry defender James McPake.

"James and Tom bring experience and knowledge of the game and will both be good additions," said Fenlon.

"Defensively James gives us something we haven't got, he is an organised and aggressive defender, while Tom brings the experience and quality of playing the game at a high level."

Fenlon will cast his eye over a number of trialists in a behind-closed-doors game on Monday but ruled out the possibility of Arsenal striker Rhys Murphy joining on loan.

He said: "Rhys has gone back down to Arsenal as he has picked up an injury, so we won't be pursuing that any further."

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