Karren Bradygettyimages

Refereeing in the Premier League worse than ever, says West Ham vice-chairman Brady

Karren Brady has taken aim at the standard of refereeing in the Premier League.

Throughout the season there have been controversial refereeing decisions, and Brady feels West Ham have not had the rub of the green.

Brady feels VAR has not aided the situation, but believes the standard in general has been extremely poor in the current campaign.

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What has been said?

Hammers players Tomas Soucek and Fabian Balbuena were both shown red cards this season, following VAR checks, only for both cards to be overturned on appeal.

While both dismissals did not impact the outcome of the 0-0 draw with Fulham and 1-0 loss to Chelsea, Brady feels they highlight the issues with match officials in the Premier League.

Writing in her column in the Sun, Hammers vice-chairman Brady said: “The Stockley Park mob, blinking in front of an array of screens, may get more offsides right although, goodness knows, they often do so to the fury of people who don’t see any sense in arms or shirt sleeves being involved.

“The refereeing itself has been poor this season, possibly the worst I have seen in the Premier League.

“No doubt there will be statistics that prove me wrong but, subjectively, I can remember no time when the whistle was so out of tune with the game.

“VAR was sold to us as a way of perfecting decisions.

“These two red cards alone proved the opposite: not until the refs were requested to look at the screen did sendings off seem even a possibility.

“Especially since both the incidents took place right in front of the ref’s own eyes.

“But despite that, both took the VERY broad hint from Stockley Park - and thrust out red cards to the amazement of the players and disgust of millions of viewers.

“Of the Balbuena incident against Chelsea, manager David Moyes said the decision was 'rank, rotten', adding: 'I think it’s been made by somebody who has never played the game.'

“And, yes, he’s absolutely right. VAR never played a game and never will.”

Referee threats never justified

Mike Dean was in charge of the game with Fulham, and showed Soucek the red card. The official came in for abuse afterwards, which Brady says must stop.

Brady said: “Anger at London Stadium or in any other quarter in no way excuses the death threat to Mike Dean, who has sent off seven players so far this season, or anyone else. Such stupidity only redirects sympathy.

“Referees are bound to make mistakes, most of us are grown-up enough to understand that, and VAR was intended to take some of the weight of responsibility from their shoulders.

“It has, a little, but its replacement is fury at some of the rubbish meant to be impartial judgment.”

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