In our Championship promotion season, we had two tough games against Burton Albion when we scraped a 2-1 away win on 17th December 2016 and then we won 1-0 at home in April of the following year.
That’s when the referee showed he didn’t know the rules of a penalty.
So when a Newcastle player (Gayle) encroached into the penalty area as Matt Richie took the penalty, the referee gave a free kick where Gayle encroached – simply unbelievable.
And the other three officials also didn’t know the rule?
Burton manager Nigel Clough and Chairman Ben Robinson
Matt should have simply retaken the penalty.
Unfortunately, Burton were relegated to League One last season finishing second bottom on 41 points.
And they are currently 5th bottom having taken 3 points from their first 4 games.
The hierarchy at the club – Nigel Clough is still the manager – have written a message to a section of fans who allegedly have posted abuse on social media.
The club’s Chairman Ben Robinson has issued a long statement on the issue and here is some of it:
“They understand better than anybody how we have gone from traveling to Bishop Auckland on a wet November afternoon in the Unibond League and playing in front of 371 spectators, to running out at St James’ Park to play Newcastle United in the Championship.”
“The only disappointment is that our fan base hasn’t grown as we have made that journey and even now there are clubs in non-league who get more through the turnstiles than we do.”
“But we know that the vast majority of our fans care, passionately and deeply, about Burton Albion.”
“Which makes it all the more disappointing when a small minority of our fans boo the players or use abusive language on social media.”
“We understand the frustrations of last season, not winning at home for such a long time, and relegation. And everyone is entitled to an opinion, that’s what football is all about.”
“But abusive comments and the language used by that minority on social media platforms is not acceptable – nor the letter that arrived at my office using a vile four-letter word that was personally very hurtful.”
“Burton Albion fans don’t behave like that and we aren’t the kind of club that wants those kind of fans.”
The attendance at the Newcastle vs Burton game over two years ago was 48,814.
Social media today makes it very easy for anybody to abuse people and we see far too much of it going – even from those in high positions in the word.
Where’s the civility gone?
Those are good words from the Burton Chairman and it’s nice to have Newcastle shown as an example of success even though it was when we were in the Championship.
Finishing 10th last season in the Premier League was another phenomenal achievement by our manager, Rafa Benitez, the players and the support given to them by our fans.
Burton is a fabulous small club founded back in 1950 and as we said earlier the Brewers gave us two very tough games two years ago.
The fans are naturally disappointed with things at the moment but we hope the abuse by a very small section of their fans will end.
Maybe we will see them in the Premier League in the years ahead?