'It's a joke!' - Marco Silva says new Premier League rules 'protect big clubs' as Calvin Bassey red card proves costly in Fulham draw with Arsenal

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Marco Silva Fulham 2022-23
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Marco Silva has sensationally claimed that the Premier League is out to 'protect big clubs' after Fulham's draw away at Arsenal on Saturday
  • Fulham snatch draw at Arsenal
  • Down to 10 men after Bassey red
  • Silva very unhappy with first yellow

WHAT HAPPENED? Fulham had to see Saturday's game out with 10-men after summer acquisition Calvin Bassey was given his marching orders thanks to two bookable offences with seven minutes of normal time left. The first yellow card was for timewasting, the second for a not-so-subtle block on Eddie Nketiah. While he and Fulham can have little complaints about the latter, Silva certainly isn't happy about the first booking.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking after the draw, Silva said: "The first yellow card for Calvin is a joke, and of course we understand the new circumstances (rules). They are taking all the emotion from the game because it is going to protect the big clubs because you have to see consistency in the decisions. For sure if you play for Fulham, or for other clubs and take 10-15 seconds to take a throw-in or in a goal kick it will be a yellow card, a player will always be under pressure because if you make a foul, it will be a second yellow card.

"For the other clubs it is not the same. If you see one of the first throw-ins for (Thomas) Partey, he took much more time than Calvin at the goal-kick. It was not a yellow card. Why? Because they were losing the game? It is always going to be not the big clubs who suffer more. ‘No one listens to us, we knew this was going to happen."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Premier League have set a precedent in the opening weeks of the season as they look to clamp down on timewasting and dissent. There has been a rise in both yellow and red cards as players suffer the consequences of the new rules, with some being incredibly harsh cautions, including Bassey's first on Saturday. Fulham have seen two of their defenders sent off in two consecutive weeks, Bassey yesterday and Tim Ream against Brentford.


Calvin Bassey Fulham 23/24

Ream Fulham 2023

Marco Silva

WHAT NEXT FOR BASSEY? He faces a one-match suspension after picking up the red card, meaning he'll miss Fulham's Carabao Cup tie at home to Spurs on August 29. He'll be available for selection for their next Premier League game against Manchester City on Saturday.