Ross County manager John Hughes has claimed that Rangers and Celtic receive favourable treatment from referees as the Premiership relegation scrap heats up [Scottish Sun].

The Staggies are in a three-way battle with Hamilton and Kilmarnock to avoid the drop with five rounds of fixtures remaining in the season.

Rangers v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Hughes has claimed that Rangers and Celtic get preferential treatment in the Premiership. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

At the weekend, Accies boss Brian Rice angrily called out SFA Head of Referee Operations, Crawford Allan, for allegedly ignoring his appeals for fairer treatment [Not The Old Firm].

Now, Hughes has offered his own criticism of the officials and the system used to determine their appointments, claiming that the Old Firm clubs are prioritised.

“How can I be in a league of 12 and it gets split where you can referee that team down there, but you can’t referee that team up there?” he asked [Scottish Sun]. “That is not equality, that is rules for one and different rules for others. We need to highlight that, you can’t get away with that. It shouldn’t be going on, we are in 2021.”

“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. That is discriminating against my club.

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“Everything he (Brian Rice) says, I agree with. I agree small clubs get absolutely nothing.”

Hamilton Academical v St. Johnstone - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Rice recently hit out at Hamilton’s treatment and Hughes has offered his support. (Photo by Roddy Scott/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Most of the controversy has surrounded penalty decisions and it’s little wonder that Hughes is feeling hard done by, given that Ross County (2) have been awarded the joint fewest spot-kicks of any team in the Premiership so far this season [Transfermarkt].

Yogi and Rice may be surprised to learn that Rangers and Celtic aren’t way out on their own at the top of the penalty chart, though.

Hibernian have received as many as the Gers (9), while Aberdeen and Celtic have both been awarded 7, with Accies alongside Kilmarnock and St Mirren on 6.

Meanwhile, a controversial columnist has taken aim at Steven Gerrard for ‘chancing it’ with ‘disappointing’ comments.

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