Davy Fitzgerald is poised for another brush with authorities after his comments about referees in the wake of Clare's nine-point Allianz NHL semi-final defeat to Kilkenny.
The Banner manager claimed referees in general "have it in" for him after disputing decisions in the build up to Kilkenny's goal from Matthew Ruth just after half-time.
Fitzgerald said he had tried to have a word with Galway referee Alan Kelly at half-time but was not given a hearing over a separate incident. "I honestly think that referees have something in for myself. It's sort of, 'I'll sort Davy out.' That's the story," said the Clare boss after the game.
Fitzgerald said he would be asking "everyone" to keep an eye out in the championship to see if his theory holds firm. But national referees chairman Mick Curley described his claims as "ridiculous" yesterday and said he couldn't understand "where this is coming from".
Curley said he couldn't speculate if the Central Competitions Controls Committee ( CCCC), who met yesterday, would propose a charge against Fitzgerald for his comments.
The CCCC will have a new chairman this weekend, but in light of their decision to request an apology from Wexford goalkeeper Anthony Masterson last summer after his post-match comments when Wexford lost to Limerick through a controversial late free, Fitzgerald will potentially face a charge later today.
Curley said there was no basis for Fitzgerald's contention that referees had it in for him. "It makes no blind difference to a referee who is involved or what manager is in charge of what team," he said.
"Their only interest is to get the call in front of them right, regardless of who is playing. I'm surprised at these comments. Clare have had a good league and did well to get to a league semi-final."
"I think they are out of order," he said. Curley's sentiment was echoed by GAA director general Paraic Duffy, who attended the games in Thurles.
Duffy reasoned that managers in sport sometimes make comments in the immediate aftermath of games they wouldn't make 48 hours later.
"I was at the game yesterday and I didn't think the refereeing had any influence on the outcome of the game," he said. "I don't believe any referee goes out other than to do his very best. I'm disappointed with the comments."
On Fitzgerald's contention that teams from less successful counties get on the wrong side of more erroneous decisions, Duffy felt it was a common trend across all sports.
"That's something you hear in every sport. I heard the same comments made last week in the Premiership. Losing managers tend to blame referees and I don't think there is any basis for the point that Davy made. That's how he felt in the aftermath of the match but I don't agree with him."
Fitzgerald has been in hot water before for verbal clashes with refs. Last year he was suspended for one month after an altercation with Wexford official James Owens while in 2004 he served a suspension when he verbally abused ref Pat Horan after a Fitzgibbon Cup match involving LIT, who he was in charge of at the time.
Fitzgerald said his performance was "an absolute disgrace."