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Paul Ince Slams ‘Absolute Total Joke’ Referee After Penalty Error In Burnley Defeat

The gaffer didn’t hold back after the Royals weren’t awarded a stonewall late penalty at Turf Moor.

Burnley v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images

The Royals will feel unlucky after a last-minute winner for Burnley secured three points for the home side at Turf Moor.

Tom Ince gave Reading the lead in the second half but Burnley equalised shortly after. Reading had the stronger finish and Tom Ince had a strong claim for a penalty waved away by the referee in stoppage time. Unfortunately, Burnley scored a very late winner to secure the victory.

Paul Ince said he felt ‘conned’ after the defeat after a good performance. Here is what he had to say; he spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.

Ince on the overall performance and penalty decisions

“I can’t argue with the team – their performance was absolutely fantastic. I said to the lads after the game: ‘I’m proud of you.’ This is one of the best teams in the league we’ve come to. I’m gutted for the players. They were immense.

“But we’ve been denied two blatant penalties. One from Brownhill, who handballs it at 1-0, and then the one at the end on Thomas in the 92nd minute. The referee is in a great position, and the linesman is looking right at it. Referees have to get it right. It’s a blatant penalty and he turns away from it, and that isn’t good enough.

“It’s all hinged on a diabolical decision from the referee. In the 92nd minute, we go 2-1 up if we score the penalty. Instead they go up the other end and score. There’s no diversion of the ball. And Maatsen doesn’t get the ball.

“The performance today was absolutely brilliant, and we’ll go down the motorway feeling cheated.

“The lads are devastated – this is a team that people are saying are the best in the league, and they are a good side that play good football. But we were strong in every department, the tactics were right. And we’ve been let down by the officials when it really mattered.

“We’ve got a lot of players that are playing every game. And Baba was getting tired at the end and let Benson inside for the first time, and Junior has to do his job at the far post. You have to minimise mistakes against these teams and on the whole we’ve done that.

“I look at it and I have to be positive, because the performance was great. You have to be proud about the performance – I’m trying to be negative, but I can’t be.”

Ince on the referee’s decision

“I’m going to have to say it, the referee is a joke. Absolute total joke. That’s why we have come away with nothing. I don’t like having a go at referees because I know it is a tough job, but as much as I have to sit in front of you guys [the media] and be held accountable they should do the same.

“The penalty on Thomas is a blatant penalty. I can understand the one before that where [Josh] Brownhill has handballed it, there’s a lot of people there so I give the benefit of the doubt.

“But when it come to the 92nd minute and Thomas is running in that box and Maatsen fouls him, and AR [assistant referee] is 15 yards on the right-hand side and has a got a great view of it, and the referee is 20 yards behind it, they haven’t got the balls to make the decision for us to go and win the game, if we scored the penalty.

“Then, they go up and get the winner. That’s what makes me angry. They’ll probably go back and say ‘oh yeah, we’ll look at it and get back to you’. That’s no bloody good to me. I’ve got to go down the motorway now, five hours, feeling like I’ve been robbed by the officials and I think if that had been at the other end he couldn’t wait to probably give it.

“The referees don’t get the things we watch four, five times on a laptop, and we say ‘deffo pen’. But the fact is when the AR is there and he can see it perfectly and he hasn’t got the balls to make the right decision, that makes me angry.

“I’m angry for the players because it was a great performance and they deserved a lot more. I’ll probably get a ‘we got it wrong, we’ve seen it again and it is a penalty’. That’s no good to me. That’s no good to my players, my fans and my club. I just feel like I’ve been conned by the referees today and that’s what has made me angry.

“But I am proud of my boys, I’m proud of the way we played. Burnley are a top team, top of the table, and we’ve come here and at times made them look ordinary. To walk away with nothing is disappointing, not because of the performance but disappointing because the refereeing was very poor.”