IT is fair to say Dan Gosling’s interview outlining alleged comments made by referee Jonathan Moss at Bramall Lane has got plenty of people talking.

Speaking to myself around half an hour after the final whistle of Cherries’ 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on Sunday, it was clear Gosling wanted to make his point heard.

The midfielder had already expressed his disappointment at the performance of Moss early in the interview, claiming he had given “soft fouls” during the first half with Cherries 1-0 ahead through Callum Wilson’s early strike.

He returned to the point again to describe how the game got away from Cherries in the second half, with John Lundstram bagging a crushing 84th-minute winner.

Criticism such as that is far from uncommon from players, or particularly eye-catching, especially so soon after a defeat.

But then, as the interview appeared to be winding down with a look ahead at the weeks to come, I asked Gosling if the upcoming winter break had arrived at a good time to allow Cherries to mentally prepare for the final big push in their battle to avoid relegation. They currently sit two points outside the bottom three.

It was then that Gosling launched into the string of comments which have since gone on to be discussed by the biggest media outlets in the country.

He said: “Even a draw today (Sunday) would’ve been a good result in the end. It’s disappointing to lose really. The second half we didn’t really pass the ball but, like I said, the ref didn’t help. Giving soft fouls away and little comments to two or three of the lads didn’t help as well really. I thought it was very disrespectful what he was saying.”

Asked if he was referring to the flashpoint where Blades boss Chris Wilder and Cherries midfielder Andrew Surman were both cautioned following a scuffle on the touchline, as Gosling claimed a foul following a challenge with John Egan, he added: “Obviously I was down and didn’t really see what went on after that.

“But it was just the little niggly ones and then the little sarky comments. The officials talk about respect at the start of the season and there was zero respect from Jon Moss today.

“I thought he was a disgrace, the comments that he made especially to me and one other player – talking about the relegation zone and ‘you’re still in the relegation zone’, ‘you’re having one’, ‘your team’s having one’ this and that and it was very, very disrespectful.”

Asked whether that was happening whilst the match was ongoing, Gosling confirmed: “During the game, yeah. I think he should really come out and apologise because I thought he was a disgrace.”

At this point, the allegations were clearly greater than a standard ‘footballer moans about ref’ story.

After the dust had settled, Cherries opened dialogue with the Premier League on Tuesday morning, to ascertain whether or not to lodge an official complaint.

As media swell grew around the story, the Premier League came back to the club late on Wednesday afternoon to confirm Gosling would face no punishment and that the body in charge of officiating in the Premier League, the PGMOL, were not planning to take any action against Moss having spoken with him and his assistant referees from Bramall Lane, Marc Perry and Edward Smart.

At that point, Cherries opted against filing a complaint with the matter now considered closed.

Sadly, it looks like we will never know exactly how the situation unfolded on the field at Bramall Lane. The PGMOL have declined to comment.

And, interestingly, Gosling will receive no charge from the league, despite calling referee Moss a “disgrace”, which perhaps seems telling.

The incident has led to many pundits and fans raising a perfectly valid point of sticking up for referees for the abuse they receive from players on a regular basis during a match. This seemed like a good opportunity for the Premier League to perhaps release some of the audio or transcript recorded from the officials’ on-board microphones. Unless there was anything overly damning said by Moss, it may well have drawn even greater support for the officials.

It is hard to give a definitive answer on if any punishment should’ve been brought, but if Moss had been making comments about the club’s relegation fight in the heat of battle, it certainly seems inappropriate from a referee.

It also raises the question whether such an incident would have been shut down so swiftly were it a superstar such as Harry Kane or Raheem Sterling making the claims about a referee, as opposed to Gosling.

Cherries certainly feel disappointed by the verdict. There has been no confirmation nor denial of if Moss did indeed rile or mock players during the match. The club fully stand by Gosling’s version of events.