What can I do? Shoot them? - Darren Ferguson savages standard of refereeing after Doncaster Rovers are held by Plymouth

Darren Ferguson launched a blistering attack on the standard of refereeing in the Football League after Doncaster Rovers were denied a last minute penalty in their draw with Plymouth Argyle.

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson

Referee Andy Haines was unmoved when James Coppinger tumbled in the box under challenge from Sonny Bradley, much to the ire of Ferguson, who also felt Ryan Edwards' equaliser for Argyle should have been chalked off for a foul.

And the Rovers boss took aim at Baines - and his colleagues - in the aftermath.

"That is the most blatant penalty you will ever see," he said.

"There's nothing to think about.

"It's two incidents. The goal, he has just pulled Andy Butler to the floor.

"The linesman can see it and the linesman can see the penalty. He is looking right at it.

"We're just getting poor officials.

"The job is hard enough as it is. Do your job and clearly give the penalty.

"It's the clearest penalty you will see all season and their goal was a clear foul.

"The linesman is laughing at the end of the game about it.

"I think it's absolutely disgusting, the standard of refereeing and of all officials.

"To not see that is a disgrace."

Ferguson declared the possibility of launching an official complaint as pointless.

And he revealed he is expecting to receive an apology during the week - as he did after Rovers were controversially beaten at Oxford United in December.

"It doesn't matter," he said.

"We'll get a letter probably next week and we'll get an apology.

"We got one after the Oxford game saying they apologise for playing an extra minute of injury time and we apologise they gave a penalty that was clearly out of the box.

"But the referee who refereed that game is refereeing again at the weekend.

"We'll get another apology because they will look at this and say it was a blatant penalty and a blatant foul for the goal but he will referee again next weekend.

"[The referees] are part time, the standards are appaling, the fitness levels are a disgrace.

"I've had enough of it. It's disgusting, the standards of referees at this level."

The most eyebrow-raising moment of his tirade came when asked what he plans to do next.

"What can I do? Shoot them?" he said.

"It'd be a good idea.

"They're not good enough, they're not fit enough. They can't keep up with play.

"We're talking about a lot of money in this industry.

"I could put up with it, I have to shut my mouth and make sure I'm respectful.

"But when they're laughing at the end of the game about it and saying 'it's my opinion and that's what counts.'

"Come on, I think I've seen enough now."

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