Gary O’Neil says referees need to ‘be careful’ when officiating Wolves following referee Anthony Taylor being demoted to the Championship.
The long-standing Premier League referee will take charge of Preston’s clash against Coventry this weekend – his first second-tier game in four years.
Taylor’s demotion follows his decision to give Newcastle a penalty during their 2-2 draw at Wolves last weekend.
Wolves star Hwang Hee-chan had supposedly caught Fabian Schar as he looked to clear the ball in the box with the scores level at 1-1 just before half-time.
However, the decision to give the visitors a penalty was widely criticised, with even Newcastle legend Alan Shearer stunned VAR hadn’t overruled the decision.
Now, Taylor has become yet another match official to be demoted after making an error against Wolves this season.
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s game against Sheffield United, O’Neil said: “I think that’s three referees now that have been relegated off the back of reffing for us.
“So you need to be careful when you referee Wolves because you can end up in the Championship the following week. [Manchester] United, Luton and Newcastle now.”
Wolves have already been subject to multiple VAR blunders this season already, starting with the opening game at Old Trafford that saw Wolves dominate the game, only to lose 1-0.
The PGMOL had to apologise to Wolves after Simon Hooper and VAR failed to award a spot-kick after Red Devils goalkeeper Andre Onana clashed into Sasa Kalajdzic in the box despite being no where near the ball.
Then, for Wolves‘ game against Luton, referee Josh Smith awarded a penalty to the Hatters, with Joao Gomes adjudged to have committed a handball offence.
O’Neil insisted that it was caused by the ball taking a deflection off Gomes’ foot.
Hooper was left off the refereeing rota for the following weekend’s Premier League fixtures and took charge of Rotherham vs Leicester the week after instead.
Smith returned to the Championship for a month after the Luton error.
The PGMOL have issued 13 apologies to clubs since VAR was introduced in 2019.
Wolves are yet to receive one for last weekend’s error, O’Neil, however, insists he’s not interested in hearing from the body.
He continued: “No, I haven’t received an apology and I don’t want one. An apology isn’t going to help so hopefully the level improves.”
The VAR official for the Newcastle game, Jarred Gillett, has kept his place in the Premier League this weekend.
He will be on VAR for Fulham’s game with Manchester United on Saturday, live on talkSPORT, before taking the game between Nottingham Forest and Villa on Sunday as referee.