Mark Hughes says Fulham are getting a raw deal from referees because they are not one of the top sides in the Premier League.
Stoke City boss Tony Pulis has been arguing that his side regularly came off second best with officials against the glamour clubs and the Fulham boss sympathises.
“Do big clubs get the benefit of referees’ decisions?,” Hughes asked. “As a player at Man United, I would have said absolutely not but as a manager of clubs that have gone up against the so-called big four, then I have a different view possibly.
“I think there’s a natural tendency, call it human nature, that the consequences of giving a big decision against one of the big clubs are too much for some referees to take.
“There’s no way I would question their integrity, because it’s split-second decisions but sometimes you take the easy option. It can be frustrating. You just want consistency.
“Too many key decisions have been given incorrectly of late. I’m not saying for one minute we get badly treated by decisions but we’ve had a number that have gone against us. But it’s not just against top four clubs, it happens as an away side too.”
Hughes stops short of endorsing Pulis’ idea of giving marks to officials, however.
The Whites boss said: “We’ve got assessors that allow you to have a view, but maybe the level of frustration you try to impart to these people when they ask for your opinion sometimes isn’t reflected back in the reports they file. Sometimes you think ‘What’s the point of doing it?’
“But whether or not a table for referees would be the answer, I’m not too sure. I don’t know if it would change the shape or level of refereeing.
“I think the number of quality referees aren’t quite there and I think they maybe push guys that aren’t quite ready.”