REFEREE Bobby Madden insists declaring any club allegiances would serve only to intensify already "ridiculous" levels of scrutiny on match officials.

Discussions and bar-room debates about what team any particular official might support has long been part of the culture of Scottish football with all the suspicion that entails when it comes to contentious decisions.

However, in a wide-ranging interview with Radio Clyde Madden, 40, claimed any such disclosure would not have any benefit.

He said: "Would there be a benefit? I don't see it.

"I think it would just give increased scrutiny. We have ridiculous level of intensity and scrutiny on match officials.

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"I know people unfortunately look at, 'what school did you attend?' This is just ridiculous.

"We are there to officiate a match. That's all we are there to do.

"If someone supported a team are they going to change? No, because we are judged on every performance by the SFA, independent observers.

"We want to get that match again, the next big match, the cup final, of course we do.

"We apply ourselves to get as much out of the game as we can so why would we show any benefit to one team?

"Would it make them win one match, would it make them get a point, three points, what is that going to do for my career?

"Nobody is going to go down that road."

Madden is not a full-time referee and he admits being frustrated by work colleagues giving support to speculation about perceived allegiances.

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He said: "I worked in a warehouse in Bellshill for 12 years.

"Everyone in that warehouse knows me, knows that I ran, then I played football at the weekend.

"I didn't have time to be a season-ticket holder at any particular club, whatever allegations may suggest.

"It is frustrating when these people you work with then might make a comment on social media to try to support these ridiculous allegations. That is frustrating.

"You don't mind people who don't know you because that is their prerogative but people who know you, maybe trying to get a bit of favour or add weight to these comments, is frustrating but there is nothing you can do."