Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton takes issue with refereeing standards

Joey Barton consoles Nathan Sheron following his red card
Joey Barton consoles Nathan Sheron following his red card

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has questioned the role of fourth officials after Nathan Sheron’s dismissal at Portsmouth.

Fleetwood were 1-0 down thanks to an Oli Hawkins effort when Sheron was shown a second yellow for a foul on Ronan Curtis.

The 20-year-old had been booked earlier for a foul on the same player but Barton maintained it was not a second yellow.

Barton has previously raised concerns about the standards of refereeing in League One and did not hold back at the weekend in discussing the referee, Lee Swabey, and fourth official, Gregor Read.

He said: “I don’t know why we have a fourth official because there was a throw-in incident where he is shouting to the referee down the microphone ‘it is a red ball,’ and the referee gives it the other way.

“What is the point in them? The point is just to bring substitutions on because he does not, in my experience on the touchline so far, influence the referee.

“He is there to be another pair of eyes and ears, to help the referee make the right call and run the game and I just do not see how he is doing that.

“He can see exactly the same thing as me, he sees the ball deviate because our player wins the ball then he allows the referee to make the wrong call.

“What is the point in him being here? Leave him at home, he is not using him anyway.

“Save the money, put it into the referees pot to maybe becoming full time because we don’t need them (fourth officials).

“The most frustrating thing is I don’t think they know much about the game.

“It is difficult for them because they have clearly not played the game at a good enough standard to be able to judge what is happening in front of them.

“The only thing I can think is that they don’t know what is going on.

“There are lots of officials out there that have played the game and you can see there is a difference because they allow the game to flow.

“You get jobsworth, traffic warden-type officials who do not know what they are doing. They have ruined the game for me in front of 18,000 (fans).”

Adding to Barton’s unhappiness is the fact that Town cannot appeal Sheron’s dismissal.

It means he is now set to miss Tuesday’s trip to Peterborough United.

“I’m devastated for him to be sent off for what is a ridiculous decision,” Barton said.

“He’s disappointed, he’s been sent off when the team are trying to get back into the game.

“He has worked hard to get in our starting XI; now he understands that we cannot appeal what is a wrong decision.

“He does not have the ability to play against Peterborough on Tuesday night and he could lose his starting place because of it.

“If someone comes in and does well, it is difficult for him to get back in.

“Not only has the referee cost us on Saturday, he is certainly going to cost Nathan a start, appearance fees and everything that goes with it.

“I’m disappointed and the ref is going to look at that.

“As I told him after the game, ‘you made the wrong decision,’ but we are powerless and we are faced with that double jeopardy of having a player sent off and he is now suspended when, clearly, it is the wrong decision.”