Slaven Bilic believes what pretty much every fan of every non-“big club” believes: that referees are biased toward those “big clubs” and their in-game decisions are impacted by said favoritism.
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As stated, this is far from a new revelation, Mr. Bilic. So what, if anything, do you propose be done to weed out the preferential treatment given to “big clubs?” It’s a good thing you said, “Video technology,” because we were hoping you would say, “Video technology.”
Take it away, Slaven — quotes from the Express:
“The big clubs are always getting decisions. I don’t think it is deliberate. But it is the same in Croatia, Spain, Germany and Turkey.
“The biggest clubs also have the biggest press. If they are not given a penalty it is a big scandal but if a small club is not given one it is shown at midnight and not prime time. That’s why they are big clubs.
“I don’t understand the managers when they say: ‘I will not comment about the referee’. Why? How can I not comment about something that influences everything? It has a major impact so at least after the game I want to say my opinion in a nice and polite way.
“It is impossible for referees to do everything right with the speed and movement so it is better to slow the game down for three seconds.”
On one hand, sure, Bilic is right about the uproar following the “big clubs” when a call (or no-call) goes against them. Hand in hand, though, goes the fact that those “big clubs” are often fighting for league titles and/or UEFA Champions League qualification — people care more about that stuff — which means a penalty not given during one of their matches is a naturally a bigger, more impactful storyline than, say, a 12th-place side (West Ham, last season) not getting the same call.
No one expected Bilic’s Hammers to be third in the league, not even after just six games played. All they’ve got to do is hang on for 32 more weeks and they’ll officially be one of those “big clubs” who get all the calls. That also means 32 more weeks of calls going against them.