Thursday 14 December 2017

Redknapp - Pulis ref plan deserves consideration

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp today admitted there were one or two referees he would like to relegate from the Barclays Premier League after his Stoke counterpart Tony Pulis called for the lowest-rated officials to be removed from top-flight duties at the end of each season.

Pulis wants managers to be given the power to mark the performances of officials, with those scored the lowest demoted to the Football League. Press Association Sport understands such an idea will never come to fruition however, because the top 16 referees already officiate at all levels and not just in the top flight.

The Potters boss made the suggestion in reaction to what he branded another "abysmal" decision against his club in Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Sunderland, where the visitors appeared to be denied a blatant penalty.

Spurs counterpart Redknapp said: "There's one or two that you'd relegate, isn't there, I suppose.

"But I don't have too many problems with any of them. Once every four years, I probably have a bit of aggravation over a referee."

He added of Pulis' suggestion: "It's worth looking at perhaps.

"Tony's a bright lad; he obviously feels it's a good idea. We listen to plenty of idiots who come up with ideas and we have to think about them, so if Tony's got an idea, it's worth thinking about."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, whose own side controversially had a goal chalked off in their 2-1 defeat at Blackburn at the weekend, said: "We all know there is a certain table in terms of referees' performances during the season, and that is there for the authorities to look into.

"I don't think it's a straightforward table where the bottom three get relegated, but I think it has quite an impact on the season.

"At the end of the season, it is good to get everyone's views and try to help the referees as much as we can.

"I can understand how Tony is feeling because it was a turning point in their game and we feel exactly the same way.

"Scoring a goal is always the hardest thing and doing it away from home and the manner that we did, and not having it allowed is really frustrating and really difficult to take.

"The players didn't deserve that, our fans didn't and it is something that we need to correct."

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said: "I can very much sympathise with what Tony had to say.

"We have been through a little bit ourselves this season, but Tony has had a very raw deal when you see some of the incidents, so I can very much understand the angle that Tony is coming from and a fair amount of what he says is right.

"Referees have to be accountable and, if they are performing well, of course, they are fortunate enough to get the good games.

"But if they are not performing well and making mistakes in games, which any of them can do, they have to be accountable.

"What you don't want to see is referees perhaps making mistakes one week, the next week and then getting a prime game the week afterwards.

"Whatever the system is that is put in place, it has to make them accountable."

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish, whose side were arguably the beneficiaries of poor refereeing when West Ham were denied a late penalty in Saturday's 2-2 draw at St Andrews, would only say: "We are not allowed to comment on referees before games."

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