West Ham manager Slaven Bilic blames Match of the Day for referees favouring top clubs

The Croatian says small clubs are disadvantaged when shown "at midnight"

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The Independent Online

Slaven Bilic thinks the Premier League's top clubs benefit from more favourable refereeing decisions because they appear on Match of the Day earlier.

The West Ham United manager believes that by having key calls analysed in relatively long prime-time slots leads to more pressure falling on those officiating big clubs to get their decisions right.

Bilic, who wants more technology to be implemented to help referees make the right calls, believes that smaller clubs are at a disadvantage because their decisions are only aired "at midnight".

 

"The big clubs are always getting decisions," said the former Croatia boss. “I don’t think it is deliberate. But it is the same in Croatia, Spain, Germany and Turkey.

"The biggest clubs also have the biggest press. If they are not given a penalty, it is a big scandal. If a small club is not given one, it is shown at midnight on television, not prime time.

"Everything is connected. That’s why they are big clubs."

Despite their impressive start to the season, which has seen them pick up wins away against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, Bilic is unhappy with his side's treatment at the hands of officials.

"We have been denied two penalties and the goal on Tuesday night (in the club's League Cup defeat against Leicester) was clearly offside," he said.

“I don’t feel it was like a major issue on television, but when a big club does it it becomes major.”

Mike Dean will take charge of the Hammers' meeting with Norwich City at Upton Park on Saturday having been roundly criticised for his performance during Chelsea and Arsenal's hot-blooded London derby last weekend.

If Dean's officiating should spark controversy again, it seems Bilic will not be afraid to take him to task.

"I don’t understand the managers when they say, ‘I will not comment about the referee’. Why?” the former Besiktas manager asked.

"How can I not comment about something that influences everything - on me and the whole club’s jobs?”

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