Skip to main content Skip to site footer

MANAGER: It's massively disappointing

Paul Simpson with reaction to the Jon Mellish appeal

6 May 2023


MANAGER: It's massively disappointing

Paul Simpson with reaction to the Jon Mellish appeal

6 May 2023

United boss Paul Simpson confirmed today that he was disappointed with the decision made by a review panel this to uphold the red card shown to Jon Mellish in last weekend’s home game against Salford, with the versatile player now set to be sidelined for the next three competitive fixtures.

Club News

FA: Jon Mellish red card appeal turned down

5 May 2023

“Yes, it’s massively disappointing,” he told us. “Wow, what can I say about this one. Firstly, I’m not sticking up for Jon Mellish, I’m not condoning what he did, because it was foolish and petulant, but it simply was not violent conduct.

“We didn’t appeal just on a whim. I’ve looked at the video so many times and I’ve spoken to seven people, whether they are current or ex-football league officials, and all seven said that it was a yellow card, it’s not excessive force, it’s of the same force that Elliot Watt used against Jon.

“I’m really disappointed and really surprised that the panel have chosen to uphold the ban. I have to say, and this is me, who has massive respect for officials, and a massive amount of respect for our Football Association, but with this decision I’ve lost complete faith in them. That’s all I can say about it.”

“I think it’s a really poor decision and when you look at the current climate – let’s look at Louie Barry last week, I think that was more aggressive than Jon Mellish.

“Let’s look at Diogo Jota who nearly takes Oliver Skipp’s eye out in the Liverpool, Spurs game, and that wasn’t considered to be endangering an opponent.

“Let’s look at the assistant referee elbowing Andy Robertson for Liverpool, and no action was taken. I’ve got to say, I don’t know how the decisions are made.

“I also think that looking at it on the day, if the referee hadn’t been caught up in the emotions of the game and he’d have just delayed blowing the whistle for a couple of seconds, Jack Robinson put the ball in the back of the net and none of that would have happened.

“I really am disappointed by it, I’m going off on one and I’ve got to be really careful, but the top and bottom of it is that I’ve lost faith in our disciplinary system. That’s all I’ve got to say about it.”


NHS: We urgently need blood

6 May 2023

And with the examples just cited, it’s more a desire for consistency in outcomes that fuels the frustration on the coal face.

“Without a doubt you want consistency,” he agreed. “I don’t believe that Jon Mellish was violent in what he did, I don’t think it was any more excessive force than he had given against him from an unprovoked push on his back.

“I don’t think there was any more aggression in his reaction, but it was stupid and petulant. However, it’s a yellow card offence, and that’s not just me saying that, there’s loads of people telling me that.

“I haven’t received anything giving details of why it was upheld. I think it was a day or two after John-Kymani’s came through. A panel of three independent people sit and we heard last time that two felt it was violent conduct, one felt it was minimal contact.

“It goes on a majority, so there was obviously at least two of the panel for Jon who thought it was excessive force. I haven’t seen anything yet and to tell you the truth I don’t actually want to, because I’ve got no faith in it, so I’m not really fussed what they think.

“They’ve made the decision, I respect it, there’s nothing else I can do about it, but I don’t really know what they’ve done about it to be honest.”

“Unfortunately we have to take it on the chin, we have to move on,” he continued. “We’re missing Mels and JK, and injury wise we’re without Morgan Feeney, Fin Back, Jack Ellis, Jamie Devitt, the list could go on and on.

Club News

BLUES STORE: Weekend opening hours

5 May 2023

“What we do know is that we have a group of players who are really determined to go to Sutton United and make sure we put on a performance that guarantees that we’re in the play-offs, with an opportunity to go further.

“Look, any player that’s missing leaves a hole. I’ve just gone through a list of injured players, they all have to be covered as well. The good thing is that we have players who can fill it, so I’m not bleating on about it.

“It’s just been a really frustrating week that has put me in a position where after being in professional football since 1982, I’ve just lost faith in that disciplinary system, that’s all I can say. Yes, Jon Mellish made a mistake, we all know that, he deserved to be yellow carded, he shouldn’t have retaliated.

“I wish he’d dived to the floor like the player did when he was pushed back, but he didn’t and we have to deal with it. We have to take it on the chin. We’re missing him for three games now, but we’re still in a really good position and we’ve got to remember that.

“The players are ready to go, they’re looking forward to the game, and then we have to use this is a starting point to hopefully take us into the next couple after that.

“Suspensions are part and parcel of the game, especially nowadays, they are a real big part of the game. As with injuries, we have to deal with it. We’ve dealt with it really well over the first 45 games, we’ve had a lot thrown at us, so this is just the next one to be handled.

“It’s how we cope with it that matters. We’ve got a good opportunity, we know what we need to do, so we’re going to Sutton with same intention we have for every game, to win it. That’s how we’re setting about it. Like every other game, if we can’t win it we’ll look to make sure we don’t lose it.”

And it’s been a season that has been built on players stepping up when needed.

“There’s a resilience about the whole group,” he told us. “I think I’m right in saying that we’re up to 28 players that we’ve used, so everybody has had to play their part. Everybody has had to come along and join the party.

“Some lads who have been on the fringes of it over recent weeks might step up, they’ll definitely be bac in the mix, so it’s up to whoever is picked to go and perform.

[sam and kai] Sam Fishburn and Kai Nugent are both now available for us after their loan spells, but whether we use them or not is a different matter. I want to have the opportunity to have them in with us and they’ve carried on training, so we’ll wait and see. If they’re called upon they have to be ready for it as well.”

Closing off the Mellish incident, we wondered what he felt about calls on social media for the other player involved to face some kind of punishment.

“Firstly, I don’t believe it’s a manager’s job to call for retrospective action to be taking place,” he insisted. “I’m not going to do that. What I would say is the referee in his report, he didn’t actually put that Jon Mellish struck him in the face.

“The report just said he gave him a red card because he felt he retaliated with violent conduct that was excessive force. I’ve spoken to seven current or former referees and none of them thought it was excessive force.

“I wanted them to answer me truthfully because I’m saying, if you believe it was, I’m not going to waste anybody’s time appealing against it. And seven out of seven said to me we don’t feel it’s excessive force, we don’t feel it’s any more force used than what the Salford player did.

“I don’t know the reasons why he went down holding his face because there was clearly no contact to his face, only he can answer that. There is something in the rule book that says if it’s simulation, play-acting, whatever you want to call it, then retrospective action can be taken.

“The officials and FA obviously didn’t see the need for that. I don’t think it’s a manager’s job to call for retrospective action to be taken either.” 

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account