Evans suspects campaign against Millers over refereeing decisions

Rotherham boss Steve Evans
Rotherham boss Steve Evans
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Steve Evans has accused some Football League officials of not wanting Rotherham United in the Championship – after suffering more refereeing woe in their Roses clash at Blackburn.

The impassioned comments of the Millers chief followed referee Geoff Eltringham’s decision not to penalise a perceived handball offence in the box in the first-half of the 2-1 defeat at Ewood Park on Tuesday evening.

It represents the latest in a long line of incidents that Evans believes have gone against his relegation-threatened side, three points above the drop zone, so far this season.

The Scot inferred that there is a hidden agenda among some league representatives against his side, who have been awarded just two league penalties this term and none at home.

He said: “I don’t think there is any reason in the 33rd minute why the referee doesn’t give a penalty. It’s a blatant handball.

“We were on the end of an atrocious decision by an official at Charlton and (have) had it again.

“But we are Rotherham United, so people in the Football League possibly don’t want us in the Championship.

“But we are going to try and fight to be here.”

Evans’s comments follow criticism of referee Darren Deadman for not awarding a spot-kick for handball in the 1-1 draw at Charlton on January 31.

Two weeks earlier, Evans hit out at referee Stephen Martin for having “an absolute shocker” in the Millers’ 2-0 loss to leaders Bournemouth and had to be restrained by three Cherries players at half-time to prevent him confronting the official.

Evans’s comments resonate with those of former Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan during the club’s four-year stint in the Championship from 

Ryan consistently hit out at a number of refereeing injustices suffered by Rovers and believes they suffered from what he labelled as the equivalent of a “small club syndrome.”

Back in November 2010, Ryan also famously backed a call from former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, calling to relegate under-performing referees.

Evans added: “I just look at some of the decisions. People say they level out.

“Well if they level out, we have got a lot of decisions to go, haven’t we?

“I am not questioning absolutely the integrity of any official or anybody.

“It’s personally how I feel. Gary Johnson felt it when he was up here with Yeovil and I know that the boys at Doncaster felt it.”