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The threat of a strike from Scottish Premier League referees
has been lifted after their demands for a 39% salary rise were
temporarily satisfied.

Referees had been offered £600 a match - a £25 increase -
but have now been granted £800 while talks continue.

Following a day of negotiations at Hampden Park,
the parties will meet again on 16 September.

A working group will now benchmark the work of SPL referees
with appropriate European leagues.

The temporary agreement will see SPL referees receive £800 a match,
while assistant referees get £400 and fourth officials £200.

"We have further agreed to engage in a benchmarking process
with appropriate European Leagues.
We are confident that we will not only secure but enhance
the £800 figure we initially proposed,"
said grade one official Stuart Dougal.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith added:
"I am delighted that both parties have agreed
a way forward on this issue.

"The benchmarking exercise that will take place over
the next six weeks will allow everyone to work together
and the Scottish FA is more than happy to be a part of this process.

"Above all, I am glad that the SPL season will begin as planned on Saturday.
Nobody wants to see our national game disrupted in any way."

Referees in Scotland do not get an annual retainer unlike their
English Premier League counterparts who receive £33,000
plus £300 per match in fees.

And former Scottish referee Kenny Clark believes the pressures
that come with job is the primary reason why officials should
get a better deal.

"There are not any referees who will suggest they should
get paid anything like what the players get,"
he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"This is about giving some acknowledgment to the pressures
they are under, and their families are under when it comes
to media scrutiny.

"We are being asked to be professional,
even though were amateur, in the way we conduct ourselves
and we just want an increase in fees.

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