‘Irritating, inconsistent, ruining the game’ - Nigel Pearson lets rip at referees in rant

Nigel Pearson wasn’t pleased with some refereeing decisons over the last week. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)Nigel Pearson wasn’t pleased with some refereeing decisons over the last week. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Nigel Pearson wasn’t pleased with some refereeing decisons over the last week. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The 59-year-old wasn’t pleased with decisions in Bristol City’s win over Rotherham United

Nigel Pearson has criticised the state of state of refereeing after another week in which key decisions went against Bristol City.

The Robins played against Sheffield United and Rotherham United on Tuesday and Saturday, and whilst they beat the Millers and lost to the Blades, they believe they had reasons to be unhapy. At the start of the campaign, Pearson hinted he could retire because of the standard of refereeing.

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In the loss to Sheff Utd, Sam Bell had been fouled outside of the box, but on first glance looked like a penalty. He was outside of the box but no foul was given, and after writing a feedback form about the refereeing display they received communication from the Match Official Administration System. He claimed in their first email that they had a ‘good case’ for a free-kick and a red card but 30 minutes later changed it to a free-kick and yellow card.

“I get tired of talking about it in all honesty with the inconsistencies,” he said.

“We get a penalty turned down and they get one that looks as though it’s… their player falls down in instalments and he gives it.

“We received an email, or two emails, yesterday from MOAS that I think are rather embarrassing for them. We got one at 12 minutes past two, saying that the foul on Sam Bell at Sheffield United, there’s a really good case for it being a free kick and a red card and then half an hour later we had another email and they had taken out two paragraphs and said that it was a free kick and a yellow card, so they clearly are in turmoil.

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“Not only are the officials unclear as to how to officiate games but the process of how they go through decisions that have either been complained about or… People who understand football, i.e., coaches and managers, look at it and you go well I’m not sure they know what they’re doing at the moment to be fair.

“The leadership within their group is, wow, everybody thought Howard Webb would come in and have a positive impact, but even in the Premier League they’re getting things wrong, even with VAR. The game is in a situation at the moment where there needs to be a bit more clarity until the leadership of officiating is improved and we get a consistency in officiating.”

Pearson was yellow carded in the 2-1 win other Rotherham after Peterborough-based Josh Smith awarded the visitors a penalty. In his view, Jordan Hugill was fouled by Zak Vyner and the former Preston man scored his penalty. It was a decision that frustrated the home boss because in the first-half Tommy Conway went down in the box under the challenge from Cameron Humphreys which wasn’t given.

Rival boss Matt Taylor believed Smith was right to award Hugill a penalty, but also thought that his side should have been awarded another after Cam Pring collided with Georgie Kelly after Shane Ferguson had hit the post.

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Pearson added: “All we are ever going to do as coaches and players is end up moaning all the time because it happens week after week and I’ve said it many times, we are sick to the back teeth of having these reports come back that just patronise us.

“I got booked today and I don’t know what I even got booked for, the fourth official basically imploded because he couldn’t deal with anything, and the referee basically came over and gave me a yellow card and didn’t even tell me what it was for.

“I don’t know if they understand what’s happening in that regard either. I just find it laughable in all honesty. They’re irritating, very, very irritating, inconsistent, not good enough, and it’s ruining the game.”

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