Rate The Ref v Fulham (a) - Mike Riley

Last updated : 09 August 2004 By Kwacky

Riley is one of those fussy, interfering referees. In his 16 Premier League games before this match he had shown a total of 58 yellow cards and 4 straight reds. Before this game no Blues v Fulham premiership match had seen all 22 men leave the pitch at the final whistle.

Although both sides got stuck in it wasn’t a dirty or hard tackling game. Any other ref would have had little to do but Riley insisted in getting involved at the slightest hint of a chance to produce a card, unless of course it concerned a shout for a penalty. Blues called for a handball when Knight appeared to clear with his arm and Riley waved play on when Boa Morte claimed Lazaridis tripped him in the box. I saw the handball incident up close and it seemed clear cut, but Riley and his assistant thought otherwise.

Savage was back for Blues and back in the book when Malbranque and the Welshman came to blows. Riley’s unprofessional reaction was a two handed shove on Savage. Strange how both got booked when earlier Barry Hayles had left Martin Grainger with a black eye and Legwinski had got away with a heavy challenge on Grainger which saw the Blues defender replaced due to injury.

In total, 6 players were booked, taking the tally from the last four league matches between these two sides to 23 yellow cards and five reds.

Savage, Upson (Birmingham City)
Djetou, Malbranque, Davis, Boa Morte (Fulham)


For Fulham Match Report - CLICK HERE