John Ryan: Ref rage rubs salt in our wounds

John Ryan
John Ryan

OBVIOUSLY it was a sad day on Saturday, after four seasons in the Championship we were hustled out and back to League One.

‘Hustled’ being the operative word, following the second half performance of referee Mike Russell.

It was the worst refereeing performance I have seen in fifty-plus years of watching professional football.

All four Portsmouth goals should not have been allowed and I have had correspondence from some Pompey fans over the past 72 hours on that very subject.

The first penalty he awarded saw Dave Kitson actually tripped some two or three yards out of the box and then Habib Beye was harshly sent off.

This was followed by James O’Connor being penalised for handball when he was two yards off the player shooting and did not lift his hand or arm to deflect the ball.

It was clearly ball to hand and not hand to ball.

Then we had the Dave Kitson ‘goal’ when he clearly fouled Gary Woods.

And not content with the `Hand of Maradona’ touch, he slam dunked the ball into the net for one of the most ridiculous goals ever given in a game.

The fourth goal was an even bigger foul on Sam Hird and yet he allowed play to continue and they got the winning goal in injury time.

I spoke to the head of referees to see if they would suspend him but he refused to do this.

He was, however, concerned about two of the goals and said he would be looking at the others.

It was only last season in the home game with Southampton that Mr Russell awarded two controversial penalties against Doncaster Rovers.

One thing about going down to League One is that we will not be such a ‘small club’.

We may actually get a fair crack of the whip.

After that second half showing on Saturday Mr Russell should hang his head in shame and have the good grace to call it a day.

The result did not affect our standing in the league.

But one wonders what Bristol City fans will think if those so-called goals cause them to be relegated instead of Portsmouth!

Something needs to be done about refereeing standards dropping to an all time low.

For many months now I have been screaming from the rooftops for the man in the middle to have more help from his assistants and all the technology there is now in the world.

FIFA is at the root of the problem.

Their chairman Sepp Blatter is far too old now to hold this post.

They have shown no urgency to implement even the goal line technology which, after the Chelsea v Spurs FA Cup semi-final last Sunday, is a MUST and quick.

So, it’s back to League One.

And a real challenge awaits us to try and aim for the Championship again.

Please keep the faith and back the club in every possible way you can.

It will soon be August.

We have a few busy months ahead of us but hopefully it will be onwards and upwards.