Referees want Burnley relegated from the Premier League, claims Barnes

Ashley Barnes - Burnley 2022Getty

Ashley Barnes has claimed referees want Burnley to be relegated from the Premier League because they buy into their reputation as an "ugly" side.

Burnley head into the final day of the season sitting 17th in the table, outside the drop zone on goal difference.

The Clarets are in danger of falling into the Championship after six seasons in the top flight, and Barnes believes a number of officials will be happy to see them go if they fail to survive.

What has Barnes said about PL referees?

"I think in recent seasons people look at us and think we’re a hard team, being ugly,” said the forward.

“No disrespect, I think people, even referees, want us gone from the league. That’s just another issue we have to overcome. We’ve just got to concentrate on the game ourselves.”

Barnes was then asked if he feels Burnley are treated differently by referees because of their unattractive status, and he replied by pointing to the incident that saw him concede a penalty after being pulled up for a handball against Tottenham last week.

“Of course they do," he said." The whole situation when [Kevin Friend] goes to the screen at the weekend. [Tottenham] played on, they missed a great opportunity and everyone goes to set up for a goal-kick, but then there’s VAR, it’s like, ‘What?’ Then he’s smiling when he comes away and no one can speak to him."

Barnes added on a similar incident in their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last time out: "Even at Villa Park we can’t speak to [Paul Tierney]. Go and check the screen, that’s what it’s for. We just need consistency throughout the decisions.”

What do Burnley need to stay up?

Burnley are guaranteed to stay up if they win their final game against Newcastle at Turf Moor on Sunday.

A loss or a draw would see them go down if Leeds beat Brentford, and Barnes is ready to give his all and try to end a frustrating campaign on a high.

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"It [this season] has been very tough for me, probably one of the lowest points in my Burnley career," he said.

"I have waited for my chance and I have had that in the last few games. I believe in my own ability and that is all I can do."

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