Ex-Premier League ref drags up Erling Haaland’s salary after Simon Hooper row

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Written By Maya Cantina

Former Premier League referee Jeff Winter claims Erling Haaland should look at himself rather than blame Simon Hooper after Sunday’s draw with Tottenham. Winter pointed at the striker’s salary, claiming that the Manchester City star should have won his side the game well before the major talking point.

Haaland fumed at Hooper after the referee failed to allow City to play on when Jack Grealish had been put through on goal. Hooper initially gave advantage after Haaland had been fouled in stoppage time when the score was 3-3.

But he then decided to blow his whistle for the free kick just as Grealish was about to bare down on the Spurs goal. Haaland was incredulous at the decision and let loose at Hooper at the full-time whistle, as well as aiming an X-rated rant to his Tottenham opponents as he left the pitch.

He also made his feelings clear with a post on his X account, writing “FFS” in reaction to a clip of the incident. Winter admits it was a big error from Hooper to not allow Grealish’s chance to run its course.

However, he also made reference to a miss Haaland made in the first half, claiming a player on his weekly wage should have put City out of sight. Winter told OLBG: “In the eyes of the pundits and Man City fans, it was a match-defining incident. It was an error of judgment by the referee, you can’t defend the indefensible.

“However, it’s not just football, which gets the blame for everything, all the ills of the world are put in the hands of football. Before we get to that incident where people are saying it’s a match-determining incident, I saw Erling Haaland miss an open goal from 10 yards earlier in the game.

“I would suggest that if he put that ball into the net, you would think on the quarter-million pound a week salary he’s earning, he should have done and the game would have been beyond Tottenham. I’ll fight until my dying day that one incident in 90 minutes determines the result of a game.”

Winter cannot understand why Hooper came to the decision that he did. But he believes there will be no one feeling it more today than the 41-year-old.

He added: “I don’t know what went through his mind. I don’t know why he blew the whistle.

“You can’t defend it, he’s made a mistake, just like Haaland did when he missed an open goal. It’s human error, it’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s not referees being useless.

“Hooper had a very good game, he let the game flow, he hadn’t overreacted but then in the 94th minute of the game, he got something wrong. Unfortunately, he made a genuine mistake and he will be hurting more than anyone this morning.

“As a referee, people think that referees don’t care. You’ve got pride in your own performance and he will realise why the hell did I blow my whistle, why didn’t I give it a couple more seconds.”

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