The 2019/2020 was done and dusted last week but it seems the controversy is not over yet.
We won’t be seeing EPL action until September but reports of Bournemouth seeking legal advice regarding a certain situation from a recent match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United have surfaced on Monday.
The Cherries’ went down despite a spirited performance against Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton in their last fixture, as the Villains secured a draw away to West Ham.
So, after a five-year stay at the top echelon, Eddie Howe’s team must now face the music. Or do they?
There is nothing official yet but it seems that the club is looking to bring back the “ghost goal” situation without which they would still be a Premier League team.
Let’s look at what exactly happened at Villa Park earlier in the season and then I share my thoughts on whether Bournemouth has any grounds to appeal.
Why Is Bournemouth Seeking Legal Action?
The reports coming out this week suggest that the situation the Cherries’ board is looking to expose happened back in June when Sheffield United visited Aston Villa.
The Blades were a shadow of their former self after the restart and Chris Wilder was definitely looking to press the Villans and get the points after the hosts showed more than a few weaknesses during the game.
Around the 70th-minute mark the controversy happened.
Villa’s goalkeeper carried the ball over his own line but the hawk-eye technology failed to react and the referees waved play on.
Quite naturally, Wilder and his players were absolutely fuming after the game as was top pundit Robbie Savage.
It was one of those cases of complete injustice and it was even more frustrating to see it now that there is all this surveillance technology around that can help the officials in such situations.
However, the goal-line tech failed the Blades this time and the manufacturer cited the awkward position of the goalkeeper as an excuse that the beeper didn’t go off.
As you can imagine, this did not warm the hearts of Sheffield United one bit and the fact that VAR didn’t intervene as well because this was technically not an incident, put even more oil in the fire.
Like always, the “ghost goal” debacle did the rounds for a week or so and then died down but it seems that Bournemouth is ready to put it on the table again.
You see, if this goal had been given, the Cherries would still be in the Premier League as they had a better goal difference than Aston Villa.
Does Bournemouth Have a Case Here?
Well, they do in a sense. The goal should’ve been given but it would be naïve to think that this is the real reason why the club went down.
Their manager Eddie Howe said it himself – they were just not good enough.
I’m sad to see the club go down as their shrewd long-term thinking is what got them off the lower divisions and kept them at the top for five successful years.
This is an extremely difficult feat in these times, especially when you’re relying on a relatively small budget and a very inexperienced manager.
But the Cherries did put up a fight season after season and they should be congratulated for that.
I really hope they can get back to the EPL quickly but I’m not siding with them over this issue.
This is the sort of thing that can start a very, very dangerous precedent and could totally change the face of English football for the worse.
Imagine clubs going to court after every time the technology or referees fail to deliver.
Yes, I understand that it is hard to take, especially when the stakes are this high, but the focus should be on improving VAR, hawk-eye, and the rest of the technological aids. I’m not sure whether the club is actually serious about taking legal action here but I’m not a fan and this is coming from someone who admires greatly what Eddie Howe and the board have achieved since taking over.