Wolves Manager Fined For Referee Criticism Following Burnley Defeat

Wolves' Raul Jimenez in 2019. Photo by Robbie Stephenson/JMP/Shutterstock (10366432ez)

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo has been fined £25,000 ($34,000) by the Premier League as a result of his unsportsmanlike conduct towards referee Lee Mason.

Following the Wolves’ 2-1 loss to Burnley at Turf Moor on December 21st, Nuno Espirito Santo explained during his post-match interview that in his view, Mason “does not have the quality to whistle a game in the Premier League.”

He went on to justify his statement by explaining, “It is not about the crucial mistakes or decisions, it is about the way he handles the game.” Santo claimed that Mason is unable to keep control of players during the games he officiates, and that he would prefer that Mason would not get involved in future games involving the Wolves.

While Santo apologized two days later for the timing of his comments, he refused to apologize for the opinion that he expressed.

The FA charged Santo on New Year’s Eve for his comments, with the fine ultimately being handed to the manager at a formal hearing in front of an independent regulatory commission. According to the FA, his actions had been found to be in contravention of FA Rule E3.1. Santo ultimately accepted the charge of improper conduct.