Stoke manager Mark Hughes believes the video review disciplinary process is “fundamentally flawed” and feels midfielder Charlie Adam was subject to trial by media.
The Scotland international was banned for three matches this week after an independent panel adjudged he was guilty of violent conduct for stamping on Olivier Giroud in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Arsenal.
Potters chief executive Tony Scholes said he was “not surprised because clubs like ours very rarely succeed in appeals to the FA” and Hughes felt Adam had suffered from the incident not being assessed contemporaneously.
“I think the process is fundamentally flawed,” said Hughes. “If the game was reviewed by the people who were actually there on the day, immediately after the game, then any decision after that in terms of possible incidents missed in the game you would accept there was maybe something to investigate, because the people involved knew the context of the game rather than allowing trial by media. By the time the decision [to ban Adam] was made on the Wednesday I think the agenda was set. We went through the process because we felt so strongly about it but we felt there was so little chance of it being successful because of the process. It has to be preferable to asking three referees to come together and review something out of context and make a decision based on what they see.
“As soon as the referee says he has not seen the incident then it goes to the panel but I just think when the game is taken out of context and it is slowed down to the ‘nth’ degree it can look worse than it is. The annoying thing is we can never question a referee’s integrity – and we wouldn’t – but when we get the written report back it questioned the integrity of my player. They can’t have it two ways.”
Earlier in the week, Scholes had expressed his concern there appeared to be double standards at work after Manchester City’s Yaya Toure escaped punishment for appearing to kick Norwich’s Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
“Toure thought he would get a ban and did not for whatever reason,” added Hughes.
“It is difficult for everyone involved in the disciplinary process – we just want our concerns and voice to be heard sometimes.
“We have gone up against an outstanding team in Arsenal and played really well but, come Monday, the general view was we won because we kicked Arsenal off the pitch but that is totally not the case.”
Stoke head to Norwich in the league today looking to improve on a woeful away record which has not seen them win outside of the Britannia Stadium since August.