Sunderland receive apology from referee chiefs after controversial decisions against Fleetwood and Bolton

Sunderland have been credited with a strong interest in Leeds United and Fleetwood Town defender Lewie Coyle.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 1:02 pm
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 9:54 am

The 24-year-old full-back is currently on loan from the Championship side at Joey Barton’s Fleetwood and played against Sunderland on New Year’s Day, the game ending 1-1.

Coyle is on a six-month loan deal at Fleetwood with that arrangement due to end this month.

Sunderland are reported to be keen on bringing him to the Stadium of Light this month, possibly in a cut-price permanent deal with Coyle’s contract at Leeds United due to expire this summer.

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Tom Flanagan saw this header disallowed for Sunderland against Bolton Wanderers
Tom Flanagan saw this header disallowed for Sunderland against Bolton Wanderers

Coyle, who has made 28 appearances in all competitions this season, is most comfortable at right-back but can also play at left-back and in central midfield.

Meanwhile, Sunderland have received an apology from PGMOL – after Parkinson raised concerns about decisions going against his side.

The Cats boss was left aggrieved after Tom Flanagan saw a header disallowed during the 0-0 draw with Bolton Wanderers, and was equally aggrieved with a controversial penalty call against his side in the stalemate at Fleetwood Town.

And having raised concerns with Mike Jones, the chief of PGMOL – the body in charge of the select group of referees who officiate EFL games – the Black Cats have received an apology.

“I have to say that I remain very disappointed with the referee’s decision to chalk off Tom Flanagan’s goal,” said Parkinson, writing in his programme notes ahead of the visit of Lincoln City.

“Tom has simply got ahead of Remi Matthews and headed it into the back of the net, so it was a difficult decision to take.

“As much as I don’t want to keep talking about referees, it was another strange decision to award a penalty against us.

“I have spoken to PGMOL’s Mike Jones about both decisions, and in both instances, he was apologetic on behalf of the officials.

The Fleetwood decision in particular was a controversial one, with former top flight referee Mark Halsey slamming the penalty award on social media, saying: “I’ve looked at it several times I still couldn’t see a foul."

imo the referee is in a poor position to judge any infringement”