Scottish Football Association referees' chief Donald McVicar fears a generation of top-quality referees could be lost if criticism from managers and the media continues. He told STV: "There are those who have come into the game and found that the level of scrutiny and criticism - often ill-informed criticism - is too much for them.
"And they'll think, 'This isn't for me - I'll go and do something else'.
He added: "Many managers will phone up my office on a Monday morning and discuss issues in the game.
"If they're upset, maybe they can let off steam. I'd rather they let off steam to me than let of steam anywhere else."
McVicar insisted the current generation of officials were no less competent as their predecessors.
He added: "I think our crop at the moment are good but they can always get better."