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Dec 12, 2012

Pulis complains to refs' chief over treatment

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has taken his crusade for justice for his players to referee chief Mike Riley with an official complaint about the way officials treat his side.

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The Potter boss has phoned the chairman of the Professional Game Match Officials Board in a bid to change referee's perceptions about his team's style.

Pulis has been campaigning all season for a fair deal from officials and his complaint has been sparked by a tackle from Ciaran Clark on Glenn Whelan during last Saturday's 0-0 draw with Aston Villa, which was not punished by a sending off.

He is certain if the roles had been reversed, Whelan would have seen a red card and Pulis believes referees go into Stoke matches with preconceptions about his side's allegedly aggressive style.

"I have spoken to Mike Riley this week and given him a piece of my mind on the subject. I find the whole situation disappointing week after week," said Pulis.

"Look at the incidents where our players are being booked or sent off, then compare them with similar incidents involving others that are going unpunished. There was the Clark one on Glenn at Villa.

"But look at the second yellow Ryan Shotton received when he was trying to avoid Fabien Delph. It was like the Carlos Tevez one on Rafael in the Manchester derby, except Tevez's may have been intentional. But he doesn't get booked.

"All we have ever asked is to be treated the same as everyone else, but there are preconceptions about us that are unfair."

Pulis is convinced his theory is the reason behind the fact his side are bottom of the Premier League fair play table with 32 yellows and three reds from 16 fixtures. Only West Ham have more bookings (33).

He has also called upon Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to join him in his bid to eradicate diving from the English game. Pulis has repeated his call for proven divers to be suspended after Santi Cazorla's controversial penalty in the 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

That follows similar incidents against Stoke involving Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Chelsea pair Oscar and Branislav Ivanovic, but Pulis says only high-profile footballing figures like Wenger can bring about a change.

"It won't come from Tony Pulis or Steve Clarke," he said. "It will be interesting to see what Arsene Wenger and others will make of it because they are the ones who have power in football. You have to ban these players for three games and then they will soon stop diving. The players doing it should be embarrassed. This is England and our culture is not their culture."

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