Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom launched a scathing rant following his team’s injury-time loss to Tottenham Hotspur, accusing referees of “killing the game” and claiming they “haven’t got a clue.”
Sheffield United traveled to North London as the Premier League resumed after the latest international break. The newly-promoted side took the lead in the second half thanks to Gustavo Hamer and appeared on track to secure three points.
However, Spurs’ Richarlison equalized deep into injury time and then set up Dejan Kulusevski for the winning goal, securing the victory for Ange Postecoglou’s side. Heckingbottom’s frustration with the officiating was evident in his post-match comments.
However, it was not the end result that Heckingbottom took issue with after the game, with the United boss instead pointing the finger at referee Peter Banks.
He claimed that the referee told the Blades to go long rather than play out from the back when Spurs nullified the latter option, and pointed to the inconsistency of decisions that led to yellow cards.
Blades striker Ollie McBurnie was booked for merely telling the official his shirt was being pulled and was sent off in the dying moments after receiving a second yellow card, while a Spurs player was shown a yellow card after elbowing goalkeeper Wes Foderingham and leaving him needing stitches.
And after the loss, Heckingbottom went on an extraordinary rant over the current state of refereeing, claiming they ‘haven’t got a clue’ and are ‘killing’ the game after becoming ‘obsessed’ with time wasting.
Check out video footage of his epic rant below:
😡 “The refs are ruining the game. They are killing it, absolutely ruining it.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 16, 2023
He said: “How long have you got? The referees are just killing the game at the minute, they’re ruining it, absolutely ruining it. I’ve got no qualms over the result and you could see from 0-0, he’s telling our keeper to hurry up.
“The referees haven’t got a clue, they don’t know what I’m saying. The answer back to me was ‘well kick long then’. We work all week on how we want to play and the refs are dictating to us how we play the game? It can’t happen, but it’s happening.
“They’ve got obsessed with time wasting, with these yellow cards for this and this and this. He came over and warned about multi-ball four times, you’re meant to get rid of it, it you’re not happy with it, but he just kept coming over and guess what happens then, it slows the game down again. They’ve haven’t got a clue what they’re doing.
“They’re ruining the game, absolutely ruining it. The centre back jumps into Wes, turns his back, leaves his elbow and Wes gets stitches, and that’s deemed a yellow card. Ollie McBurnie goes to the referee and says ‘he’s pulling my shirt’ but not swearing, and he gets booked.
“It’s deemed the same offence and we’ve got a player missing now. They just do not know what they’re doing and it’s nothing to do with the result.
“They were doing it from 0-0, I speak to them all the time, I went to see him at half-time, I was doing it when we were 1-0 up, everyone can see it, both sets of players are frustrated, both sets of staff are frustrated, all the fans are frustrated and why? Because the people who are directing our game haven’t got a clue about our game.
“They don’t know football, they do not know it.”