THE Goodison derby of 2011 will live on in Everton FC history as a day of infamy.
To the list of Clattenburg, Poll and Thomas add the name Atkinson. The burning sense of injustice to Rodwell’s red card will inflame Evertonians for years, just as the actions of earlier referees has done.
What grates about the whole derby debacle is not the fact that Everton lost, Blues have had enough practice at dealing with defeats to Liverpool over the years.
No, the real anger was fuelled by the notion that we were not given a fair crack. The referee’s immediate flourish of his red card astounded Goodison and ended the game as anything like a fair contest.
The Premier League is inherently unfair off the pitch, with super-rich clubs competing with relative paupers. If we are to have that sense of injustice on the pitch as well, it will only damage the Premier League in the long term.
Liverpool themselves have complained bitterly this season about refereeing – away at Stoke – so this is not a case of Everton fans wanting things their own way.
The standard of match officials is having an undue influence on the results of matches. And fans don’t like it.