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Jol risks fine in defending Atkinson

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It seems somewhat absurd that this headline can make any sense, but as Sir Alex Ferguson can testament, even praising a referee these days is illegal in the FA handbook. This is why Martin Jol should be looking over this shoulder over the next few weeks, with the Dutchman offering a toned down bag of superlatives to the under-fire Marin Atkinson. 

Atkinson has been on the end of a lot of controversy after he sent of Everton's Jack Rodwell following what seemed like a fairly timed and fairly placed tackle. The red card was later rescinded by the FA, which in itself was a move that far from spared Atkinson his blushes. 

The referee was, however, surprisingly offered a reprieve in taking to the whistle for Fulham's away tie against Stoke City and, as such, Fulham manager Jol gave his views on the ref:

'I think he is a good referee. After all, if you are in the Premier League, your quality is high.

'But as for punishing a referee for a mistake, I don't think so. We all make mistakes. I remember in Holland a couple of years ago referees being demoted and it was awful to see. You saw the No1 referee officiating in the second division and I don't think that was a good solution.'