Rafa Benitez during yesterday’s press conference admitted he was a little surprised that a referee born in Huddersfield, Andrew Madley, gets to referee the crucial match on Monday night between Newcastle and Preston.
Huddersfield and Reading are two teams who can still overtake Newcastle if we keep dropping points like we have done in the last three games – we’ve dropped 8 points in those three games.
Rafa does point put out that doesn’t happen in Spain because of the obvious potential bias that’s there for all to see.
Andrew Madley – Huddersfield-born referee on Monday night
The news is that Newcastle contacted the EFL to have an alternative referee appointed, but they didn’t agree there was a problem.
Madley has never taken charge of a Huddersfield game in his career – so why start now – it’s more amateurish stuff going on in the lower leagues.
It also puts some pressure on 33 year-old Madley, but he seems to be a very good up-and-coming referee.
This is what Rafa said yesterday:
“I was really surprised with that situation,”
“We have to trust the referees.” “We have not had a lot of luck with them.”
“I always trust the referees and hopefully everything will be fine and we are not talking about the referees at the end of the game.”
“We were asking the EFL whether they could make a change and they say that they are happy with it and we have to carry on.”
“We don’t have any problem. We will do our best to avoid a situation that nobody will understand.”
“We are not complaining about the referees in press conference, or interviews, or whatever.”
“In Spain this thing doesn’t happen when you have a referee from a city that is more or less close in the table.”
“Normally they don’t referee those games.”
Those are fair and balanced words from Rafa.
We don’t want to make too much of this, but it is a surprising selection just because the possibility of a referee being biased against us will be there.
Not that it will ever happen of course.
But it would not be the first time a referee has seemed to be biased against us this season.
But let’s hope nothing daft happens like happened at Nottingham Forest last year – if it does it’s the total responsibility of the EFL.