Red card, player off, game spoilt and points lost for Newcastle followed by an all-too late rescinding of the red – its what happened in the Sunderland-Newcastle derby last season giving the now officially tarnished Big Sam his first win as Sunderland boss, ultimately deciding the relegation race and something very similar happened to Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle on Friday night although of course the Magpies in the wrong League are harder to stop.
Yet again though, Newcastle’s long-suffering, hard-paying supporters were ripped off at the hands of disgraceful officials on Friday night as The Magpies ended a bad week with an undeserved defeat at Notts Forest after the officials got every major decision wrong sending off two players, inexplicably awarding two wrong penalties while ignoring Newcastle’s own stonewall penalty appeal and denying a goal.
True, the red cards handed to JonJo Shelvey and Paul Dummett were immediately rescinded by an Independent Regulatory Commission on Tuesday yet the damage has already been done and have cost Rafa Benitez’s Magpies the games and a vital 3 points they would have picked up had it not been for referee Steve Martin.
The deplorable unsporting actions of Forest player Henri Lansbury did not help the officials yet there was a clear determination, almost a pre-determination, on their part to ensure that Newcastle went home empty-handed from the fixture which smacked of Newcastle’s treatment from officials last season.
The clear anti-Newcastle bias the entire match was an echo of last season’s Wear-Tyne derby when in Big (Rule-breaker?) Sam Allardyce’s first game, a dominant Newcastle were denied a clear penalty at one end before Sunderland were awarded one and Magpies Captain Fabricio Coloccini was sent off at the other.
The worrying pattern established for Newcastle is the fact Coloccini’s red card, although rescinded, handed The Black Cats the game, a crucial 3 points and momentum and in 3 of Big (Dodgy?) Sam’s first five wins, Sunderland played against 10 men with 2 of the 3 red cards rescinded and the 3rd should have been.
Meanwhile, Newcastle went over 100 matches without enjoying the advantage of playing against 10 men until Brighton at home this season, an inexplicable statistic that massively contributed to the club losing its Premier League status and extra £100M rightful share of the new TV deal money.
Presently, Newcastle are well-placed to return to The Premier League yet on Friday’s evidence, the notion held by Rafa Benitez that the only thing that can stop Newcastle’s promotion is themselves is not true – the only thing that can stop The Magpies is unjust officiating exactly like last season and decisions like this:
On Friday night, Dwight Gayle was denied an early penalty, two Newcastle men were wrongly sent off and two penalties given, the second after Newcastle took a lead with 10-men – almost as if the man in the middle’s plan to stop Newcastle the first time hadn’t worked and he was determined to ensure it did with another pen & red.
Conveniently for SKY Sports television, Newcastle being pegged back in The Championship title race means the TV broadcaster’s 10 in 10 Sky Bet EFL Marathon of ten Championship matches kicks of with Brighton vs Leeds tonight with the chance for Chris Hughton’s men to go top of the League.
This is a highly popular scenario in TV land as Rafa Benitez’s Black and Whites are the team everyone loves to hate in The Championship and the team to beat that the nation’s football supporters outside of Newcastle take great pleasure in seeing fall on their faces like Friday night.
When Newcastle play even in The Championship viewing figures are in excess of 0.5 M and up to 826,000 like against Leeds almost four times the Championship average of 250,000 and more than supposedly big Premier League games like the minor Middlesbrough – Sunderland Tees-Wear derby which attracted 0.5M fans.
Is the fact that Newcastle fans are so passionately loyal and support the team anywhere and everywhere win, lose or draw, wind, hail or shine a factor behind the club getting a raw deal off the referees? Or is it because a fully-functioning Newcastle are a massive threat to the established football order?
Horrendous officiating and inexplicably bad decisions have happened all too often against Newcastle for it to be an accident – it is a nothing less than an organised and calculated way of halting the progress and success of Newcastle United Football Club in order that it does not grow into the sporting giant it has the potential to become.
Last season, independents discovered that Newcastle were on the receiving end of the most bad decisions in The Premier League, a fact which after having statistically the hardest start to the season, led to its eventual downfall. Dispel the old notion that ‘Decisions even out over the course of the season’ – in reality they don’t as proven by www.refereeingdecision.co.uk who show that clear reffing bias is evident in The Premier League.
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From statistically the hardest start to the 2015/6 Premier League season to decisions like this “rugby tackle” on Aleksandar Mitrovic by Jonny Evans at West Brom denying a clear penalty – a very rare sighting last season as Newcastle were awarded two all season – it was Newcastle against the world from the off.
From Trelford Mills in the 1980s and the two wrongly disallowed goals one by Kevin Keegan that meant an early Cup exit to the same Keegan – then as manager in the mid-1990s – being one of the many victims of FergieTime, the modern Newcastle have been ripped off by referees time and again.
New manager Rafa Benitez knows all about the unlevel playing field in English football – his infamous ‘Facts’ rant spelt out what he thought of the clear bias and corruption in English football while at the helm at Liverpool – a club for whom it was easier to win The Champions League than The Premier League.
Yet things are set to change and in a huge step for the officiating of the game, FIFA this week announced that it is trialing VAR technology – Video Assistant Referees at the World Club Cup in Japan which will mean the end of games like Friday and, ultimately, the levelling of the football playing field.
The 21st century is dominated by technology and so far has been an era of sporting corruption on and off the pitch coming to light even years after the event due to advances in journalistic research not to mention the FBI’s involvement in the scandals of the beautiful game, an ongoing investigative process and word on the grapevine is new revelations are soon set to shock the football world again.
As Newcastle once proved at St. James’ Park, on a level playing field, the SKY isn’t the limit at Newcastle United Football Club and The Rafalution will be televised and video-replayed, forever.