In fact, they are really displeased about Aston Villa only committing 1 (one) foul the entire game, compared to Wednesday’s 17 (seventeen). So displeased, that one plucky fan has written to the FA about the referees performance in the match. The thread is here, and the post is below:
I would like the FA to investigate the level of officiating during the Sheffield Wednesday vs Aston Villa played at Hillsborough yesterday.
I know as a paying member of the public I cannot instigate a full enquiry, but the FA, as the regulatory body should be aware of what happened at the game.
Firstly the amount of fouls awarded was somewhat disproportionate. 16 to 1. I find this very strange. I am aware that refereeing is a difficult job to do, but 16 to 1 seems to suggest one team were 16 times more, shall we say physical, than the other. This was not the case.
Secondly the overall standard of the officials was somewhat one-sided.
I have never written to the FA before, as in the past I have assumed the referee had made poor judgements, as we all do. Sadly that cannot be said of the referee in yesterdays games, as the decision making was consistently poor.
I look forward to your response.
To be fair, the lad spends the rest of the forum thread being bodied by some of his fellow fans, who seem just as utterly bemused by this as I am. This isn’t the only place I’ve seen the match-fixing comments though, but at least it’s lacking the death threats against Villa fans and Robert Snodgrass.
One tweet focused on a picture of Steve Bruce palling up with Neil Swarbrick, the official on the day - but I guess that’s pretty explanatory as both are high-profile figures in the English game. It’s why you’ve seen that photo instead of say, Swarbrick chilling out with Jos Luhukay or Luca Joao. They know each other - at least to a small level of having enjoyed football together with one managing, and one officiating.
Steve Bruce is also accused of holding some kind of ungodly hex over Hillsborough, that extends back to his playing days, where he was allowed to throw in reducers at will. Not only is this borderline impossible, it’s not even logical. If I had a bloody Djinn/god/angel/Head of the FA watching over me, I’d ask it to propel me to greatness, not ensure I escape Hillsborough with three points now and again.
The thread goes on to make some pretty dark comparisons that the FA don’t want Sheffield Wednesday in the Premier League due to the fact that Wednesday play at Hillsborough, which is Jet Fuel/Steel Beams tier of Sudafed-produced meth-based delusions.
I believe that Villa truly committed more than the one foul recorded, but a single-digit tally of fouls isn’t exactly that rare. Tottenham committed just five earlier today. That’s only four more than Villa, which isn’t that much. One foul committed is pretty special, but I can’t believe it’s that rare. Even then, would ten fouls against Wednesday have changed the game? A game they could have put away with vigour in the first half? It’s not likely.
Let’s not forget that Sheffield Wednesday probably got away with a fair bit of poor officiating when they played Villa at Villa Park. It’s that simple, this goes both ways, referees are imperfect and this happens. So it goes.
Still, the reaction is hilarious.