Referee’s chief Howard Webb visited Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom on Friday for clear-the-air talks following the Blades’ boss outspoken criticism after his side’s 2-1 defeat at Spurs last weekend.
Heckingbottom was furious that officials threatened to book goalkeeper Wes Foderingham for time-wasting, accusing referees of “not having a clue” and declaring: ‘They’re officiating our games at the top level, and they simply do not know the game.’
His outburst prompted Webb and PGMOL referees’ manager Jon Moss to visit United’s training ground to discuss the way forward though it’s understood they stopped short of issuing an apology.
‘I’m grateful they came in. We had discussions about the game and, the biggest thing, how we take it forward,’ said Heckingbottom.
‘There are two perspectives. I have to defend my team and if I don’t think we are being treated fairly, I have to stick up for us. And then there is the game itself.
Paul Heckingbottom was furious with officials after Sheffield United’s defeat to Tottenham
Referees chief Howard Webb visited Heckingbottom to discuss the Blades boss complaints
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‘I have no issue with time added on. But it’s how we enforce the rules.
‘My goalkeeper was averaging 18 seconds per goal kick. Manchester United took longer and Brentford took 29 seconds.
‘If we are taking goal-kicks quicker than Man United and Brentford, how can we be threatened with bookings. That was my point. We expect better, we expect more consistency.’
Sheffield United face Newcastle on Sunday but will be without striker Ollie McBurnie who was sent off late on at Spurs with Heckingbottom saying he only asked the referee if he’d seen his shirt being pulled.
Heckingbottom was furious with ref Peter Bankes for accusing Wes Foderingham of time wasting during the 2-1 defeat