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Pulis anger at unequal treatment


Pulis cries foul over unequal treatment

Stoke boss Tony Pulis claims referees are punishing smaller Premier League clubs more harshly than bigger teams.

Pulis expressed his annoyance in the aftermath of his side's 2-0 loss at Sunderland in which Matthew Etherington was sent off by referee Rob Styles.

It is the second Stoke dismissal in as many games after Rory Delap's red card against Manchester City last Saturday.

"It's easy for referees to make decisions like that against clubs who are maybe not as big," said Pulis.

"I'm talking for a lot of the clubs here, we don't ask for anymore, we just want the same as what other clubs get."

Pulis cited the example of Delap's sending off last week and compared it to a similar incident involving Steven Gerrard in Liverpool's game against Chelsea.

"Delap has a challenge on Wright-Phillips last week, the first one is a free-kick, and then he carries on and kicks the ball at Wright-Phillips' legs and that's unsporting behaviour not violent conduct.


"So that should be two yellows which is a one game suspension. We get the red card straight away and its violent conduct.

"I turn the telly on Sunday and I see Steven Gerrard do exactly the same and he doesn't get spoken to."

Pulis' comments echo those made by West Brom boss Tony Mowbray in the aftermath of his side's 5-0 loss to Manchester United in which Paul Robinson was sent off by Styles, a decision that was later rescinded.

Styles was also the referee for Stoke's match at the Stadium of Light and Pulis reserved some of his ire for the official.

"Mr Styles has not been very good to this football club over the years so whether we'll get a chance to appeal I don't know."

Etherington's is the sixth player Styles has sent off season, with Habib Beye's red card against Manchester City in October having also been rescinded.

At the start of the season the FA launched its "Respect" campaign in an attempt to promote better behaviour towards referees but during the season a number of managers have been handed misconduct charges following outbursts at officials.

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see also
Premier League as it happened
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
07 Feb 09 |  Football
Sunderland 2-0 Stoke
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Stoke 1-0 Man City
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Mowbray irritated by 'pally' refs
29 Jan 09 |  Football
Webb says Respect campaign works
17 Nov 08 |  Football
FA to act over respect for refs
11 Nov 08 |  Football

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