Clark believes referees are being put under greater pressure as fans latch on to the criticism.
Clark spoke out after his compulsory retirement from the game - last season was his final campaign as he turns 47 in November.
He told BBC Scotland: "Referees are blamed but managers are loathe to criticise their players.
"I think we either need to consider taking a harder line or realise that they're simply not controlling it and paying lip service to it.
"In my opinion, the SFA in recent years has gone soft on coaches - particularly on comments during post-match conferences.
"It used to be managers and coaches were far more careful about what they said, now it seems to be open season.
"They throw up a smokescreen blaming the referee and then fans start having a go at the referee as well."