QPR manager Neil Warnock has branded the FA disciplinary committee's decision to uphold Joey Barton's red card against Norwich as "farcical", before questioning the referees appointed to oversee his side's games.
Warnock was disappointed to discover the FA would not be overturning Barton's dismissal and subsequent three-match ban, after he appeared to headbutt Bradley Johnson during QPR's 2-1 defeat at Loftus Road. The former Crystal Palace manager has a real issue with the way the incident was handled by the officials.
"I am not surprised but it is difficult to accept when you see what [Clint] Dempsey did [recently] in comparison with Joey Barton," Warnock said. "It is farcical, isn't it?
"Whenever you see something happen on the field of play that warrants a red card, if the linesman sees that offence they flag and flag until the referee goes towards him, tells him what he has seen and then the lad is sent off.
"Now this linesman carried on and on and on and would not have stopped if Joey Barton had got the ball, gone past a few players and whacked it in the far post. "We would have been 2-0 up and I find it absolutely impossible [to comprehend].
"I know they have got to look after themselves but I feel really let down as a manager and a club that three invisible people can look at that and not look at the linesman and take that into consideration. If he did see it, why did he not flag immediately and keep his flag up?
"When you get people like [former referee] Graham Poll, who is not my biggest fan, and Dermot Gallagher supporting what I am saying then the three people on the commission go against that, I just think it is scandalous but I am not surprised.
"Am I surprised Frank Lampard commits a horrendous challenge and Peter Walton gives him a yellow card? If that had been Joey, [Karl] Henry or any Tom, Dick and Harry, would that have been a red card or a yellow card?
"There would have been a lynching of them. At the moment I just don't see where the disciplinary commission are going. Mick McCarthy's lad [Nenad Milijas] got a red card a couple of weeks ago and in comparison to Frank Lampard it is like taking a baby for a walk. It is ridiculous."
Warnock also revealed that he jokingly suggested that referee Neil Swarbrick, who oversaw the Norwich match, should be promoted to the Premier League following a controversial performance in a Championship game involving QPR last season.
Warnock is concerned inexperienced referees are being given the chance to oversee matches involving less high profile sides in the top flight.
"The games we have now we have a referee like Phil Dowd as fourth official and a young lad refereeing," Warnock said. "I find that difficult to handle as a manager. It is almost as if we are giving them experience to benefit them and not us.
"For me, if Phil Dowd is available he should be refereeing our game and I am speaking to [referees chief] Mike Riley this morning. I don't see how they decide these things."
He added: "Last year I thought Neil had a particularly poor game so I gave him 100 marks.
"On my report I put 'I hope these marks get him promoted to the Premier League' - I didn't realise it actually would. Unfortunately he told Phil Dowd about that before the game so he must have had it on his mind. I find that very bemusing, if I am honest."