Tony Pulis – Refs always give decision in favour of big clubs

The Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has tried to put pressure on referees ahead of his team’s game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this afternoon. He believes that the big decisions are always given in favour of the bigger clubs like Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Pulis said: “I think there’s an acceptance now that this is going on, and the more we highlight it, the more we show it, the more chance we’ve got as a League to get ­parity.”

“Are the big clubs bullying the referee? I’m not so sure it’s that, it’s almost an elitist thing rather than a ­bullying thing. There is a ­bigger split of decisions that go for the top clubs.

“Whichever way you cook it, whichever way you don’t cook it, I think that happens.

“It’s not just Stoke saying it, you go to any team in the middle of the table or lower and they’ll show you clips that have happened against the top boys that wouldn’t have happened against others.

“We had a situation last year at Chelsea where we were winning 1-0 with three minutes to go. They substituted a player who was on the other side of the pitch and should have run across it to get off, and he went off the pitch the far side and walked round.

“That’s not allowed, but it went on. They give the big clubs a bit more grace.”

He continued: “Steve Bennett was supposed to ref the Manchester Derby and we had Martin Atkinson. Steve was in Europe and he’s stuck, so they take Atkinson from us to referee the Manchester derby and give us Stuart Attwell.

“So why didn’t they give ­Attwell the Manchester derby and keep Atkinson with us?

“Are they saying Attwell isn’t good enough for the derby?

“And if they are saying that, if he’s not good enough for them, why is he good enough for Stoke against Bolton?”

He doesn’t sound very happy, but does he think that the change of referee contributed to them losing to Bolton? I doubt that it would have made any difference!

***The strange rumours about Steven Gerrard….***

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