Pulis demands clubs be given right to 'relegate' referees from Premier League

Tony Pulis has called for clubs to be able to relegate unpopular referees from the Premier League. The Stoke manager, whose team host Birmingham City tonight, feels aggrieved after a series of unfavourable decisions this season, culminating in Lee Cattermole's unpunished elbowing of the ball off the line at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Pulis described the incident as a "game-changing decision" and says that the time is now right for club oversight and selection of Premier League referees. "It cannot be right that these decisions consistently go on without being addressed," Pulis said yesterday. "We've had decisions that have been absolutely abysmal but we have kept our grace and just got on with things.

"Over the weekend I have thought about it and I want to be constructive, so I think we should put in place a system where every Premier League club has a vote at the end of the season on referees, and the bottom three referees should be relegated to the Championship and the top three referees from the Championship should be promoted," he said.

The result left Stoke two points behind Birmingham, themselves at the centre of a refereeing controversy on Saturday. Birmingham might have conceded a late penalty after a shirt-pull from Jean Beausejour, whose substitute appearance could be enough to earn him a starting place tonight, as Birmingham chase their first away win in the Premier League since March. Ryan Shawcross is suspended for the hosts.

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