FORMER Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes it would be "out of order" for an official to mock a club for their league position.

In an interview with the Daily Echo, Dan Gosling claimed Jon Moss showed Cherries "zero respect" when taking charge of Sunday's clash with Sheffield United, alleging he made jibes about the side's battle to avoid the drop such as "you’re still in the relegation zone", "you’re having one" and "your team’s having one".

Cherries lost 2-1 at Bramall Lane.

The club contacted the Premier League about the incident, but following discussions on Wednesday, decided against making an official complaint after it was communicated that the PGMOL, the league's body in charge of officiating, were taking no action against Moss.

Whether or not Moss made the comments has neither been confirmed nor denied, but Cherries insist they back Gosling's version of events.

Writing in The Sun, Halsey, who spent 14 years refereeing in the Premier League, said: "If Dan Gosling’s claims are true that Jon Moss belittled Bournemouth in their fight against relegation then the referee is out of order.

"We don’t know yet exactly what was said at Bramall Lane but I’d be surprised if Moss has made those comments in the manner Gosling has portrayed.

"What I do know from experience in the heat of the battle is things can be said and there’s a fine line between what is acceptable and not.

"On the field of play banter is commonplace as both players and referees want to perform at their very best so criticism of performance levels is absolutely fine.

"But making comments about a team’s league situation crosses the line for me."

He added: "I never had an issue with players swearing at me, I felt it was two-way.

"I felt it made a better referee and being able to communicate with players gains respect from them."

He continued: "If I had an issue with a player or vice-versa, I’d like to sort it out there and then.

"So if Gosling had a problem he should have gone to Moss or asked his Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe to have a word.

"They could have both spoken about it following the 30-minute cooling off period in Moss’s dressing room and we wouldn’t have got to this situation days later."

Meanwhile, former top-flight ref Mark Clattenburg referenced an incident between himself and Adam Lallana in 2014.

"I had a similar incident with Adam Lallana when he was playing for Southampton in a match at Everton," Clattenburg told the Daily Mail.

"He was giving me some stick and I probably had reason to send him off, but I chose to try to diffuse the situation by saying to him, 'you're different since you played for England'.

"He was a nice guy but it was true, he had changed! But Adam and Southampton then made a complaint.

"I was disappointed because I'd tried to manage the situation by having a dialogue and making light of it, and the PGMOL said there was no case to answer.

"Jon Moss has perhaps tried the same with Bournemouth's players and I understand why he did that. For me, it is better than issuing cards for dissent.

"However, it is risky if he has joked about the performance of a team fighting relegation, and that is why Dan Gosling has accused him of making disrespectful comments.

"Saying that, I'm a believer in what is said on the pitch should stay on the pitch.

"I would have preferred to see Gosling and Moss talk it over in private."