Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has urged referees to clamp down on time-wasting after growing increasingly frustrated by the antics of some visiting teams at Bramall Lane.
Wilder, whose side host AFC Wimbledon this weekend, revealed details of an exchange with one opponent to underline his fears that United are being “punished” for being “a big club.”
“Refereeing organisations should have a look at this (time-wasting), Wilder said.
“I’ve heard a comment (from an opposition player) in there ‘what do you expect, it’s a big club versus a little club.’
“That’s not the role of the referees and the officials; to look at what size club it is.
“It’s to referee the game and referee in a manner that controls the outcome of the game for supporters.
“It’s not my fault that we’ve got 20,000 supporters here. So I was a little bit disappointed with that comment if I’m honest.”
Wilder issued his plea after becoming exasperated by what he perceives as the failure of match officials to identify when teams are deliberately disrupting the flow of the game.
Although they publicly praised the performances of both Gillingham and Fleetwood Town earlier this month, privately United’s coaching staff believe this was a factor behind their squad’s failure to win either match.
“I’m taking nothing away from anybody,” Wilder said.
“(But) when the linesman and the fourth official put theee minutes up. That’s a little bit of a bug bear for me.
“Listen, I’m not complaining because teams will push the boundaries. It’s up to the officials. We shouldn’t be punished because we are a big club.”
Wilder, meanwhile, has appeared to rule out a flurry of departures before tomorrow’s transfer deadline. But United could allow the likes of Louis Reed and George Long to leave on loan if suitable offers are received.