Date:Monday September 18 2006
The latest poll on Vital Sheffield Wednesday asked whether you thought referee's from the Premiership should be allowed to ref in the Championship. And the results are in!
A whopping 80 per cent of you thought the Championship was better off with refs from the Football League - without Premiership referee's dropping down to do the bigger games. Just 20 per cent of you thought Premiership refs were good for the Championship.
The debate came about after Owls boss Paul Sturrock blew his top over a decision by Premiership ref Steve Bennett to send 'keeper Brad Jones off and award Leeds a penalty in the Owls 1-0 defeat to their Yorkshire rivals over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Bennett's decision effectively cost the Owls the game, and yet Sky TV replays showed a number of faults in the way Bennett went about awarding the penalty. And the decision was later over turned as the Owls appealed to the FA.
Sturrock said: 'I'd like the Premiership to keep their own referees. There's been too many games I've been to watch in the last year and a half - and too many games I've been involved with - and they don't seem to be able to handle the step down.
'Obviously the pace of the game is a lot more in our league than in the Premiership and I just feel it would be very nice if they just left us alone and let us stick to our own referees.
'I feel strongly about this and I've had conversations with other Championship managers and they see exactly the same problems. I think it's a subconscious thing and they seem to have real problems changing from the Premiership to this league.
'We've got referees from the Championship who make mistakes but I'd much rather have them than referees who step down from the Premiership.' he continued.
Premiership refs are clearly meant to be the creme de la creme of the men in black, the top boys, numero uno, but it seems many Owls fans disagree. But is this disagreement based just on the Leeds match, or on the basis of Premiership refs that have visited Hillsborough in the past?
Wednesday fans certainly couldn't have grumbled at the performance of Alan Wiley as he took charge of the Owls' next home match against Stoke City last week. Undoubtedly Paul Sturrock will have been upset at the imminent decision, but may have felt differently afterwards - the reason being Wiley awarded a penalty to the Owls which gave them the equalising goal.
Let's face it, referee's have a difficult job and fans are always going to get on their backs. They're not always going to make the right decisions, and one would hope that some dodgy decisions against the Owls will be levelled out with some dodgy decisions going FOR the Owls as the season progresses.
But the majority have spoken, and 80 per cent of Owls fans will be bemoaning any future Premiership refs that come to Hillsborough in the near future, unless of course they make amends for their previous mistakes!
Want to have YOUR say on Premiership referee's? Visit the official Vital Sheffield Wednesday message board now by CLICKING HERE
Date:Monday September 18 2006
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