EPL

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany: Refereeing hasn’t been good enough this season

By Sports Desk April 01, 2024

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany has said the standard of refereeing in the Premier League “hasn’t been good enough” this season.

Kompany was sent off during Saturday’s 2-2 draw away to Chelsea for his protests against a penalty decision which also led to defender Lorenz Assignon seeing red, the latest in a string of incidents Kompany believes have gone against the relegation-battling Clarets.

Kompany said he spoke to referee Darren England after Saturday’s match to apologise for his choice of words at the time, and he has also had a number of discussions with referees’ chief Howard Webb, but on Monday he was clear he felt standards have dropped this term.

“I’ll keep saying what I think,” Kompany said. “I’m not shying away from it and I’ve said it to the referees themselves, the officials, refereeing hasn’t been good enough this season.

“And I have said that in, I think, a constructive way, understanding as well the fact it’s not easy for them. The scrutiny is massive, the pressure is bigger than it’s ever been on the officials.

“I think the addition of VAR and more opinions and more officials doesn’t make it easy for them to do their jobs.”

Kompany, who had 11 seasons as a player for Manchester City, said he had always regarded English refereeing as the best in the world, but this season’s experience has raised questions.

“I felt common sense was always trying to be applied,” he added. “You make a mistake and we all have a laugh about it and usually the traditional view is that it all evens itself out over the course of a season.

“This year, I haven’t felt like this. Where we are in the league doesn’t really matter for me, it’s not in that conversation.

“I’m not afraid to say it. I saw the interview of my colleague, (Sheffield United manager) Chris Wilder, that I’m fond of and that I really respect, and he said he’s a hard-working Yorkshireman, he doesn’t want to be fined anymore.

“I haven’t got any issues with being fined. I just want it to be right. It’s not something I say in a vindictive way, you can see I’m not even as angry anymore. We’ve just got to get it right and at this moment in time, it’s fallen short.”

Despite playing more than half of Saturday’s match a man down at Stamford Bridge, Burnley twice came from behind to earn a point, and might even have won it late on.

Having taken five points from their last three games, Burnley go into Tuesday’s match against Wolves with renewed hope they could yet pull off a great escape, sitting four points from safety with eight games to go.

“All we’re asking is to have an opportunity,” Kompany said. “If between now and the end of the season, we have just one opportunity, that’s enough for us. It’s trying to bring ourselves into a position where we give ourselves a chance…

“It’s difficult to go through the season we’ve gone through and at the end to still be a team, to still be a team as players, as a staff. But I think that’s who we are.

“Whatever happens in the next eight games, whether we win all eight of them or lose all eight of them, that is not going to change and that’s going to be the foundation of next season as well.”

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