Date: 6th December 2011 at 1:52pm
Written by:

Probably one of the toughest jobs on this planet is being a referee. All those you work with scrutinise, verbally abuse and try to deceive you. Millions of other people dissect your work and criticise your performance. I understand that as an observer, we have many chances to review an action and draw a conclusion on what occurred, as opposed to the referee who has one chance to see it and make a decision. So I do sympathise with them, but not after last night.

I am the first to admit that I look through Red favouring glasses, but I believe those with a neutral view will agree with me. Kevin Friend last night was incompetent to extent of me wondering whether or not the FA should look for any unusual betting activity. Let’s review a few of his calls. He blew for two fouls for Luis Suarez the entire game where I could pick up at least another 4 incidents that should have been blown up. I am the first to admit that Luis Suarez has a tenancy to go down often. My home country was a victim of such an incident during the World Cup, however, I believe the referees are turning a blind eye to fouls against him. Perhaps his reputation precedes him (although I can think of many players who dive more than him who do not raise an eyebrow from the media or officials) but fairness should always prevail. The referee needs to call what he sees, and last night he was not. The anguish and frustration in the face of the Uruguayan master was clear for all to witness.

Then to add to that frustration, there was his goal that was disallowed for offside. Again, it was tight decision but Suarez was onside. On it’s own, perhaps an error with a tight call like this would be understandable, but not coupled with the rest of the decisions made.

Then there was the penalty that was not given. Initial contact was made outside the box, this is true, but the initial contact in my opinion was not a foul. The contact in the box however was a penalty. The way Senderos dived at the ankles of Charlie Adam had me wandering just how good a Swiss Rugby team could be. Yet again, a decision against us. A free kick and a yellow card flashed in the face of Senderos. A few minutes later, Adam was making a run down the middle of the field and was pulled back by the already booked Senderos. A perfect re-enactment of Ballotelli’s first yellow card against Liverpool last week. Foul given, but no second yellow card.

Then there was the numerous handballs the referee failed to see, which are only eclipsed by the numerous fouls for nothing given against the Reds. But all of this fails in comparison to the travesty of the red card against Spearing.

Continue reading to page 2 of post

52 responses to “A hint of match fixing last night against Fulham?”

  1. Double negative says:

    I think its endemic across the Prem.Shite Refs its a kick in the balls again we just aint had no real luck.

  2. Bill says:

    I’m in total agreement with everything you say, especially your title, “A hint of match fixing last night against Fulham?”.
    IMHO everythings possible, look at the corruption possibilities available throughout football and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
    For instance, the SOONER we get rid of Blatter and
    his cronies the better so we can get camera instant replay the better.
    We all know that it won’t slow the game up. Put a fifth official in a box with the technology and the possibility of “rigging” would dissapear IMMEDIATELY.

  3. pat says:

    the referee was terrible ,it would have been a good match if not for some of the worse decisions i have seen from a referee in a very long time ,the red card was a complete joke and i am 100% behind there being some sort of match fixing behind it all ,the look on the refs face was nothing but poor guilt,he should be suspended or at least made ref non league games and kept a very close eye on cause something is not right

  4. bazza says:

    Stop talking rubbish. There was no fixing going on. The simple fact is we are not good enough to finish off teams when we are in control of the game.

    Apart from the spurs game we should have won every league game so far, but we havent because we don’t have a recognised out and out goal machine. LS is not a prolific scorer, he should be playing alongside one. AC is suffering from lack of confidence so he should be a third choice striker (when comming on as a sub he plays well).

    DK & CB are not prolific goalscorers either.

    As for the fouls on LS well i have to admit that he only has himself to blame, as he does go to easily and now he is not getting decissions that he should. He should try to stay up more.

    Why does everyone blame the ref? cause it is easy. I doubt that any of you have ever refereed at any level so you cant make any informed comments.

    • Charlie says:

      I have refereed to a very high level and can see that there was some pretty piss poor decision making going on last night. I don’t know if it was match fixing or just general bias but it certainly ruined a good game.

    • Si says:

      Okay we weren’t good enough for the win but does that really excuse the bad decisions that turned it into defeat!

  5. El Fuego says:

    So was reina in on the match fixing because it was he who dropped the ball at dempseys feet. I’m a Liverpool fan and the ref had a stinker but it happens, had we played Fulham off the park and banged a few goals in then the ref would have had to do a lot more than send Jay Spearing off in order to allow Fulham to win. What’s the point of this article? No point being bitter, these things will even themselves out over the season.

  6. Steve says:

    I agree completely with this article but would point out it Carroll who fouled off the ball. Near the end of the game Suarez was taken down by Senderos and again no 2nd yellow. There was also the Dempsey incident-I thought headbutting someone was a straight red? And why give Bellamy a yellow? He didn’t do anything wrong. I said to my son at the start of the match that Friend was trouble and LFC have suffered badly from his decisions in the past. Surely someone from LFC must report him to the Premier League. His performance was either blatant cheating or total incompetence and he should be punished accordingly.

  7. Steve says:

    Sorry, meant to say it was Carroll who was fouled off the ball

  8. Scouse Billy says:

    All I can say is that I had an uneasy feeling early on last night.

    There was something in the expression on Kevin Friend’s face.

    In nearly 50 years of watching the game, I have rarely, if ever, seen such a one sided display by a referee.

    Yes, Bazza, Liverpool contributed to their defeat by playing Carroll instead of Maxi, for example but nobody with a sense of fair play should dismiss what others here are saying with regard to Kevin Friend. Further I agree with Kurt, there should be an analysis of betting patterns, just in case – you never know until, you look…

    • crazyhorse says:

      King kenny boobed playing carroll,the lad plays like a pub player,maxi should have started,kenny was only saying before
      the game that he wants to play maxi in every game….er then
      picks carroll instead!?????

  9. Josh says:

    You ought to quit smoking whatever it is that you are quite obviously tripping on. There was no fixing or even anything even remotely suggestive of such. It was a typical performance by a PL referee; some good call and some not so good ones. Just take some time and think clearly leaving your emotions aside before you sling mud on someone’s integrity.
    In your opinion was there a hint of fixing in the Merseyside derby? Rodwell was sent off for a clean tackle.. Do you think that perhaps we should take a closer look at betting patterns for that game??
    Just grow up mate… This spook talk is only making you sound like a paranoid numpty..

    • whitey says:

      the derby was one decision, which at angles looked bad and happened quick, but was clearly not a foul, this game, good goal disallowed, 2 clean penalties, adam was on a goal scoring oppertubity, so that shoulda been red for fulham, bellamy was head butted, whether soft or hard its still a sending off, the second foul on carroll was a sending off, suarez was grabbed then pushed in the back by two players. that wasnt a red, studs wernt shown during tackle, the fulham player decided to get tangled, holding his shin in pain after, when spearings left leg completely missed and his right went between the players legs, making no contact with his shin, with liverpool pressing at the end they added 3 minutes of injury time to make it short, when there was 2 injury minutes leading to at least 2/3 minutes, 5 subtitions,then a 6th in injury time, 30seconds each thats 6minutes o far, 6 free kicks, brings us to 8 minuts, plus a goal with celebration meaning a minimum of 9 minutes injury time, for some reason the officials were denying liverpool the chance to pull it back, how much injury time would fergie have got

  10. Abdul says:

    In the spirit of European Union why can’t refrees from other countries apply for these jobs in UK….just like da players coming from all over da world? The state of officiating in England is pathetic nd just rubish!!!

  11. Kurt says:

    Just to clarify Reds, I am the author of the above article. By no means am I accusing the FA or referees of being involved in match fixing. I am simply comparing the gross incompetence in officiating last night to intentional malicious acts. In other words, could a referee unintentionally be as bad as Kevin Friend was last night? Again, I do not believe I am being biased but you must agree that some of the decisions last night reeked of a different agenda. A fair person would not have made the calls he did. Whether intentionally or otherwise, he was a disgrace.An embarrassment. As Shankly said, “The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they dont know the game.”Last night, Kevin Friend looked like he knew neither. YNWA

    • whitey says:

      friend did know what he was doing, he knew he sent someone off for a good tackle, but didnt send the fulham player of for headbutting bellamy, yes was a soft head butt, but it was still a sending off action, if you scroll up you’ll find my reply to josh and my name is whitey, just want you to look at what i said in the end about the extra time, look at the factors a added to make 9 minutes not 3 and see for yourself, this further backs what your saying, minimum 6 freekicks, 5/6 subs, goal plus celebration, think was 2 injuries that seeked attention plus the usually fudge factor, and a pressing liverpool get “3” minutes of injury

    • Don says:

      Don’t forget about the Dempsey headbutt on Bellamy that Bellamy got a yellow card for! Kudo’s to Bellars for keeping his cool!

  12. Jay says:

    How terribly biased, lets be honest Spearing gave the ref the decision to make, he had both feet in the air, I know he is a scouser but surely he couldnt of been dumb enough to think he would have got away with it.

    Players always get sent off with 2 footed challenges winning the ball or not.

    Let me tell you this swings and roundabout, remember Jack Rodwell getting sent off for a softer challenge and he won the ball, I didnt hear any match fixings allegations then.

    Fact is Liverpool aint good enough, Spurs are 8 points clear with a game in hand so they are gone, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool will have to fight it out but Liverpools inability to beat the weaker teams will cause them to struggle

    • Liverpool4Life says:

      Watch that part of the game again where you allege a 2-footed tackle. TV replays showed that it was far from that.The tackle was hard and contact with Dembele was well after JS had cleared the ball, which means it was just due to sheer momentum rather than foul play. Even Andy Townsend vehemently disagreed with the ref’s decision although Gareth Southgate was at pains trying to justify the ref’s blatant error.

    • Ben says:

      What has his being a scouser got to do with it? You cockneys p*** me off with your blatant racism and you all get away with it cos no ones got the balls to call you out!!!

  13. Jay says:

    Again you guys are trying to justify a defeat.

    Let me tell you this each game you have lost you have failed to score and Andy Carroll has started (0-1 Stoke) (0-4 Spurs) (0-1 Fulham)

    Maybe Andy Carroll is the match fixer.

    You guys dont score goals which is why you wont finish fourth.

  14. Kimmmi says:

    I think this game should be made to play at every referee school with the lesson that every referee can have a crap day on the job. Might even be a cool youtube video on how to cheat to make more money from your referee JOB!! This guy is sick! The game made me sick.

    After what the Bush family did why cant this asshole be corrupt?

  15. Jevon says:

    Even United fell foul to a bad decision last week as Im sure most of you will agree with, but what irks me is that they might at most get 2 calls like that all season while we seem to get them on a weekly basis. The unpunished back pass, the continual fouling of Luis, the beachball, their keepers handling balls outside the box, incorrect offsides calls and legitimate goals being disallowed………I could go on and on…

  16. havethgey noshame says:

    What an insulkt to the traditional sporting reputation of Liverpool. I have heard of paranoia but this aspersion that the game was fixed reaches new depths. YThere have been many bad refereeing decisions and clear goakls disallowed when the ball was feet over the line. People get upset but are usually grown up enough to accept decisions are sometimes incorrect. Only the desperate and deluded rant that it’s fixed. whatever happened to sanity and sportsmanship on Merseyside. The writer and lunatic frings encouraging him besmirch the memory of the revered Liverpool supporters. Back into the gutter.

  17. Jevon says:

    There were also more than 4 contentious decisions over the weekend in the EPL. Proof that the standard of refereeing has to improve. Shaun Wright Phillips’ goal should have also stood but was disallowed. Not Good enough.

  18. Janno says:

    I had the same thought but just a thought. Not because of the sending off, but because of the pattern developing last night. Every 50/50 decision went Fulhams way. Adam/Senderos, Senderos/Carrol, disallowed goal, Luis penalty appeal (I remember JC penalty against Stoke but Suarez is a diver?), and a lot of other minor 50/50 decisions. Watch the game again or even the highlights before calling it paranoid. I hope mr. Friend is involved in nothing but a bad day at the office but damn it was a remarkable one sided bad day…

  19. Kimmmi says:

    After looking at the game about 4 times in replay i feel even more strongly that this was the WORST overall ref job so far this season. I admit that since i had money on the reds i do have something pulling me that way but still.. The money is lost and i see it now with objective eyes.. This judge is INSANE and must have been bought by the russian mafia or maybe.. just maybe they took pictures and pressured him after he had gay SEX WITH THE ENTIRE BUSH FAMILY………….

  20. Marty says:

    Hi everyone, I don’t think there was a hint of match fixing. I really believe it was fixed. It was all way too clear all through the match. I kept feeling that the ref was waiting for an incident to happen inside the liverpool box to blow for a penalty. The ref was incompetent, imbecile and a moron. He turned a blind eye to every foul on a liverpool player, a genuine penalty call and an offside that wasn’t offside. Come on, if the F.A doesn’t look into the game played last night and all its bad calls, i believe the F.A is in on the act too. Get rid of this degenerate ref. He should be working in a fish and chips shop by the weekend. If not, more match fixing is gonna happen.

    • whitey says:

      i’ll correct you, the FA are looking into the match yesterday, even though replays show suarez never dived during the game and was hacked puched and shoved, 2 defenders putting him on his ass in the penalty box, even gary neville had sympathy for him, riise who pushed him to the ground came out today saying suarez is not a cheat!!!, so the fulham fans give suarez grief when he’s walking off, you can only imagine the foul language and bigotry remarks being said, and apparently replied with a middle finger, so the FA are looking at THAT with a possibel 2 match bad, he’s only hman getting unfair abuse for no reason at all, they got back what they were given, but again the FA are going against suarez

  21. Jöe says:

    @Bazza i totally agree with you. We can’t kip complaining about Refrees when our own players are not up to the task. My Comment b4 d match was: IF WE play Carrol,we’ll lose bt if we don’t,then we’l win.
    Suddenly evry1 is talking abt d Ref. Nobody is talkin about Spearing’s poor passes, CARrol’s poor shot Technique. Dalglish’s experimentin wit d players,dat’s all.

  22. philip says:

    some of d decision yesterday was bad but we lost because KD wanted us to loss.y put maxi on d bench 4 d duration of d game,he had a good game against chelsea,scoring a goal,he also got an hat trick in this fixture all season only to see carroll start d game after bad game against chelsea and lossing a spot kick(am not condemning him 4 that).KD should just forget how much he paid for carroll and admit he has made a mistake and start players that are in d right state of mind,in form and that can deliver in every game..If kD continue like these, i doult if we can make the top 4

  23. albey says:

    I have to agree with the article spot on many points I would like to add about the penalty incident the pictures showed the tackle was on the white line of the penalty there fore it must be a penalty as the white lines are part of the penalty area if not then every corner kick taken in a match is out side the marked area you see every player place the ball on the outside of the white line when tacking the corner which would indicate that the white line is part of the area were the ball can be I have never seen a referee or an asistant referee make the player take the corner inside the white lines . The most important thing was dempsey’s on Belamy not once but twice if he did that on the street it would be GBH the referee did not do his duty and send off the player there fore he was making his own decision not applying the rules that he is paid very well to follow . I have always believd that referee’s are in the game because they liked football and had supported a team when young and I am convinced that some of the decisions made are based on this you cant tell me that not one refree never supported a football team before becoming a and I must say Mr friend looked to me that this may be the case last night

  24. mj says:

    I was thinking and saying the same thing to anyone who would listen, he was very dodgy!

  25. Kennedy says:

    I agree the referee’s decision making was inconsistent, poor and just incompetent. LFC still has to rise above this and deal with the situation, which could have been done had Kenny selected the player who has score two goals in two games and has scored a hat trick against the same team at Craven Cottage. Who in that team other than Suarez has the highest probability of scoring last night? It’s not rocket science and you don’t have to be the world greatest football player to see that, even after 70 minutes of nothing from Carroll. Suarez, Bellamy and MAXI! would have won us that game easily and taken the pressure off of Spearing. What do I know I’m just a fan!

  26. Kennedy says:

    Tottenham game a disaster out played. Stoke game unfortunate. Fulham game despite of the incompetent refereeing the responsibility has to lay at the feet of Kenny Dalglish. Suarez, Ballemy and Maxi destroyed Chelsea and Man. City. Kenny spoke about how he is tempted to play Maxi every game and is a good professional. LFC are trying to get back into CL we need points. Look at the statistics!!! 2 goals in 2 starts hat trick against the same team. How can you tell me Maxi didn’t deserve to start? Even after 70 minutes you still didn’t bring him on when the game was still winnable. LFC could have set the tempo with the early goals taken the pressure off Spearing and then brought Carroll off the bench. It was you who said we’ve brought him for 5-1/2yrs not 5 months, so let him come off the bench until he stakes his claim. He’s a man not a boy!

  27. shark says:

    The ref was just horrible! And i get the feeling he was doing all these things deliberately. Why? Only Friend knows.

  28. Billy says:

    Match fixing????? Are you serious????

    I am so disappointed that I clicked on the link to open this article.

    What drivel.

    If you’ve got evidence of “irregular betting patterns”, by all means go for it, but you are casting aspertions on people which are totally baseless.

    Yes, LFC were the victims of incorrect decisions, and by all means discuss and debate those, but to offer the “match-fixing” line without a shred of evidence is lazy and stupid.

  29. SSG says:

    So, the non-calls against Fulham were wrong? Also, the fouls called against Liverpool were wrong?

    Why not just come out and say “any call not going Liverpool’s way is wrong, and at best proves poor officiating and at worst shows cheating”

    Yup, that has to be it.

    • keith says:

      Sorry was suarez not man handled and pushed to the ground in the penalty box,even highlighted by gary neville, penalty and red card not given, was bellamy not headbutted twice in succerssion, again another red card, evidence showed the goal onside, also evidence showed adams to be taken out in penalty area, again no penalty, was andy carroll not dragged and pulled to the ground when running in for attack, again that would been a second yellow and sending off for a player who shoulda been sent off already, we get a red card with fulhams player holding his shin in pain, after the red the pain goes away and he runs about, plus replays show no dangerous play, he decided to carry on his run, his shins werent touched, also fulham were given every 50/50. we were even denied a corner when there was 2 clear deflections towards end of the game, plus there was at least 7/8 minutes extra time but 3 were given, sorry but every minor detail went fulhams way mate!!!!!

  30. RHudgens says:

    Everyone needs to stop whining and complaining about refs’decisions and this and that and face facts that we absolutely stink in the final third. It continues to plague us. Fulham had no clue until we gave them a bit of hope. What good is possession and 10 corners on the road when our players can’t take decent corners and can’t put one in? Pathetic!!! Now we have no DM. What will Kenny do? I know, try Adam and Henderson in the middle. Sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it? Two offensive midfielders. Lucas gone, Spearing out, and Gerrard continually on the shelf. Someone needs to learn how to make wise decisions at Liverpool.

  31. jim says:

    the thing that annoys me more is that refs and r abilty 2 miss chance after chance in games that r affecting us i can count at least 7-8 times this season where the ref has changed the game in favour of r apponents which is not right and 2 think if that was man u fergie would rage we need a rule where refs have 2 explain them selfs after games and i bet ya any money there b a change

  32. Ashfah Hussain says:

    I hate to say this folks but I think ther is some truth in it. Let the powers that be investigate. In Malaysia it does exist and a no. of people were taken disciplinary action.

  33. Shayne says:

    The ref was crap, most decisions had us all sitting in disbelief, what annoys me though is that Liverpool have come out and said they are not appealing the red card? WTF?!?!

  34. Dave says:

    I’m not saying for a minute that match fixing did happen in this particular match. However, to those nay-sayers, I do think we have to keep an open mind about the possibility of match fixing in the EPL. As unthinkable as it is, it happens throughout the world and there is no room for “ostrich syndrome” ie. burying your head in the sand! We’d all love to think the EPL is squeaky clean but there is so much money involved in professional football that anything is possible.

  35. Deaththekid says:

    Match fixing, huh!!? Sorry Kurt but thats bullshit. The only reason we lost the game was that we were not good enough… We played like shit unlike at chelsea and mancity where we played some world class football. We deserved to lose at fulham. People should stop whining and putting the blame on things that are out of control. Bad refeering decisions happen in football whether we want it or not. Focusing too much on external factors like biased referees, false offsides, fouls not given etc is just distracting us from seeing the real culprits behind all of this. We lost because of kenny dalglish`s wrong team selection and bad performance in general from our players including reina who clumsily dropped the ball in front of dempsey. If only we had played like we did at city and chelsea and scored a couple of goals early like all real top 4 teams would have done then no matter what bad decisions the referee would have taken, it would not have changed anything.
    Gay spearing is a reserve player. I don`t care how hard he works during training. He is not good enough to play for us. He deserved the red card with his two footed tackle.
    Andy carrot is a donkey. He should get loaned to a championship team or sold ASAP. Kenny Dalglish is trying to prove us wrong by playing him hoping he`ll get good somehow. But I`m afraid its never gonna happen. He should listen to the fans and play maxi together with bellamy and suarez.
    Dick kuyt also should not play. He is inefficient as a striker and winger.
    Gland johnson is a liability at the back. He allowed the shot to be made on reina in the first place. Kelly would have prevented it for sure.

  36. Blah says:

    I watch la liga all the time and the refs are fantastic! When a decision is made its final everyone just gets on with it without crowding the Ref!

    The reason for that is Respect! Respect that has been earnt on the pitch with correct decisions more often than not……

    It’s simple… When a game finishes and we are always questioning decisions that has to tell us something!

    IMO we have the worst Refs of any country and this statement has nothing to do with the Fulham game, I’m talking in general.

    There is also a bias… Gary Neville himself had a laugh about teams not getting decisions at OT.

    We either have the worst refs or else there is something not right!

    I like to think that the refs are just crap!

  37. Paul Davies says:

    We have to believe that the referees mistakes during the Liverpool Fulham match was not down to match fixing, otherwise we may as well stop watching all together. But it could be true as the decisions the referee made during this game were a joke. I would like to think however that his wife is a mad mad liverpool fan and he caught her in an uncomprimising position with a big hairy ugly liverpool fan. lol

    Anyway the game, it was a penalty even if the foul started outside the box it continued into the box and so being one continuous foul a penalty has to be given.

    He could very well of sent Senderos off then with a straight red card. It was a proffesional foul with the deliberate intent to stop a goal scoring chance. Senderos even pointed to outside of the box. He had intended to foul.

    And when he deliberately blocked Carol in the second half well that is definately a yellow card

    Liverpool should have had anther penalty when Suarez was blocked. The defender did not try to play the ball which went behind him rather he deliberately fouled Suarez in the box.

    Suarez does seem to go down quite easily but he is only little and most the cb in the premier league are big hulking oafs and when the replay of the block was shown in slow motion it became obvious he was fouled. He only seems to go down when his back is to goal I assume he is getting kicked. Referees watch closer. When he is through on goal he never goes down and if he does he generally is the first to react and he gets straight back up.

    Finally without discussing the sending off, as that is the biggest joke of the game and I dont want to discuss it,

    The Suarez goal could of been given offside or onside I dont remember sky playing a clear replay, but if it was that close the referees should go with the attacking as it is goals that make footabll exiting. It is all about goals.

    The referee does need to be given the benefit of doubt over match fixing but maybe he needs to be demoted a few levels maybe to level 4 or 5 for a year, a few games at county level will do him some good as that was shocking shocking shocking

  38. albey says:

    A referee should not be noticed during a game of football their there to see fair play and adear to the FA’s interpertation of the rules.But! every live game I seem to watch these days the referee seems to make decisions which become the vocal point over taking the tallent, skil and goals in the match then the next day the referee has his ten minutes of fame because the press and sky sports make abig deal of it job done the referee has then become bigger than the game , players or managers and supporters .It is all down to attention seeking Graham poll was a primes suspect of this but there has been many since. To stop this happening the press and tv media should not make any mention of decisions made by the referee this would stop the attention seeking referees and detere future referee’s from following suit .

  39. Punkin says:

    I totally agree that it wasn’t a case of matchfixing, just incredibally bad decisions made by the ref. referees would never make such harsh decisions against the likes of United yet go out of their way to give opposing Liverpool teams the benefit of the doubt even when they clearly shouldn’t. i dreaded every game Howard Webb officiated, for obvious reasons…is it going to be the same with our Friend, Kevin???
    and can somebody please tell me what is up with the FA on Liverpool’s a$$es all the time?

    • whitey says:

      Liverpool are the greatest team to ever grace english football, with a pure and natural history without the influence of hard heavy cash, as for united who claim they never spent as much as city and chelsea, figures may suggest an element of truth BUT the thing is, when fergie was failing horribly at the beginning of his career he was given an open check book, except back then players cost 3mil instead of 30 mil, basically, it all sums up to city and chelsea have only done what united did, and my final point, the FA are just trying to prevent liverpools dominance again as once we start they know we wont be stopped,