Neil Warnock furious over 'scandalous' Joey Barton red card


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The Independent Football

QPR manager Neil Warnock today launched a scathing attack on the Football Association's disciplinary commission branding the decision to uphold Joey Barton's red card "farcical" and "scandalous".

The west Londoners found out yesterday they had failed with their appeal to have Barton's red card for violent conduct in Monday's Barclays Premier League match against Norwich overturned.

Barton gave QPR an early lead at Loftus Road before getting involved in a tussle with Bradley Johnson and appearing to headbutt the Norwich midfielder.

The Rs captain claimed on Twitter the match officials had been "conned" and the club appealed his dismissal, which was rejected yesterday much to Warnock's frustration.

"I am not surprised but it is difficult to accept when you see what [Clint] Dempsey did [recently] in comparison with Joey Barton," he said. "It is farcical, isn't it?

"Whenever you see something happen on the field of play that warrants a red card, if the linesman sees that offence they flag and flag until the referee goes towards him, tells him what he has seen and then the lad is sent off.

"Now this linesman carried on and on and on and would not have stopped if Joey Barton had got the ball, gone past a few players and whacked it in the far post.

"We would have been 2-0 up and I find it absolutely impossible [to comprehend].

"I know they have got to look after themselves but I feel really let down as a manager and a club that three invisible people can look at that and not look at the linesman and take that into consideration.

"If he did see it, why did he not flag immediately and keep his flag up?

"When you get people like [former referee] Graham Poll, who is not my biggest fan, and Dermot Gallagher supporting what I am saying then the three people on the commission go against that, I just think it is scandalous but I am not surprised.

"Am I surprised Frank Lampard commits a horrendous challenge and Peter Walton gives him a yellow card?

"If that had been Joey, [Karl] Henry or any Tom, Dick and Harry, would that have been a red card or a yellow card?

"There would have been a lynching of them. At the moment I just don't see where the disciplinary commission are going.

"Mick McCarthy's lad got a red card a couple of weeks ago and in comparison to Frank Lampard it is like taking a baby for a walk. It is ridiculous."

Warnock was visibly irked at this morning's press conference to preview Saturday's FA Cup third round tie with MK Dons.

"You can't tell me another violent conduct offence where the linesman has not flagged immediately," Warnock added.

"I don't think there has ever been one, I don't think there will ever be one.

"There is not even a report from the linesman who has seen this alleged incident.

"There is not even a report from him that goes into the commission.

"All there is two lines from the referee saying his linesman told him that he (Barton) put his head forward,

"It is just absolutely farcical and I am so disgusted in it."

Warnock also questioned why less experienced referees are chosen when more senior officials are available, as well as the morality of allowing Neil Swarbrick to officiate the match against Norwich after an incident last year.

"The games we have now we have a referee like Phil Dowd as fourth official and a young lad refereeing," Warnock said.

"I find that difficult to handle as a manager. It is almost as if we are giving them experience to benefit them and not us.

"For me, if Phil Dowd is available he should be refereeing our game and I am speaking to [referees chief] Mike Riley this morning.

"I don't see how they decide these things."

He added: "Last year I thought Neil had a particularly poor game last year so I gave him 100 marks.

"On my report I put 'I hope these marks get him promoted to the Premier League' - I didn't realise it actually would.

"Unfortunately he told Phil Dowd about that before the game so he must have had it on his mind.

"I find that very bemusing, if I am honest."