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Refs too 'pally'?
January 30th, 2009 7AM



[REF WATCH] West Brom coach Tony Mowbray has accused English Premier League referees of being too "pally" with stars - citing that they call popular players by their first names: "It's almost as if refs want to be friends of the stars."

Mowbray told the BBC, after his team lost 5-0 to Manchester United in a game refereed by Rob Styles, that, "It can irritate you, them calling their players by the first name and trying to calm them down being pally.

"I'm not questioning the integrity of referees, yet you should always feel that there's a level playing field."

Mowbray said when Styles officiated his team's game against Chelsea, "It was, 'Frank this and Frank that" - referring to England international Frank Lampard.

"A yellow card instantly comes out for our players and he [Styles] hasn't got a clue what his name is," said Mowbray.

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