Manchester United club-Captain Gary Neville has entered the row surrounding referees, by demanding that a small group of elite officials take charge of the biggest games. United’s manager and his players have been unhappy with decisions made in recent games against Liverpool and Chelsea, following the Scot’s criticism of Alan Wiley.
“They should use a few elite officials in the big games instead of trying to give all referees experience,” Neville told The Times just a few days after Sir Alex Ferguson’s sanction by the FA for questioning referee Alan Wiley’s fitness to officiate a Premier League game against Sunderland in October.
“Their decision-making doesn’t seem to be great in the big moments. Italian referee Pierluigi Collina always used to get the big Champions League matches because he rarely made mistakes. They should make it like that in England.
“These big games shouldn’t be about giving refs experience. They should have to earn it. The best players play for the big clubs and the best commentators commentate on the big games. That’s how it should be with refs.”
Ferguson said that the United playing squad is losing “faith in refereeing” after United’s defeat at Chelsea; a game won with a hotly disputed goal. The Scot also questioned Andre Marriner’s experience, after the 37-year-old official failed to show Jamie Carragher red in United’s defeat at Anfield.
“I don’t think it was a foul by Darren Fletcher which led to the free kick,” said Neville of Chelsea’s winner last week.
“I don’t want to say we’ve been hard done by this season because every team has their complaints, and I don’t want to jump on referees’ backs because they are under a lot of pressure.
“Nevertheless, I expect the big decisions in the big matches to be correct, which is not happening at the moment.”