Stoke City chairman Peter Coates insists the club are not persecuting referees despite openly criticising Andre Marriner following his performance at the weekend.
The whistler bore the brunt of Potters manager Tony Pulis' anger after the 2-1 Premier League loss to Manchester United at the Britannia Stadium.
With Gary Neville already sitting on a yellow card on Sunday, he then wiped out winger Matthew Etherington, but Marriner decided a free-kick was just punishment, much to Pulis' dismay.
However, Coates is adamant that if the challenge was committed by a Stoke player then they would have certainly received their marching orders.
"We're not trying to persecute referees because we want them to have good games and not affect their outcome," he told the Sentinel.
"This is not a crusade against referees, we just speak out against bad decisions when they happen. If we have an injustice done to us, we should say so.
"I don't like players being sent off because I like the balance of a game with 11 versus 11, but if you deserve to go then it's just tough on that team.
"There's no question that if it had been a Stoke full-back like Andy Wilkinson or Robert Huth playing at Stoke - never mind at Old Trafford - he would have been sent off for that challenge on Sunday.
"It was a very poor decision. Everyone in the stadium could see what happened, except the referee."