Chris Herd Red Card Appeal Decided

Vindicated.

This week has sucked thus far. There was the match on Saturday and Barry Bannan's drink-driving incident. Villa are in a bit of an emotional tailspin. Sure, they'll pull out, but it's maddening. So it's nice to finally get some good news.

Chris Herd and Aston Villa have won their appeal of Herd's red card against West Bromwich Albion this Saturday. Had the appeal failed, Herd would have been facing a three-match ban, and Villa would have been down another player when it looks like they could most use some young blood in the system. So this is, without a doubt, wonderful news.

But I've still got a lingering question. Chris Herd did nothing and had the threat of three matches off hanging over his head. Phil Dowd, the referee in Saturday's match, put Villa at a one-man disadvantage for more than seventy minutes without reason. He most certainly did harm. What, then, will Dowd's punishment be? If I had to guess, it will be nothing. However, I'd like to see a three-match ban for Dowd. In fact, I feel that might be a good rule across the board. If you card someone, and the card is then overturned, you as the ref must serve the same suspension the player would have served.

It wouldn't help Villa in this situation. But it would be something. Dowd cost Villa a man, and Villa gave up two goals from set pieces. Certainly, the team looked bad. But who's to say what happens if they've got another man on the pitch to mark Baggie players? We could be overjoyed at a 1-0 win (ok, not overjoyed... how about happy?) and be looking at an entirely different week. What ifs are maddening, but it infuriates me that Chris Herd had to appeal punishment for nothing while Phil Dowd is likely getting off free. I hope someone does something to prove me wrong, but I doubt they will.

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