Thomas Frank criticises penalty decision inconsistencies following Brentford loss to Newcastle

Thomas Frank believes PGMOL chief Howard Webb will apologise to Brentford for the match-winning penalty awarded to Newcastle United during his side’s 1-0 defeat at St. James Park on Saturday.

Anthony Gordon went down in the box following a challenge from Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken in the 63rd minute and, following a quick consultation with his assistant, referee Craig Pawson awarded a penalty which Callum Wilson converted.

Frank was left frustrated by the inconsistency in decisions week-on-week in the Premier League after his side were not awarded a penalty in similar circumstances against Tottenham on the opening weekend of the season.

In his post-match press conference, Frank cut a frustrated figure and called the decision to give Newcastle a penalty a “mistake.”

“It demands character to come here and play — from us and from the ref in many ways,” Frank said. “We played a very even game and we could have won. That’s the extra frustrating thing it is decided by an on-field decision we are nothing to do with. It’s so rare I complain about it because I think ‘okay it’s human beings’ and we all make mistakes. So that happens but it’s extra frustrating when we lose because of that.

“We just got told four weeks ago when Kevin Schade went through on goal against Tottenham and the goalkeeper took him out that ‘no, he pulled out before’ so we can’t give you a penalty. Mark pulled out before (so it is) not a penalty.”

“In my opinion. Gordon cleverly leaves his leg hanging and and then it’s not the referee who gives it but it’s the linesman and he needs to be absolutely bang on 100 per cent sure if he wants to decide an even game between two teams that gave each other a fantastic game and fight. That means the VAR can’t do anything because it’s not a clear and obvious failure. I’m pretty sure that Howard Webb will come back to us to say ‘sorry we made a mistake.”

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The challenge on Gordon which was deemed to be a penalty (Photo: the Premier League)
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The challenge on Schade against Tottenham that was not deemed to be a penalty (Photo: the Premier League)

After Brentford’s 2-2 draw with Spurs on the opening weekend, Frank spoke to the referee Robert Jones.

When Frank was asked by The Athletic for clarification on what he had been told by Jones, he said ”when a player goes around the goalkeeper and they can’t get the ball, if the goalkeeper pulls out they will not give a penalty.

“They gave a penalty, I think it was Arsenal v Man City when they played each other, and that was wrong so they changed the rule. Apparently it’s not the same today which is why it’s extra frustrating.”

The Athletic contacted PGMOL on Saturday night to confirm whether the meeting between Frank and Jones took place. They were unable to confirm at this stage.

Newcastle had grievances of their own towards the officials after Wilson had seen a goal disallowed earlier in the second half when he was judged to have fouled Flekken in the build up. The Newcastle striker said goalkeepers receive “too much love” from referees in such situations.

“I obviously jumped up with the goalkeeper, challenging as you do,” Wilson told Sky Sports. “I think they get a little bit too much love from the referees, they’re a player at the end of the day, they’re allowed to take contact.

“I think at corners, they’re in and around you, they’re pushing you, shoving you but when you do it back, it’s a free-kick. Disappointing it got disallowed.”

As Brentford searched for an equaliser, there was an incident between Neal Maupay and a ball boy. Maupay tried to get the ball from the ball boy who threw it over his head towards Kieran Trippier.

After the journalists finished asking Frank questions, he stopped before leaving the room to comment on the incident.

“I think with all these new rules of where they add time, if the ball boys don’t want to give the ball back I think it should be an extra minute. That’s just to the ref I want to say that.”



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(Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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