Doncaster Rovers: Dickov explains Sharp appeal U-turn

Billy Sharp is suspended for Saturday's derby with Barnsley.
Billy Sharp is suspended for Saturday's derby with Barnsley.

Rovers chose not to appeal Billy Sharp’s sending off at Brighton after referee Gavin Ward ‘moved the goalposts’, Paul Dickov stated yesterday.

Dickov had initially planned to appeal Sharp’s first red card of his professional career.

However, after discussing a potential appeal with chief executive Gavin Baldwin - and reviewing Ward’s match report - Rovers’ boss was left with no alternative but to reluctantly accept Sharp’s three-game ban.

The on-loan Southampton striker saw red after a tussle with ex-Doncaster defender Gordon Greer in the closing stages of last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at the Amex Stadium.

Later that evening Rovers issued a statement on their website confirming Sharp was dismissed for violent conduct.

The statement added: “Manager Paul Dickov spoke to referee Gavin Ward after the match and was told the decision was made because of a kick out by Billy Sharp on Gordon Greer.

“We are not clear whether it was for the initial foul or the incident afterwards, as the referee would not fully explain.”

On the decision not to appeal, Dickov told The Star: “It was a difficult one. The one thing I don’t want to do is get myself into trouble, or get the club into trouble.

“But it’s disappointing because we felt after the vague explanation I got from the referee on Saturday night that we had a chance to appeal.

“When we got his match report earlier this week, the explanation had completely changed.

“It was very contradictory and it made it difficult for us to appeal.

“From our point of view, that’s disappointing.

“There’s always the risk that they [the FA] will add another game to the ban,” he added.

“But the biggest disappointment for us was that the goalposts had been moved from Saturday to Monday.”