John Ryan: This cannot be tolerated any longer

Action from the Rovers v Bristol match. Picture: Steve Uttley
Action from the Rovers v Bristol match. Picture: Steve Uttley

TO say I am furious about the result at Bristol City is an understatement.

This was a crucial game and the result was influenced by referee Fred Graham.

He made two crucial decisions from more than 50 yards away - suggesting he may well require a fitness test!

I discovered later that he decided not to send off Yannick Bolasie for the challenge on James Coppinger and then sent off Habib Beye without consulting his assistants or the fourth official because the batteries were flat on his communication system.

That is totally unacceptable and we were the ones to suffer as a result.

It was an horrendous challenge on Copps, in total view of the benches, fourth official and the assistant referee.

Bolasie had to go.

Then Beye went for the ball, beat his attacker to it and the linesman awarded a throw to Bristol.

The home crowd got to Mr Graham and he only had one thing on his mind as he covered all those yards and that was to produce a red card.

The refereeing for small clubs in the Championship has plunged to new depths, and the same can be said for the Premier League.

The majority of games are being decided on the mistake, or mistakes, of an official.

How long can this be tolerated where jobs are influenced on results and it also has an effect on attendances?

That is why I will strive for video evidence to be used to get the correct call, but I am told this is continually blocked by FIFA and Sepp Blatter.

Things are so much up in the air when it comes to tackles, we don’t know what is coming - a red, yellow or a finger waving!

Head of referees Mike Riley needs to get it sorted quickly as things have never been so bad.

Wherever I go people complain about referees and Doncaster Rovers have certainly had a bad time of late, especially away from home.

We are not that bad a side but there are other influences at work.

The FA and the Football League really need to have a complete re-think on the subject of referees because people right in the thick of the game say they don’t know the rules anymore.

I listened to Reading manager Brian McDermott being interviewed after their game with Hull and he said he doesn’t know what the rules are these days and he has a lot of sympathy from me.

Refereeing standards have fallen year on year in recent times.

It will end up deciding the result of every single game in the future if we don’t act now.

We lost a vital player early at Bristol and we then lost a key defender to the red card and had to play ten against eleven for an hour as Copps headed for hospital.

In that second half we made a great fist of it and deserved El Hadji Diouf’s goal.

We were unlucky not to get an equaliser when David James made an excellent save to deny Billy Sharp.

Sorry if all this sounds negative but I have never felt so depressed about the way the game is going.

The beautiful game I love and have been so closely involved with for more than 55 years.

Come on Mike Riley sort it out or let someone else have a go.

I hope we have a good following at Hull on Tuesday and then make sure you pick up a Free Press next Thursday.

I intend to get you to the Keepmoat in one way or another for the sake of Doncaster’s sporting heritage.

Comedian Billy Connolly, who is on at The Dome, has been paying his first visit to Doncaster and he has been thoroughly impressed with how clean and tidy the borough is and how we should all be so proud of what we have.

Nineteen games to go and 57 points to earn - I want the whole town behind the club.