Manchester City - FA Premier League Referees Versus MCFC: The Facts
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FA Premier League Referees Versus MCFC: The Facts

'Infamy, Infamy, they've all got it in for me!' shrieked film legend Kenneth Williams' Julius Caesar in Carry On Cleo. This season we've seen Carry On Clattenburg and Co...

The refereeing standard at the highest level of English football is absolute garbage. For some reason you won't find many hacks in The Street of Shame* pursuing this fact. Numerous decisions and glaring inconsistencies have beggared belief, in many cases all but ruining contests as more and more paranoid top whack paying fans assess the next referee's form before that of their team's opponents.

League leaders Manchester City are not the only club to bemoan the random, often populist scattergun distribution of yellow and red cards or inexplicable non use which mirror the rambling overseeing of the English Football Association. The FA's seemingly jerry built fixture computer and creative cup draws keep on knocking out big money generating clashes at will when required...but that's another story.

Yet their refereeing rotation is odd to say the least. Phil Dowd is about to officiate his 5th City game of the season, whereas Peter Walton, who hasn't seen an Etihad shirt yet in this campaign will referee his 3rd consecutive Everton v City game next week. The Citizens lost the previous two.

In a season where Martin 'Fergie Time' Atkinson, the serial card flourishing mentalist has raised his right arm a whopping 105 times in 25 games yet saw fit not to send off a Wigan defender for a basketball manoeuvre which denied the predatory Sergio Aguero a clear run on goal, anything is now possible.

City fans have developed a pretty thick skin since His Highness Sheikh Mansour came to town 3.5 years ago. Even this very day one of Wapping's finest droaned on about City ruining football again. As if football wasn't ruined long before liddle ciddy dared to challenge the accepted elite.

And this is where the conspiracy theories kick in.

But for Chris Foy, the referee who refused to sanction a crazy stamping attack by Spurs' Tom Huddlestone on Bolton's Johan Elmander last season, City would have been led through the bulk of a pivotal January by arguably the finest centre half in Europe, Vincent Kompany. As it stands, united's limitations were still shown up by 10 man City in the FA Cup contest that Foy savaged inside 12 minutes. But the damage was done and the cup holders exited the tournament to yet another showing of derby elation by united's support previously unprecedented in the modern era.

The rags had desperately hoped to see City humiliated the way they were torn apart at the swamp last October. Intriguingly and excluding Kompany's dismissal in the FA Cup 2-3, since the 1-6 City have been factually subjected to hardline refereeing.

In the 8 league games prior to the 1-6, The Blues registered 8 bookings. 4 of them coming in the 1-5 win at Spurs.

In the 8 league games that followed, The Blues shipped 12 yellows and 3 reds. Despite initially threatening cricket scores, City dropped 5 points in two of the red carded fixtures.

In the subsequent 6 matches City have seen perfectly legitimate goals disallowed, wreckless opposition tackling and handballs go unpunished, 7 more bookings, an unbelievably soft red and an imminent retroactive red.

Considering the thrilling football that Roberto Mancini and his squad have strived to maintain, they hardly constitute a dirty side, despite the fact they are a strong and athletic young team. The foul stats back that up. Yet repeated adverse decisions have had undeniable impact and have factually arrested Mancio's side from breaking clear of united at the top of the table.

What's all that about, then?

*Street of Shame copyright Private Eye

all times East Manchester

Tomorrow 19:45 Liverpool, Anfield, LCSF2
Tu 31 Jan 20:00 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 04 Feb 17:30 Fulham, The Etihad, PL
Su 12 Feb 16:00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Th 16 Feb 20:05 Porto, Estádio do Dragăo, ELR32
We 22 Feb 20:05 Porto, The Etihad, ELR32
Sa 25 Feb 17:30 Blackburn, The Etihad, PL

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Grassy Knollington Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 24 2012

Time: 2:19PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
It wasn't like we had our noses rubbed in it when, the first game after the Kompany sending off, Glen Johnson committed a foul which was almost universally condemned as being worse than Kompany's, yet he managed to escape without so much as a ticking off. People have started to portray City fans as paranoid, and the laughter of our rivals rings loud in our ears. But if you club had been subjected to as many dubious, dodgy and deliberately despicable decisions as we have since the sick swan, then you'd be entitled to ask WTF is going on too. Remember folks, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
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24/01/2012 14:33:00

Add to that an offside goal to lose the game in extra time
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24/01/2012 14:37:00

The inconsistency which is evident from referees isnot exclusive to City, this is aproblem across the board but is hardly surprising given there doesn't appear to be any accountability. A couple of incidents recently have *****ed me off in regards not only referees but applying of the laws from the FA, when Kompany's ban was upheld we were informed that under the laws of the game the decision was being upheld, now I would have no problem with that if the FA could be transparent in their findings ie publish a report outlining exactly why Kompany's tackle was deemed "reckless" or "endangering an opponents safety". Then there's the whole retrospective action law with refs seemingly deciding to say what they did or didn't see based solely on preserving their own interest. The reason I say this is because Howard Webb said he didn't see the Balotelli/Parker incident despite camera angles suggesting he was looking right at it at the time of impact which in turn meant the FA could charge Mario with dangerous play.
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24/01/2012 14:40:00

Yeah DJDD, but according to MoTD's well-informed pundits, Sunderland "Deserved" that decision because they'd managed to defend so well for the previous 93 minutes. How can we argue with that?
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24/01/2012 14:40:00

Webb actually POINTED at parker and Balotelli to indicate that he'd seen the incident, and then allowed play to carry on. At the risk of appearing libellous, I would suggest that Howard Webb is being slightly economical with la verite in order to save himself from further public scrutiny and allow the hate-mob to get the blood it craves. Webb saw nothing, therefore the incident should not have been retrospectively punished.
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24/01/2012 14:43:00

Why are people at City(especially Marwood) not showing any backbone and standing up to the bent FA.Not surprised they want twitchy as England manager.Since the Chelsea match with Tw-ttenburg,we are being shafted in virtually every match,one way or another.Marwood should make it be known,that if this behaviour by the FA continues,we wil start looking at using legal avenues.We should also sue the backsides of twitchy and taggart for outrageously slanderous comments about our players.
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24/01/2012 15:00:00

There ain't a club in the league who don't feel the ref is against them. We can point to at least 7 points we feel robbed of. Including this weekends game.
Tottenham Hotcore
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24/01/2012 15:03:00

This weeken? Are you psychic Hotcore? Or maybe you have a DeLorean?
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24/01/2012 15:15:00

Very true Hotcore, I don't think anyone can deny Spurs have lost points too, but we have to deal with suspensions and retroactive suspensions ON TOP of everything else. Don't get me wrong, I think on the balance of probability, Balotelli deserved his retrospective red card, but I also think it's plain as day that Webb did see it but bottled it when the FA "asked" him. I mean, put that incident alongside Huddlestone's (doubtless blatant stamp) and Rooney's thuggish assault on the Wigan lad - and they didn't get banned??? Crouch tries to gauge an eye at the weekend - nothing said about it, no ban given. We're riding high at the top of the Dirtiest Team League with all the reds and yellows we've picked up. It's appalling treatment of our players. Any of the five bad tackles Scott Parker made on Sunday would undoubtedly be five yellows if it was a City player. And that's not paranoia, that's fact.
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24/01/2012 15:19:00

No bias then Grassy Knollington. If someone can honestly come out and say that Balotelli's stamp on Parker did not warrant a RED card or a four match ban (as is likely to occur) - then they are simply as bad as Balotelli IMO. Howard Webb was honest in admitting that he didn't see it, becos if he did and did not dish out a RED card, he's sick? Which evidently he ain't as he certainly did not see it. The cameras saw him look away and by the time he looked back at the incident, it had past. Balotelli was rolling on the floor (as he does).. Anyway, so sour grapes here, you won and there's always next season to look forward to - as Spurs will be in the Champions League at the end of the season and sadly United will pip City to the EPL - simply because what goes around comes around. The luck you have been riding will come back to haunt you soon...COYS
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24/01/2012 17:06:00

DaSpurs, we have been considerably unlucky recently. I accept we had some luck in the Spurs game but thought on the balance we just edged it but wouldn't have begrudged Spurs a point because they were good value for it on the fightback alone. As for Webb, he looks back just before Mario's foot is planted on the ground, in other words he sees the incident, perhaps bottles it, only he knows but he definitely lies about not seeing it.
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24/01/2012 17:10:00

My point is simple - whether the Ref saw it or NOT, it deserves to be punished - as the whole incident was abysmal... Any one who has children should hold their head in shame if they warrant that stamp. Futile or not as Platty put it - it was a bad and dangerous tackle and should not be welcomed by ANY footy fan... SIMPLE
Report Abuse
24/01/2012 17:11:00

Taggart pre FA statement: I've seen Kompany do it before. Redkapp pre FA statement: I've seen Balotelli do it before.
Johnny Baguette
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24/01/2012 17:13:00

It's the FA that made the "did he see it" rule. Stupid rule, I think any incidents of violent conduct should be investigated post match, whether the ref saw it, didn't, booked the player or sent him off.
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24/01/2012 17:18:00

Anyone who has children should hold their head in shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROLMFAO! Can one simultaneously hold a torch, a pitchfork and one's head? Careful Da, you'll have someone's eyes out.
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24/01/2012 17:22:00

Here is some evidence in graphical form:
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24/01/2012 18:16:00

whats even more ironic is that in most matches City have had 60% of possession making us cop these cards in a 40% period of matches.
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25/01/2012 09:29:00

Definitely something in all this. We do ship a lot of very soft bookings.
Johnny Baguette
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25/01/2012 12:12:00

Peter Crouch doesn't seem to ship many bookings, even for pure thuggery.
Respect the referee! PMSL. Fu(k the FA, fu(ck their respect campaign and fu(k their referees - something is rotten in Denmark.
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25/01/2012 16:03:00

Can I ask how you City fans would be taking this if Blagatelly HAD been sent off and you had lost?? WOuld it have been Mario is hard done by and it was an accident???? Same end product - 4 game ban....
Report Abuse
25/01/2012 18:56:00

Guess we'll never know NW because he wasn't and we didn't . ;)
Report Abuse
28/01/2012 20:16:00


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