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MANAGER: We just want a bit of consistency

Paul Simpson on the confusion of added time

14 August 2023

The inconsistency in timekeeping when it comes to the unpredictability of added minutes has been a hot topic through the early weeks of the season, and that was no different on Saturday when manager Paul Simpson asked to speak to match official Jeremy Simpson to get his take on what was a confusing end to the encounter.

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"I’ve just been to see the referee, not to have a go, just to get some clarity on it,” he told us shortly after full time. “I said last weekend we played a game where the ball was in play for 63 minutes. I know that’s what we’re trying to improve on.

“Tuesday night I think it was 61. Today it was 57 minutes. We had 18 minutes added last Saturday, about nine on Tuesday, so I just asked him could he give me some clarity on why there was only eight minutes when we’ve had less ball in play than the previous two games.

“Also during the eight minutes of stoppage time there was a substitution, yellow cards, the ball was out of play or a long, long time, the goalkeeper got spoken to twice, and his explanation was the referees were told by Howard Webb during the week that they did it wrong last weekend and you shouldn’t add it on for yellow cards.

“You also can’t add it on for all the times the ball goes out of play. He told me he accepted maybe he should have added a little bit more time on, but I’ve just said, surely if Howard Webb and the PGMOL are making those decisions and having those conversations, it would be good if we were told about it.

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“All we’re asking for a bit of consistency, and it’s the referees in the firing line, and people make these decisions without any discussion. I’m not saying we would have contested or tried to change it, but at least tell us and give us a clue what’s going on.

“I’ve just said to Jez Simpson in there, we have not got a clue what’s going on at the moment, that’s me being totally honest. I didn’t know what was going on Tuesday, it was a different way of officiating to last Saturday, and this game was a little bit different again.

“It’s frustrating. Listen, that’s not why we lost the game, but I do find it a little bit frustrating because there’s no consistency.”

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