Guys...again, the rules have come from above us, either thru the safa, safa, or with laws of the game, fifa
It does not matter what we as a league think, those rules are in place, and I assure you that John Walker and I were very vocal at the council of the safa, with some of the same concerns as you. The refs come under the same pressure from their bosses too.
The facts are now that the game as a whole is split in two...the professional game, and non-professional game. That is how fifa and uefa now stipulate it should be, as also approved by the McLeish report and one plan.
The amateur game had to accept this, or basically become outlawed...ok, that's the simple version.
As a league exec, we DO NOT WANT to be taking any type of action against anybody over social media, and I will always support and defend the right of us all having an opinion...and nobody at any level wants that to stop, but with the dramatic change in social media, it also cannot be the case that someone can make wild, inaccurate and/or abusive comments without being held to account...lets face it, call your boss an a****ole at work, and more than likely it will have repercussions...are we as officials, players, managers, coaches etc not entitled to some form of protection from ott comments......like I said, we should and must welcome and encourage open debate, but some issues must remain the business of those involved, as their punishments, for want of a better word are recorded within the sfa computer system, and can be affected by the laws of the country...yes I know that is the extreme, but it is fact.
I have said several times, I will discuss anything with anybody, providing the conversation remains relevant, and sensible, and I mean it.
Sometimes doing the jobs our office bearers do really sucks, but we do it to the best of our ability and within the rules and guidelines given us by our governing body...and if we step out of line, we should be dealt with in the same manner...which has been the case for more than 1 exec member in the last 2 years.
I promise you all, we discuss everything, and nothing is swept under the carpet, no matter what you may think.
The day that happens, I think we would all walk away...we make honest decisions to the best of our ability, and totally understand the frustrations you may feel.