We Chelsea FC supporters have a bit of a complex when it comes to officiating. Last year the Blues were voted the Most Hated Club in the Premier League by fans, which is fine – if they don’t hate you you’re doing it wrong – but all too often it seems like CFC is equally hated by the referees. I’m not going to bother you with an extended laundry list of grievances – feel free to Google [chelsea referee controversies] if you want details – but trust me when I tell you that for every questionable call that goes our way (and sure, there are some, like Mike Riley awarding Ramires a penalty against West Brom last season), it seems like there are a lot more that don’t.
There was a moment yesterday, in our scoreless draw at Sunderland, that I think illustrates why we have that complex. First, the picture:
What you see here is the Sunderland defender in the process of executing a textbook Greco-Roman hip toss on Chelsea’s Gary Cahill during a Blues corner kick. The rules say that Chelsea should be awarded a penalty.
The ref whistled a foul, all right – on Cahill.
It’s only one play, one questionable decision, and it hardly proves the existence of a grand conspiracy. But this kind of thing happens with such consistency that we hardly get worked up anymore.
How many extra points do you think we’d average in a season if the officiating were genuinely fair?