It’s been a bad few days for the men in black in the English Premier League. Some very bad calls could cost a few clubs a lot of money – about $40 million.
That’s what a club loses the first year when relegated from the Premier League to the Championship (the next league down). That figure increases to $52 million per year in the second year if the club fails to get promoted immediately, and then as much as $65 million in the third year. That’s a staggering $157 million in just three years! (Here’s the link I pulled the info from)
So imagine how the owners of Wigan must have felt when the linesman in their game against Chelsea failed to flag not one but two blatant offside goals in their 2-1 loss over the last weekend. So bad were the calls that the head of the referee association wrote a letter of apology to Wigan after the game. But how exactly do you apologize for costing a company $157 million?
But that was only one game in a busy weekend. Manchester United’s Ashley Young not only got a penalty for tumbling when not being touched by QPR’s Shaun Derry, the midfielder got his marching orders leaving the West London team playing a man short the rest of the game. Both QPR and Wigan ended the weekend in the drop zone, their manager’s crying foul.
And there’s more – in North London the referee failed to punish Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli when the out-of-control striker committed a leg breaker against Arsenal’s Alex Song, and across town Chelsea were again the recipient of a friendly call against Fulham.
So, it it time to finally turn to technical assistance? QPR is definitely in favor after this weekend. And a couple of weeks ago they had the ball in the net against fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers but both the linesman and the referee missed the fact the ball was two feet over the line. Needless to say, QPR lost.
I’m not one for slowing the game down to appeals based on video replays, but these days with players seeking to go down at the slightest touch and the increase in the speed of play, the referee errors really can cost a lot more then a game – they cost millions of dollars and loss of jobs as teams get relegated.