Premier League should fund professional League Two referees, says Bury’s Flitcroft

Bury manager David Flitcroft has urged the Premier League to support the professionalisation of referees in the Football League after criticising the standard of officiating.    

The Shakers shared the points with league leaders Wycombe Wanderers at a snowy JD Stadium on the weekend, with Fred Onyedinma’s second-half goal cancelling out Danny Mayor’s opener.

But Flitcroft wants to avoid the frustration he felt after a decision by referee David Webb, against Adam El-Abd, cost his side all three points.

“It’s two points we’ve not earned but I’m not sure there is anything Bury FC could have done about that – if the referring association get the decision right it’s 1-0,” he said. 

“I speak to other managers in League Two and League One and the standard is not there – the pyramid is wrong.

“The elite referees and they are the elite, they’re outstanding, are in the Premier League – someone needs to make sure we get professional referees too.

“You need funding to be brilliant at anything – that could come from the Premier League because that is where the best referees in League Two and League One end up.”

The result saw Bury slip to tenth in League Two, three points behind Stevenage in the final play-off place, but with a game in hand.

The draw also means the Shakers have won only twice in their last 12 outings in all competitions and their form will need to improve to maintain a promotion push. 

Flitcroft has bolstered his squad in a bid to do so with the signings of Joe Riley and goalkeeper Nick Pope, who made his debut against Wycombe. 

The on-loan Charlton Athletic stopper has signed for the club until the end of May and Flitcroft predicts a bright future for the youngster. 

“He wants to get to the Premier League and he has an inner belief and an inner quality to certainly get there and we might be part of that journey,” added Flitcroft.

The 22-year-old, who has made eight Championship appearances already this term, pinpointed the ambitions of the Shakers as a major factor in his decision. 

“I played against Bury last year and I knew a little bit about the team so I thought I’d go for it,” he said.

“I’m happy to be playing games and I was delighted to get the call – the manager and the chairman and their ambitions really sold it to me.”

Main image courtesy of Bury Football Club via YouTube, with thanks.

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