Darren Ferguson has apologised for his choice of wording during his extraordinary post-game rant about the standard of refereeing in the EFL.
Ferguson blew his top after claiming there was a foul in the build-up to Plymouth Argyle’s equaliser and then seeing his side denied what looked like a certain penalty in the dying moments.
In a statement released on Rovers’ official website this morning, Ferguson said: “When asked after the game what I personally could do to raise standards, I said: ‘What can I do? Shoot them?’ Although clear to everyone in the room that my comment was a tongue-in-cheek response, it is worth clarifying my comments were borne out of frustration and I absolutely do not advocate violence against officials.
“I am sorry for that comment and regret the wording, but as was clear from my post-match comments I felt the referee got some decisions wrong at key moments in the game.
“Referees have a tough job and I have a lot of respect for the challenges they face, but I would like to see more done to raise standards across the board and give them the best chance of getting decisions right.”
Despite the apology, Ferguson could face punishment from the Football Association.
An EFL spokesman said: “The EFL has noted the comments made by Darren Ferguson following his side’s draw with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday 13 January and his post-match remarks have been passed by PGMOL to the FA for their consideration. We further note the clarification issued by Mr Ferguson on Sunday morning.
“Managers and officials at EFL Clubs are given guidance each season so that they are fully aware of their responsibilities in regard to commenting on match officials and their performance.”