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EXCLUSIVE: Red-card refs Mason and Jones relegated to fourth official roles

04 Nov 2009 08:25:26

EXCLUSIVE: Red-card refs Mason and Jones relegated to fourth official roles

Two Premier League referees have been appointed as fourth officials after their performances last Saturday piled more pressure on managers Rafael Benitez and Phil Brown - with Stuart Attwell restored to the top flight. Liverpool's Benitez and Hull's Brown were both the victims of contentious judgements during defeats for their sides last weekend but the two under-fire bosses weren't the only ones to suffer the consequences as referees Lee Mason and Mike Jones have been removed from the middle at all levels.   Liverpool, who had two players sent off by Mason at Fulham, are appealing against the dismissal of Philipp Degen having also considered contesting Jamie Carragher's red card in  the 3-1 defeat. What do you mean, red card? Liverpool's Jamie Carragher (C) can't believe Lee Mason is about to send him off... ... while Philipp Degen is equally as perplexed Hull, beaten 2-0 at  Burnley, have no recourse to appeal over Geovanni's sending-off for two yellow cards. The Brazilian had earlier had a goal controversially disallowed  while Burnley's penalty opener was also considered a faulty call by Jones,  the man at the centre of Sunderland's 'beach ball  goal' against Liverpool a  fortnight earlier. From referee to judge: Lee Mason will sit on the bench after being demoted for this weekend's matches Mason and Jones have both been relegated to fourth official duties in the top flight this weekend. At one time errant referees were temporarily dropped to a lower level but Football League complaints against that policy then led to a system of 'benching' them. Professional Game Match Officials routinely punish officials for  high-profile errors and  action was swift yesterday following an examination of  a weekend programme that  produced nine red cards in the Premiership. Liverpool's hope to have Degen cleared at today's appeal hearing. The Swiss midfielder was shown a straight red card for a foul on Clint Dempsey that most experts viewed as a cautionable offence at worst. There were also  protests over Carragher's dismissal for checking a run by Bobby Zamora that  denied a goalscoring opportunity. While the foul looked  less than blatant  on replays, Liverpool have decided it would be difficult to  defend especially as  there was no doubt about Zamora being through on goal. Hull, whose struggle  for Premiership survival has put Brown under threat, had reason to be even more aggrieved over the circumstances of their defeat at Turf Moor. But how can you give that? Hull City's Kamel Ghilas appeals to Mike Jones after he awarded a penalty against Burnley Cheerio Geo: Mike Jones shows Geovanni the red card at Turf Moor Brown's side fell behind to a soft penalty and were denied an equaliser  for an alleged  minor infringement in the wall when Geovanni arrowed in a  free-kick. The Brazilian was then dismissed following a routine foul. The fact that both Brown  and Benitez were conspicuously restrained in their comments about the officials afterwards has been noted with appreciation by refereeing chiefs. They have honoured a pledge to managers to make officials accountable. A further appeal to the FA  today concerns a yellow card picked up by  Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock in  their 1-1 draw at Everton. Warnock is  claiming mistaken identity  on the part of referee Lee Probert. If I say goal, it's a goal: Stuart Attwell informs Watford boss Ady Boothroyd about the 20-yard-wide-post rule in operation at Vicarage Road This weekend's biggest game  goes to Martin Atkinson, who takes charge of Sunday's Stamford Bridge clash between Chelsea and Manchester United. Meanwhile, Attwell, famous for awarding Reading a 'Phantom Goal' at Watford despite the ball going four yards wide at Vicarage Road 14 months ago, is moving back up the pecking order. Attwell, 26, has been appointed to Manchester City v Burnley on Saturday. He became the youngest-ever Premier League ref in August last year but has proved a controversial figure, attracting criticism from the likes of Benitez, Steve Bruce and Wolves after his handling of the 1-1 draw at Everton last month in which he sent off Stefan Maierhoffer and allowed an Everton goal to stand despite an apparent foul on an opponent in the build-up.  VIDEO SPECIAL: The five worst refereeing decisions in footballing historyFernando Torres facing turmoil: Striker will play in Lyon but fears are growing that he'll need surgeryFulham 3 Liverpool 1: Reds in need of Torres to avoid trophy wipe-outBurnley 2 Hull City 0: Brown faces D-day after ref's calls are hard on TigersGRAHAM POLL: Record nine red cards show inconsistency in refereeing... just ask Liverpool and Aston VillaThe 'goal that never was' - is this the most ridiculous decision ever?HULL CITY FC


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