Manchester City have written to the FA voicing our concerns
about how Sunday’s FA Cup game at Bramall Lane was handled.
The Club are
particularly concerned about the lead-up to the first goal, which came as a
direct result of a Sheffield United cross striking two balloons on the
City had previously asked fourth official Mark Clattenburg to remove
the numerous balloons that were spread across Joe Hart’s penalty area.
Clattenburg told our coaching staff that he had raised the issue with the match
referee, Alan Wiley, however Mr Wiley’s only action was to ask Joe Hart to help
clear the pitch when play was at the other end of the pitch.
The Club believe
that Mr Wiley and his team should have stopped play and instructed Sheffield
United staff and stewards to remove the obstacles from the field of play before
continuing with the game. It was the officials’ responsibility, and their
failure to do so had a direct bearing on the first goal being scored in a very
important FA Cup tie, which was decided by one goal.
For what its worth, I do agree that the responsibility should have lay with the officials to remove the balloons from the pitch (insert appropriate player reference here) given their proximity on the pitch to a potential crucial area of the pitch, but I can't help but think this move by the club is a sour move, and the above statement on the website reads terribly and certainly lays us open to the accusation of us whingeing and acting rather childish and much like a spoilt Premiership side who didn't quite get things their own way.