JOHN Coleman wants to see referees sent back to school in a bid to improve standards in the job.

While the Stanley boss is reluctant to criticise officials, he believes a degree course for budding referees could help the standards rocket.

Coleman has been bemused by some of the decision he has seen since the Reds' promotion to League One, but he insists his university of refereeing idea could be good for the game and for the officials.

"I've been banging the drum for five or 10 years that I think there should be a degree course," he said.

"I think you should be able to go to university and study refereeing and have three years of learning about the game, going out and refereeing friendlies and youth team games and Under 23 games, study videos and come out of it being maybe 21-22 at the peak of their fitness and then with a good 20-30 years ahead of them in the refereeing game.

"I'd love to see that happen because I think it would be great for the game and for the referees as well to have that much exposure."

While Coleman might occasionally be perplexed on the touchline at decisions going against his side, he also admits to having plenty of admiration for officials.

The Wham Stadium chief is aware how tough the job is for those with the whistle, although he isn't convinced the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will help.

"I really think it's a very difficult job because not only have you got to make decisions on a factual basis, you've got to control people's emotions," added Coleman.

"You've got to control 22 players' emotions and then you've got to control maybe seven or staff on each side's emotion, and you've got to be mindful of the fact that you might get it right but your assistants might get it wrong. So there are so many facets of what makes the job so difficult.

"At some point you've got to have a lot of admiration for them because people will use the opportunity to hide behind their mistakes for their own failings, and possibly I was guilty of it earlier on in my managerial career. It was far easier to blame a referee - someone else's problem rather than my own problem. I think as you get older and wiser - although some might argue that I haven't got wiser - but I think you realise it's better to focus on what you can do to change things, not what other people are doing.

"I think the introduction of VAR will diminish the authority of the referees, so I'm not an advocate of that. I think under the circumstances they do a fine job."