Nigel Pearson has considered walking away from football due to ‘all-time low’ officiating


Nigel Pearson has admitted he’s considering walking away from football due to the ‘all-time low’ stands of officiating in the English Football League.

The Bristol City manager has seen his side on the receiving end of some strange refereeing decisions in recent weeks.

A 21 loss to Hull City on the opening day caused controversy after the Tigers were given a soft penalty for Kal Naismith’s foul on Benjamin Tetteh.

Ozan Tufan scored from the spot to equalise and Jean-Michael Seri scored a late winner to Pearson’s fury, who later received a letter from the PGMOL apologising for the decisions.

Pearson claims the officiating body told him his side should’ve received two penalties, while Hull’s being awarded was a mistake.

In Tuesday’s 20 win over Luton Town, Robins midfielder Mark Sykes was sent off while Luke Freeman wasn’t given his marching orders for an over the top reaction.

Pearson, who speaks with authority and isn’t afraid to express his opinion, addressed the incident on Sky Sports and made an honest admission.

The former Leicester City boss explained: “In the modern game, I’ve got no complaints about Sykesy but what I do have a complaint about is the way their player wasn’t dealt with in the same way.

“I’ve got to be honest with you, I thought about it last year, and I’ve thought about it again this year and that is basically to pack up being involved in the sport.

“And that is not because how shallow the modern game is and how some of the aspects of the modern game irritate me but the standard of officiating, as far as I’m concerned, is at an all-time low.”

Pearson took over at Ashton Gate in February 2021 and after impressing on a short-term deal, he signed a three-year extension in May of that year.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Last season, he guided City to 17th in the Championship.

The 58-year-old continued: “After the first game at Hull, only this week, we had a reply from the authorities to say their first goal wasn’t a penalty and we should have had two.

“Which is fair enough, at least they can be reasonable enough to give some sort of explanation but I’m afraid when it happens all the time, we’ve had it again today – Rob Atkinson was fouled and we didn’t get it – so as far as I’m concerned the integrity of the sport is being compromised.

“They’re consistently poor. I’ll probably get in trouble again for saying what I think but somebody has to say it – I’m sick to death about people like me, our jobs are in jeopardy.

“It’s alright if we play badly every week, I can take losing my job because of that. For me, it’s just a worry for the game.”