COLCHESTER United head coach Danny Cowley has called for professional referees to be introduced throughout the whole of the EFL in order to improve the standard of officiating.

The U’s boss had to watch his side’s 3-2 win at Crawley Town from the stands at the weekend due to a one-match touchline ban, after he picked up three yellow cards.

Cowley believes officials deserve more support and feels making all referees professional throughout the whole of English football’s top four divisions will help to improve the quality of officiating.

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Cowley said: “I got suspended for celebrating two goals, one at Swindon and one at Newport County, both in the 90th minute and then I got a third booking (against Stockport).

“I didn’t realise you’re not allowed to be excited when your team score!

“The laws are pretty tight now and it’s fine but they have to improve the quality of refereeing and officiating, otherwise it’s unfair.

“We have the best football pyramid in the world in this country and we need to make sure that we also have professional referees across the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two.


“We’re in the fourth tier of English football and we have 20,000 people at games.

“We owe it to them to have professional referees and it’s not fair on referees.

“I’ve lived two jobs; I spent the first nine years of my management career as a manager and as a P.E. teacher – I know how hard it is to perform on a Tuesday night, on a Saturday after you’ve been working all day and all week.

“It’s just not fair on the officials and I’d really like for them to be supported more and for us to find a way of being able to do that.”

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Cowley watched Colchester’s game at Crawley from high up in the main stand at Broadfield Stadium, with assistant head coach Nicky Cowley and first-team analyst and coach Lorenzo Dolcetti in the technical area.

The U’s claimed a vital 3-2 win, thanks to two goals from Tom Hopper and another from Cameron McGeehan.

Cowley added: “Tactically, to be honest you get a really good view because at pitch level, the game happens so fast.


“So that probably helped because for us, we always feel that we can influence the game and impact the game.

“We try to use our energy and enthusiasm to do that.

“When you’re higher, you get to see the game from a different perspective.

“It’s not my favourite position to watch the game but every now and again, you have to do this.”