Ex Premier League Ref Says Pawson Was Right Not To Send Off Knockaert At Palace

1 Posted by - March 12, 2019 - News

Upon second viewing of Anthony Knockaert’s challenge on Luka Milivojevic during Saturday afternoon’s game between Crystal Palace and Brighton, 99% of viewers agree that the Seagulls midfielder was extremely lucky not to receive a red card. Incredibly, that’s not the opinion of former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher. 

Analysing the weekend’s contentious decisions for Sky Sports in a regular segment, Dermot suggested that Craig Pawson was right to only show the Frenchman a yellow, with both men having gone in recklessly on one another. 

Quite how someone of his stature and experience can view a tackle as severe as Knockaert’s and not immediately view it as a red card offence is anyone’s guess but here we are. The Brighton man not only fails to pull out of the challenge with the ball long gone, he actively extends his foot (and studs) at the very end, stabbing them into Milivojevic’s groin a split second later. 

My and many other people’s reading of the call was that it arrived too early in the game (just 28 seconds had passed when it occurred) for referee Craig Pawson to think seriously about dismissing Knockaert. In a bitter rivalry, being televised live on Sky Sports, this call to send him walking would have made headlines and perhaps Mr Pawson wasn’t ready for that level of scrutiny. 

There will be at least a few Brighton fans who suggest I’m speaking from a biased perspective but I genuinely cannot believe that someone with such prior standing within the refereeing profession can view the above tackle and not see it as an immediate red card. It makes you wonder if he and the ever-increasing number of talking heads are saying things on TV to generate discussion rather than being totally honest.

if these are the sort of people who will be helping to implement VAR next season, what hope have we got?

HLTCO has no adverts, we cannot survive without your help.


  • tzcar March 12, 2019 - 7:58 am Reply

    your point is well taken.but arn,t u missing the real point.this team were not good,should have beaten brighton hands down.negative team selection.changes arriving too late to alter the result.the inability to get this rich squad playing well.look at palaces home record this season,does,nt that say it all.

  • Gordon March 12, 2019 - 8:39 am Reply

    Both players certainly committed themselves to this tackle, but to play down the incident due to recklessness on either part ignores 3 key distinctions. 1. Milivojevic led with his shins and Knockeart led with his studs. 2. Milivojevic made contact with the ball & Knockeart didn’t. 3. After the initial collision with the ball no longer being contested, Milivojevic’s leading leg remained bent at the knee and avoided Knockeart, whilst Knockeart’s leading leg clearly straightened in a stamping movement as he made contact with Milivojevic’s groin. It seems clear to me that one player went into this tackle with fair intentions and the other didn’t. It should have been a red card & Pawson was at fault. Gallagher’s verdict makes no sense whatsoever and is inexcusable.

  • Ben March 12, 2019 - 9:16 am Reply

    Could be why Dermot Gallagher is a former PL referee instead of a current one. What a ridiculous comment to make. As Gordon has rightly said, there was obviously a huge difference between the player on intent as well as the other points Gordon has pointed out. Really wonder sometimes whether guys like Gallagher publicly make these comments to get attention even though he knows he’s wrong.

  • Pete Burch March 12, 2019 - 10:59 am Reply

    Great analysis Gordon. ‘Nuff said.

  • Mike March 12, 2019 - 11:21 am Reply

    I’m always reminded of Vinnie Jones’s story about the FA Cup Final v Liverpool when he says he went in hard for the first tackle in the first few minutes of the game to ‘let the Liverpool team we meant business that day’.. can’t help thinking Hughton sent his team out with that same mentality.

  • Gordon March 16, 2019 - 8:53 am Reply

    No fear of refereeing mistakes at Vicarage Road today as there’ll be VAR 👍👍👍👍 … and the VAR official is Craig Pawson 😱😱😱😱. Come on Craig – you owe us one!

  • Leave a reply