Ipswich Town’s Alan Judge makes a surprising revelation as Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings defend the referee Darren Drysdale.
In an extraordinary moment at Portman Road, the match official appeared to go head to head with Judge, before handing the player a yellow card in the League One encounter.
Paul Lambert was the first to want the EFL to investigate Drysdale’s confrontation with the Republic of Ireland international after the midfielder’s appeal for a penalty had been turned down.
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“I wasn’t looking for the referee to apologise; I wasn’t looking for him to be charged. There was never going to be a complaint from me”
Alan Judge made a surprising revelation when saying that the incident with referee Darren Drysdale was closed, as far as he was concerned, as soon as he walked off the pitch last night.
The referee has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after appearing to confront the Town midfielder during the closing stages of the goalless draw against Northampton at Portman Road.
Drysdale issued an apology to the Club and Alan through the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited), saying: “I fully understand that it is important for us as referees to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner. I’m sorry that I did not do that last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town.”
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Alan told the club website: “Referees have a tough job to do and it was heat of the moment stuff that happens in football.
“The photo makes it look worse than it was and to be honest, the matter was finished with from my end as soon as I walked off the pitch.
“I wasn’t looking for the referee to apologise; I wasn’t looking for him to be charged. There was never going to be a complaint from me and I made that clear.
“Like I said, for me – it was finished with straight away.”
Ipswich manager Paul Lambert urged the EFL to investigate referee Darren Drysdale’s confrontation, saying: “I’ve texted Mike Jones (EFL head of referees) this morning to say, ‘Have a look at the footage of the head thing’.
“To me, in my opinion, it looks as if the referee went in there and I said to him after the game, ‘Did you put your head in my player?’.
“He couldn’t answer it and that’s the reason I spoke to Mike. I haven’t seen that in a long, long while.”
49-year-old Darren Drysdale has since apologised for his actions in a statement released by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.
“I fully understand that it is important for us as referees to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner,” Drysdale said.
“I’m sorry that I did not do that last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town.”
Meanwhile, Jack Grealish as well as teammate Tyrone Mings defends the referee controversy, seeing no reason why Drysdale should apologise for his actions.
Responding to a tweet detailing Drysdale’s statement, he wrote: “Ah come on?! No need to apologise at all! I think it’s brilliant.”
Ah come on?! No need to apologise at all! I think it’s brilliant 👏🏻🤣 https://t.co/q05gfiFOnR
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) February 17, 2021
Tyrone Mings wrote: “Everyone makes mistakes… nothing to see here.”
In reply to a comment about it not being sweeped under the carpet with a hefty fine coming the ref’s way, he said: “Maybe… I doubt it though. Refs and officials put up with a lot from players. I’m sure he isn’t proud of it but in the world we’re living in, I think you can allow for some compassion when people don’t always act as they should.”
He responded to another reply on players needing to respect the ref more: “Completely agree. Would love to hear refs mic’d up for more transparency on decisions. Think it would clear up a lot of confusion and hopefully reduce frustration. Works brilliantly in rugby.”
Another of his replies can be seen below…
I agree that they should be impartial. But methodical? They are human and like I said, some of the stuff said to them isn’t nice. It probably highlights how professional they are and how well of a job they do that more of them haven’t reacted like that 🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/HvwQasaHUf
— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) February 17, 2021
Fans reacted as Alan Judge makes the surprising revelation, see what social media users had to say on it below…
Alan Judge being a top man https://t.co/xzAU0hQDUk
— Rep of Ireland Player Tracker (@RepTracker) February 17, 2021
@Mr_Tasker: If you had any class, you’d come out and say that you were wrong to push the referee to such a response and that professional footballers need to do more to address the abuse referee get. Football’s created a culture where abusing the ref is a players right. It’s shouldn’t be.
@MichaelByrne_7: Absolutely bang on. Unfortunately the FA and referees have chosen to take the game along another path
@TimWalkerOUFC: If I were you I would take it out on the ref in the opening minutes of whoever you play on Saturday
@Martyn1988: I get what you’re saying Judgey but if the shoe was on the other foot you would be looking at a substantial ban – it should be no different for the ref IMO.
@CobboldMassive: hope the authorities listen to you, the ref deserves no action against him.
@IpswichCulture: Good man Judgey
@McMcaman: Well said Alan. As a Town fan, local ref and semi pro ref assessor/ observer I know how tough it is , there are 2 sides etc.
@gazj22: Class response to the situation. Everyone should move on but too many melts out there for grown meant to forget about it and go again next game.
@TheIpswichBeen: Fair play Alan, Your manager had different thoughts, and expressed these on the radio multiple times today! #itfc
@PaulRobertsFoto: Got something to take some heat off him though hasn’t he. He’s just deflecting. He’ll be hoping for yet another red card Saturday so he can blame yet another player.
@SFCC88426395: Fair play Judgy. After you’ve cleaned out your pants and contemplated how you attempted to cheat, why not go a step further and support ref’s against abuse from players, coaches, media and fans?
@IpswichTownFans: Yeah but #LambertOut, right? #itfc
@Stew2205: Shame your Gaffer didn’t speak to you first before peddling out his nonsense. TBF he’s done a good job in deflecting the heat off himself from what was a shocking performance.
@fozzy1069: Do you not think you should apologise for trying to cheat, being an aggressive knob and causing an offensive smell after shitting your pants
@lclembo29: So Lambert has instigated this further?
@samITFC: Course he has.. gets more people talking about that… meaning they’re not talking about the way he’s sending us down!
@wsm247: Lambert has cried wolf on it all over the media because he’s a fraud it’s distracting from his hideous management. Tell him to pack his bags #LambertOut