On December 21, 2020, Wolves visited Burnley to play a Premier League match which ended 2-1 in favor of the hosts. After the game, Nuno Espirito Santo said in an interview that the referee was not qualified to officiate a league game.
In his argument during the interview, the Portuguese tactician stressed that the referee was not able to control the game because players of both sides found it difficult to accept the referee’s decisions.
Nuno went on to allege that referee Lee Mason has always been poor in matches involving Wolverhampton Wanderers, urging the Premier League not to assign the referee to any match involving his team again.
“Honestly I don’t like to say it, but I must say it because I will not feel right: the referee does not have the quality to whistle a game in the Premier League”, Nuno Espirito Santo said.
“This is a problem that we knew. We already had Lee Mason before. It is not about the crucial mistakes or the decisions, it is about the way that he handles the game.
“The players get nervous. Too many voices. He whistles by the voices when some players shout. He does not have [it]. We are talking about the best competition and clearly, he does not have the quality to whistle the game.
“I am very disappointed to say this, really disappointed to say it, but I would not feel right if I did not say it. It happened before.”
Days after the coach had said all the aforementioned against the referee, he was urged to apologize to the referee but he insisted that he would not apologize for his words nor his thoughts.
“I will apologize for my timing. But I will not apologize for my words and my thoughts”, the coach insisted.
Hence, the English FA charged the coach for improper conduct which was a breach of FA Rule E3. The coach admitted to the charge, noting that his comments against the referee were “personally offensive to the match official and brought the game into disrepute, contrary to FA Rule E3.1”.
After the procedure, the FA announced on Wednesday, January 6 that the coach has been fined £25,000 for the offense. Besides the fine, Nuno Espirito Santo has been warned against committing a similar offense in the future.
As of the time of publishing this report, Wolves nor Nuno was yet to make any official comment on the sanction and it is left to see whether the coach would appeal the judgment or not.