Warnock risks FA wrath for blasting officials

London: Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock launched a scathing attack on the FA`s disciplinary procedure on Thursday, accusing referees and linesmen of double standards and questioning the viability of the appeals system.

Warnock, speaking to reporters the day after the Independent Regulatory Commission rejected QPR midfielder Joey Barton`s claim of wrongful dismissal against Norwich City on Monday, could be in trouble himself with the FA for his outspoken comments.

Barton was sent off 23 minutes after scoring the opening goal for what was deemed to be a head-butt on Bradley Johnson. Norwich came back to win 2-1.

After having the appeal rejected on Wednesday, Barton is now suspended for Rangers` next three matches and Warnock did not disguise his feelings about the process.

"Am I surprised that Frank Lampard commits an horrendous challenge (on Wolves midfielder Adam Hammill) and Peter Walton gives him a yellow card? If that would have been Joey Barton, Karl Henry, or any Tom, Dick or Harry would that have been a yellow or red card?"

"Whenever you see something happen on the field of play that warrants a red card, if the linesman sees that offence he`ll stand still and flags and flags and flags until the referee goes towards him, tells him what he`s seen and the lad`s sent off.

"This linesman (in the QPR game) carried on and on and on (running) and would not have stopped if Joey Barton had got the ball, gone past a few people and whacked it in the far post. We would have been 2-0 up.

"I find it absolutely impossible. I know they`ve got to look after themselves," said Warnock. "I feel really let down as a manager and as a club that three invisible people (on the Commission) can look at that incident and not look at the linesman and take that into consideration.

"If he did see what he saw why did he not flag immediately and keep his flag up?

"When you get people like (former referee) Graham Poll, not my biggest fan, supporting what I`m saying and the three people on the commission go against that, I just think it`s scandalous."

Warnock said he could not "see where the disciplinary commission are going.

"The red card received by (Wolves) midfielder Nenad Milijas a couple of weeks ago in comparison with Lampard is like taking the baby for a walk. Ridiculous," he added.

Barton, who joined Rangers from Newcastle United in August, will miss three games, including the away match at his former club on January 15.

After his appeal was rejected Barton continued to complain on Twitter about what he perceived as Johnson`s over-reaction.

"Right, enough on this matter, I am going to use my three games to take up acting classes," he wrote.

Barton, who was accused of diving to get Arsenal`s Gervinho sent off against Newcastle before he left the club, added: "It`s abundantly clear the best thespian wins."

Bureau Report