THE manager of Doncaster Rovers. Darren Ferguson (pictured), faces sanctions from the football authorities over ill-considered comments he made following his club's home draw with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
The 45-year-old claimed his side were denied "a blatant penalty" and, when asked what he would like the Football Association to do about referees, he said "shoot them".
Mr Ferguson believes fitness standards fall short in some referees, and he was aggrieved that the officials appeared to be laughing after the final whistle.
On Monday, he backtracked with a statement made through the club's website
“When asked after the game what I personally could do to raise standards, I said: ‘What can I do? Shoot them?"
Although clear to everyone in the room that my comment was a tongue-in-cheek response, it is worth clarifying my comments were borne out of frustration and I absolutely do not advocate violence against officials.
“I am sorry for that comment and regret the wording, but, as was clear from my post-match comments, I felt the referee got some decisions wrong at key moments in the game.
“Referees have a tough job and I have a lot of respect for the challenges they face, but I would like to see more done to raise standards across the board and give them the best chance of getting decisions right.”
Ferguson's comments and subsequent apology have been noted by the EFL and his remarks passed on by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited to the FA for consideration.
An EFL spokesman commented: ""Managers and officials are given guidance each season so that they are fully aware of their responsibilities in regard to commenting on match officials and their performance."
The man in the middle was Andy Haines who is on record as saying he likes to referee "with a smile on his face"