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How a shadowy referees’ association controls the media. Part 2: “Dermot”

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Untold Media: How PGMOL determines how refs are reported – part 2

By Anne

Yesterday we started to reveal how the shadowy referees’ association PGMOL seeks to influence what is said about refs in the media, and how they are successfully ensuring that the debate about referees runs down certain channels only – always avoiding the notion that the UK might be following where Italy led.

Those of us at Untold who are concerned about such matters have always been bemused by the mechanism behind this debate management.  Now we are starting to understand a little more about what is going on.

Part one of this series is here.

Now, to continue…

In what follows, we will learn not only more about this potential “relationship” between Gallagher and Riley, but also some very interesting facts about the PGMOL, the EPL, and the inner workings of the official Premier League media.

Our information on this subject comes from John Dykes, who is employed by the Premier League to host the official Barclays Premier League Matchday Live programming. Dykes published an article on 5 April 2012,  titled Shedding light on the refs’ ‘howlers. Although the article fails to shed any direct light on “refs’ howlers”, what it does shed light on is …. well …..  I’ll just let Dykes tell you himself:

“While your own team allegiances may mean you might not agree with our experts, I can at least be confident that those experts will be making their judgements based on the best available evidence thanks to a dimension we have added to our broadcasts this season.

“We call that dimension ‘Dermot’ — Dermot Gallagher to be precise. The former Premier League referee is someone who occasionally pops up in front of our cameras but who clocks in for work every weekend in a behind-the-scenes role.

“Dermot sits in our production gallery and watches the games with us. He explains the thinking behind referees’ decisions, he gives his own take on what he might have done in certain circumstances and, as I said earlier, he sometimes puts his jacket and tie on to so he can speak directly to our viewers.

“Every Matchday he can be found in our studio going over incidents with Andy Townsend and our pundits, often challenging and sometimes changing their opinions on incidents. By the time we discuss incidents at half- or fulltime, we are at least able to explain why a referee took a certain decision, even if we ultimately conclude that human error has occurred.”

So…. What to say about the above? (I must admit that, after first reading this, it took me quite some time to recover my power of speech.) The absolute least that can be said, in my opinion, is that it would appear that Dermot Gallagher is exercising quite a high degree of control over what is and is not reported about refereeing decisions on official EPL broadcasts…

But the question from there becomes: Why? And how? And most importantly of all, on whose behalf? Specifically, could Gallagher really be doing all of this just on the basis of his “official” credentials as an independent pundit on refereeing issues?  To find the answer to that question, we need look no further than one specific comment from Dykes that I already quoted in this article:

“[Gallagher] clocks in for work every weekend in a behind-the-scenes role.”

So, there you have it. Gallagher “clocks in for work.” In other words, Gallagher is employed by someone else to do this particular job. And who is Gallagher’s employer?

Unfortunately, later in the article, Dykes provides us with the worst possible answer to that question:

“Dermot is there for us because of a smart decision taken by the Premier League and Mike Riley, who heads up the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organisation responsible for referees in this country. Season in, season out, both bodies have found themselves pestered by journalists and broadcasters asking for clarification of refereeing decisions, preferably as soon as games have ended…”

So, unless I’m misreading what Dykes is saying here, it would appear that Gallagher is actually employed by Mike Riley (hence the PGMOL) and/or the EPL, for the purpose of providing journalists with immediate “clarification of refereeing decisions” on behalf of the PGMOL and/or the EPL.

And before we move on to the staggering potential implications of the above, let’s take a quick look at a specific example of how Gallagher influenced one Matchday broadcast.  For this, we return to Dykes’s article (discussing here the controversial penalty denied to Fulham against Man U):

Dermot “has brought a new dimension to our studio work and it has also impacted on the way I watch games.” For example, “When Michael Carrick knocked Danny Murphy’s foot onto the ball in the Old Trafford penalty box two Mondays ago…I yelled ‘penalty.’”

However, “thanks to Dermot,” there was no on-air “post-match discussion … asking for … [an explanation] of  that decision.’” This was because Gallagher explained off the air that the reason “Michael Oliver didn’t point to the spot [was because] refs are trained to look for the movement of the ball…when assessing challenges.”

Apparently, Gallagher’s behind-the-scenes explanation of Oliver’s motives was not challenged during Matchday’s subsequent broadcast of this incident.  Effectively, this would mean that Gallagher, by providing an innocent explanation of the referee’s motives  behind the scenes, ensured that the question of referee bias was kept safely away from the viewing public.

Overall, the implications of what Dykes is describing here are absolutely staggering. To provide a basic summary of the key points:

1) Dykes explicitly states that Dermot Gallagher, who represents himself publicly as a mere “pundit,” actually acts as supervisor and consultant on all of Matchday’s reporting on EPL refereeing decisions;

2) Taking it even further, Dykes also explicitly states that, at least in part, the reports on refereeing decisions that Matchday broadcasts to the public are dictated by Dermot Gallagher behind the scenes (or his employer).

Specifically, Gallagher explains the reasoning behind certain refereeing decisions, and Matchday relays those explanations to the public, apparently without informing the public that the views it is expressing are those of Dermot Gallagher (or his employer);

3) And on the subject of Gallagher’s “employer,” we come to the final and most serious issue raised by this article. Specifically, Dykes explicitly states that Dermot Gallagher’s role at Matchday is not independent, but rather occurs at the behest of Mike Riley and the PGMOL, the EPL, or some combination of both. To repeat once again:

“Dermot is there for us because of a smart decision taken by the Premier League and Mike Riley, who heads up the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL)…[who] have found themselves pestered by journalists and broadcasters asking for clarification of refereeing decisions…”

To make matters even worse (if that’s possible), Dykes’ article isn’t the first time that we’ve seen the phrase ”clarification of refereeing decisions” in relation to Gallagher. Rather, to quote myself from earlier:

“Gallagher appears weekly on Sky Sports and Talk Sport as a pundit, with the official task of ‘clarifying the weekend’s refereeing decisions.’” He also performs the same task occasionally for various print publications.

So, the question then becomes:

If Gallagher’s role in the official EPL media apparatus is to “clarif[y] refereeing decisions” on behalf of the PGMOL and/or the EPL, then under whose direction might Gallagher be acting when he “clarif[ies] refereeing decisions” for the viewers and listeners of Sky Sports and Talk Sport? And other publications?

And more importantly, what does that say about the nature of the relationships that Sky Sports, Talk Sport, and other media outlets, might have with Gallagher’s employer?

To conclude this segment of the article, I’ll leave you with the same remarks that Dykes used to sum up his own article, which, in the present context, just seem sadly ironic:

“Fans (and clubs/players) will always believe officials give decisions against them. That will never change and, to be honest, the debate over bias is probably a part of the game that they would miss if it went away.

That’s a debate for the pub, the living room, the football ground. As far as the debate in the TV studio goes, I would gladly settle for a little more insight and empathy like that brought to us each week by Dermot.”

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This set of articles will continue on Untold shortly with a series of examples of Dermot Gallagher’s statements to the media.

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Refs…

How the shadowy PGMOL not only runs the premier leagues refs, but also influences what appears in the media.

PGMOL looks after Premier League refs.  But are they serious?

Latest Untold Ref Reviews… (more reviews will appear shortly)

Man U 2 QPR 0

Sunderland 0 Tottenham 0

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On the Arsenal History site: When was the last time Tottenham ended the league season above Arsenal?

 

 

 

 

82 comments to How a shadowy referees’ association controls the media. Part 2: “Dermot”

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dermot is just there to shove the official PGMOL/EPL line down our throats when it is difficult to swallow.
    Thanks to this article, we now know this.
    I take a bow Untold Media team.

  • Laundryender

    @ anne

    I think I love you.

    Great piece, well done to you and your team.

  • WalterBroeckx

    In a way this reminds me of what happened at the last European championship in the game between Italy-Holland. Holland scored a goal that looked offside but an Italian player was on the ground outside the playing field and the goal stood.
    Our TV station called the head of the refs in my country to give his view.
    And he then said that it should have been offside and that the goal should have been cancelled.
    My sons (also referees) and I had seen it live and had immediately agreed that the Italian player was still “active” and so the goal was OK.
    But our “boss” told us we were wrong. Then the TV station was overflowed by other active refs who said that “the boss” was totally wrong.
    So the TV station went further on the search for other opinions. And guess what? The little men (active refs) knew the rules better than “the boss of the refs”.
    So at the end of the game he had to come out and admit that he was wrong. He did this by turning and twisting and saying that he had not really seen the whole incident clearly (then why comment in the first place????). Lots of blah blah but he was totally wrong.

    So this story just to say that one has to be careful on what is said by some experts. Even if that man is the head of the refs.
    You don’t necessary become head of the refs based on your knowledge and refereeing skills. There usually are reasons you can become head of the refs. Being rewarded for something ….

  • Arvind

    Thank You Anne. Now I’m trying to re-conclude (I know you already did ; ) )…

    a) Dermot Gallagher is employed by PGMOL. They pay him.

    b) If they pay him, he has to largely do what they say, or he will be out of a job.

    c) PGMOL is largely incompetent/corrupt based on all the ref reviews and other work.

    d) Hence PGMOL’s ulterior motives are suspicious

    e) Hence what Dermot says cannot be wholly believed

    f) However, since a large majority of the public do not care, and since it “evens out” PGMOL get away with it.

    Hence, while the intention is good, at least the one stated by John Dykes.. like many other good intentions…in football and in life…it too has an undesirable outcome…

    Sad.. because I do think, that if done well..this had potential to truly educate the masses. Oh well..we have Anne and Untold for that ; )..Thank You again.

  • Dan T

    Another great piece of journalistic writing here. Thanks. It amazes me that all of this is so hidden and how has this not been fully examined earlier?

    You are one of the few people left that is stopping the phrase ‘great sport journalist’ becoming an oxymoron.

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Actually, I believe that the person that we owe a real thank you to here is John Dykes. Technically, his article is praising Gallagher. And while I suppose it’s possible that he only revealed all of this inside information by accident, I would say that we owe him a real debt of gratitude nonetheless.

  • Anne

    @Laundryender:

    Wow, I never knew that you felt this way… And so brave of you to confess your true feelings on a public forum 🙂

    But anyway…Glad you enjoyed the article 🙂

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Glad to know that you and your fellow Belgian referees were so vociferous in terms of calling out the “boss” on his errors. It sounds like it really made a difference in the case that you’re describing.

  • Arun

    Surprisingly, John still manages to boast about the 99% figure based on 12000 offside decisions in 2010-11 premier league. This amounts to 31.5 offside decisions every match. Well, that’s a strange number for me.
    @ Walter, how many offside decisions you expect a linesman to make during a game??? Don’t you think that 16 decisions per linesman per game is too big a number???

  • Anne

    @Arvind:

    I disagree that the majority of the public don’t care, and I also disagree that the PGMOL are getting away with it. If the PGMOL are getting away with it, then how did I come to write this article in the first place? And if the majority of the public don’t care, then what audience will there be for this article?

    Aside from that, I’m glad that you enjoyed the article, and thank you for commenting. 🙂

  • Anne

    @Dan T:

    Thank you. That’s a compliment that I believe might go beyond what I actually deserve 🙂 And don’t forget to thank John Dykes as well.

  • Anne

    @Arun:

    Just to quote Dykes’ full comments on the subject:

    “I also welcome the league’s recent willingness to share technical data relating to the performance of officials. Earlier this season, it issued the following release detailing the work of assistant referees:

    “Last season’s ProZone data shows they got over 99 per cent of offsides right, up six per cent over last two seasons. ProZone analysed over 12 000 offside decisions in the 2010-2011 Premier League for that 99 per cent figure. ProZone is better than TV replay.’’

    One could, of course, choose to read that as an admission that linesmen and women get one per cent of decisions wrong. Now those mistakes might be made for any number of reasons: bad positioning, an inability to keep up with lightning pace of the modern player, simulation by the same modern player, or even bright sunshine (thanks to Dermot’s contribution this past weekend, I now know England’s officials are not allowed to wear caps).”

    You’re correct that these numbers are absolutely ridiculous. I’m frankly amazed that the PGMOL is actually still trying to use them. As for Dykes, I really hope that these comments were intended to be sarcastic. If they were, they’re funny. If not, they’re just kind of pathetic.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Arun,

    If they take it that each pass forward you have to make a judgement is counted then it could be. 🙂
    This is of course a nice way to come to a nice number.
    We average a number of around 5 offside decisions to make or had to be made.

  • Arvind

    @Anne: What I meant was..a transfer rumor or an “affair” or RVP visiting Barcelona will always generate more news than this stuff. I did not mean to say no one reads this. I meant that most people will prefer reading articles of that sort. This apart from a minority of fans (largely on Untold) will be seen as..”Yeah cool, but who are we buying?”. I hope that clarifies my stance.

    The PGMOL getting away..well..I’m saying that just because of the stupid decisions I see everyday in the EPL. Yes it is possible in the future thanks to all this work, that there might be more transparency..right now when I see Mike Dean coming to us again…its hard to take..that’s all.

    Again..I do not mean to say this article is useless…lest it seem that way.

  • Giddy

    Your article is very bold and a must read for all who have been questioning the happenings at EPL Officiating and visa vis pundits biased reporting against certain managers. How i wish this same piece could be posted in one of the dailies for reading so that many people know that complaints normally raised by managers are real.

  • Rich

    Good interview and useful research (especially on the misleading stats) but a lot of this sounds like a conspiracy theory – and like most of them falls apart the minute its challenged.

    To start with, no one really benefits from the theory that ref’s run the media (unless of course you think that their is an Italian-like story here but there is no proof of that).

    Secondly it is the media that lead the campaign on attacking referees. For every single mistake, the commentators and pundits afterwards will rely on slow-mo and multiple angles to highlight the error. Only in limited situations do they say, “you can understand why the ref gave that decision”.

    The fact that Dermot is there to give the other side is hardly surprising when all the viewer hears in the first instance is the view of ex-pro’s who have limited knowledge about the rules. How many times do commentators still refer to daylight in offside decisions or raised hands always being a red?

    I actually think the misleading stats argument is one that should be raised but not to bash referees but to highlight how difficult the job is without video replays or other pieces of technology.

    Nobody around the world is doing this job any better so looking at a conspiracy as that only detracts from the main argument of Untold.

  • Anne

    @Arvind:

    I didn’t take your comment that way. I just used your comment to highlight what I saw as a point of optimism 🙂

  • Anne

    @Giddy:

    Thank you for your kind comments.

  • Anne

    @Rich:

    Mikey, is that you? 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Rich, I think the media speaks with a double tongue. Of course they highlight the mistakes first. They have no other choice when there is a live game.

    But after that they don’t do research on why, how, when , how many times,… They don’t go looking for recurrent coincidences…

    So they will highlight the mistake as they cannot hide from it but don’t do anything with ti afterwards.

    And if they do anything they tell us: hush now, all is fine. It will even out. Without any evidence it actually will.

  • marcus

    @Rich “Sounds like a conspiracy theory”

    You clearly haven’t followed the site Rich. The site has been exploring the possibility of a conspiracy for the last couple of years.

    The whole point is that there is a belief that there is a conspiracy, a conspiracy of certain vested interests to control results might be one way of phrasing it.

    Wakey wakey Rich.

  • Shard

    @Rich

    A theory is a theory. Labelling it a ‘conspiracy theory’ shows that you have an inherent bias against the possible merits of it, and is in no way original. We’ve heard it thousands of times before.

    To start with, the theory isn’t that refs RUN the media, rather the media and the refs work in unison. Nothing wrong with that per se, and while you can say the media ‘lead the campaign on attacking refs’ that is completely untrue. The media only do it when they have to maintain their credibilty (such as is left) If the media really led the ‘attack’, Untold’s space would be very limited. I doubt Untold would ever have started looking into refereeing issues. The media go with the party line usually, which is fairly apparent, and this article shows ONE way that this association works.

    As for the Italian style thing. There wasn’t any proof of that for the public before the story broke. But let me put the onus on you. What makes you think that the Italian Calciopoli, or matchfixing CAN’T happen in English football? What makes you so confident that English football, the referees, and the media are run responsibly?

    The idea is not to ‘bash referees’ as you put it. The idea is to bash the lack of transparency, and misleading numbers that the system provides for. There is no reason to trust them, except that they are in power and say so. That isn’t enough for most people in most situations. I wonder why football is so different. It has money, it has selective reporting, it has clearly dodgy decisions, and it has no accountability. Governments fall with much less ‘proof’ you know.. I suspect people don’t WANT to admit the possibility of the game being corrupt because that would intrude on the escapism that football makes possible. Why else would you not want a better system in place? Conspiracy theory? yes..Humans can never be corrupted. Sport is always fair. So what if sport is also a business. It’s a conspiracy to suggest otherwise.

  • Jed

    I’m enjoying these articles and think that the work Untold is doing is really valuable.

    However I don’t find it suspicious that PGMOL is reaching out to the media. They feel misunderstood and want to get their point of view across. That’s normal.

    The thing that makes me really suspicious is that when a team consistently gets dodgy penalty awards (or denials to their opponents) that help them on their way to titles, nobody on television or in the papers ever seems to point out the pattern. And when a team with an Oligarch owner gets two offsides that land them crucial points, why does nobody state the obvious, that the most likely reason is corruption? However persuasive Gallagher is (not very in my opinion) surely the journos can see past it?

  • SouthernGunner

    Great article Anne. Many thanks for the time and effort gone into this.

    One of the sections that stood out was, “Every Matchday he can be found in our studio going over incidents with Andy Townsend and our pundits, often challenging and sometimes changing their opinions on incidents.”

    Now you’d think that a former football player turned pundit would know more about the game of football, having trained and played for a living. So my question is, why would they allow themselves to be influenced by someone who hasn’t played the game as a professional? And if the refs views are deemed so insightful by the media, then why not just have him doing the commentary? Why go to the trouble of “challenging and changing the views” of former professional players? This doesn’t sit right.

    The PGMOL is acting like Orwell’s Thought Police in it’s relationship with the media. Pundit’s can express their views and opinions, as long as it lines up with the powers that be.

  • Red-Man

    @Jed

    I guess Anne’s point is that the journos have no interest in seeing past it….

  • marcus

    #stating-the-obvious
    Most of the journos get their paychecks from Murdoch…go figure

    #shaking-the-piss

    http://www.3news.co.nz/VIDEO-Arsenals-Robin-van-Persie-swats-Caldwells-handshake-away-after-Wigan-loss/tabid/317/articleID/250672/Default.aspx

    Lol – is there no end to the Alistair Campbell SPIN GENERATION…check the URL above which shows RVP and Caldwell

  • Je vous aime beaucoup, Anne. Tu est aussi tres. (Now try and beat that Laundryender!)

    The sweetest thing about you is that you also have time to respond to everyone’s comment.

  • Jed

    @ Red-Man

    And answering my own question they do have to be careful not to libel anyone, at least until Anne has dug up the evidence!

    The journalist who exposes this scandal is guaranteed fame and fortune. It’s like Peston and Northern Rock to the power of ten.

  • Stuart

    I do agree with Rich that the misleading stats should be used to make change for the better and positively influence the PGMOL rather than referee bashing. People are far more receptive to positive people than to those viewed as critics.

  • Mahdain

    truly untold piece.. a superb article Anne..its pieces like this that makes me think i should stop writing articles and leave it to the experts like you and stick to commenting 😛

  • Gord

    Part of what you quoted Anne, sounds very much like the Champions League referee who had to study all the possible scenarios.

    The only reason for scenarios or the “thinking of the referee”, is that referees must decide what illegal acts they are NOT going to penalize. But if one looks at the Laws of the Game, it doesn’t talk about penalizing selected occurrences. If one player trips another player, it is a foul. If the ball is 15m away and motionless, or if the ball is 2m away and moving, it doesn’t matter. It is a foul. And the referee doesn’t have to take the coin out of his pocket and toss it such that seeing it land with heads up he makes the call and heads down he ignores the foul.

    Selective enforcement is the breeding ground for manipulation.

  • Wooby

    Anne, great work.

    @Shard, total agreement.

    @Rich, I’d like to add, remember the saying “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”? This is what upsets me about soccer officiating. The referee of any game has absolute say and the report they file is the basis for all subsequent decision making. As Shard points out, there is a lack of transparency and accountability from officials about decisions they make on the field. You then add to the pot the huge amount of dollars that are bet on games, and evidence of match fixing scandals in both Italy and Germany (albeit in lower levels) … if one truly loves the game, one has to be concerned about the way it is run at the highest levels.

  • Matt Clarke

    Thank you Anne and all Untold team.

    In my opinion EUFA/FIFA have been controlling who wins the World Cup and Euro-thingy for many years, which is why international football is so boring and I have stopped watching.

    Please do keep on looking into this.
    Corruption (whatever form it is taking) is a cancer and it could kill this great game.

  • bob

    Rich,
    Your posting is well, rich.
    To conspire is to breathe together, as in the same room or over the same phone call, and not to publicize what was said between the breaths. To conspire is the norm, not the great exception. Try to see a distinction between conspiracy theory! (as in no it’s not!) and a conspiracy fact (as in a factual meeting, in person, online, on the telly, under the table). Your thinking, in my lights, is that of a coincidence fundamentalist. This would be the root absolute belief in the notion that by the so-called law of averages, it’ll all even out in the end.
    Alright then, Rich, repeat after me: coincidence theorist, coincidence theorist,coincidence theorist….

  • Dav

    Continued congratulations for tackling what is obviously a sensitive subject (refs). Keep up the good work. But some caution I would recommend. I believe that if you become too well read you’ll be targeted, so beware of impostors and sham whistleblowers – there’s no better way to ruin credibility than to destroy it by offering false information.

  • bob

    Anne,
    Breathtaking work! Major ups!

    “Somehow” I’m reminded of the scene in the Godfather I where someone who double-crossed Don Vito Corleone gets into his car and the Don’s man is there, in the darkened back seat, with a piano wire in both hands. Now I can’t seem to remember, but was that back seat guy named Dermott by any chance? Hmmm, I guess not.

    In any case, a visit from soemone like Dermott G. might just have a “chilling effect” (as they say in Constitutional law) on one’s career aspirations. On those of someone who might otherwise not agree to be corrected. Here’s a kindred conversation among TV jornos: “I see X, Freddie. Well, listen up David, in this morning’s meeting, Dermott said he sees not-X. Oh, alright then, Freddie, let’s have tea.”

  • bob

    Jed,
    Does PGMOL “reaching out to the media” account for lots of coverage by, for example, the Guardian football department of the weekend’s (Sat/Sunday) dire controversies in their Monday editions (online) and then ZERO about them in their Tuesday editions (online at least)?

    But wait a minute! Stop the keyboards! Your absolutely right Jed! To quote you: “I don’t find it suspicious that PGMOL is reaching out to the media. They feel misunderstood and want to get their point of view across. That’s normal.” Yep, so the PGMOL reached out to the media and the Manchester Guardian’s football department literally shut the fuck up. I think you’ve got it just about right there, Jed. Well done, lad. Back to watching me medicine on the telly.

  • Anne

    Just as an interesting corruption sidenote… Barca appears to be in the process of throwing their CL match against Chelsea…

  • Anne

    @Marcus:

    “a conspiracy of certain vested interests to control results might be one way of phrasing it.”

    I think that’s a good way of phrasing it.

  • Anne

    Or at least, Lionel Messi provided the key assist on Chelsea’s goal 🙂

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    Well said.

  • Anne

    @Jed:

    I’m glad that you’re enjoying the articles. However, I disagree with you on the following:

    “I don’t find it suspicious that PGMOL is reaching out to the media. They feel misunderstood and want to get their point of view across. That’s normal.”

    The reason I disagree is because what I’m describing in this article is not the PGMOL “reaching out to the media.”

    Rather, it appears to be the PGMOL dictating what is reported in the media from behind the scenes, and having their opinions relayed to the public through pundits and commentators who are supposedly neutral, and who aren’t telling the public that the views that they’re expressing are actually the PGMOL’s views.

    On the scale of journalistic ethics, this doesn’t even make the scale. However, I do think you make some very good points here:

    “when a team consistently gets dodgy penalty awards (or denials to their opponents) that help them on their way to titles, nobody on television or in the papers ever seems to point out the pattern”

    “However persuasive Gallagher is (not very in my opinion) surely the journos can see past it?”

    Why is it that the journalists seem to be protecting the referees in this manner?

  • Anne

    @SouthernGunner:

    “One of the sections that stood out was, ‘Every Matchday he can be found in our studio going over incidents with Andy Townsend and our pundits, often challenging and sometimes changing their opinions on incidents.'”

    That section really stood out to me as well, and I’m glad that you noticed the implications of it. I agree that it “doesn’t sit right” that Gallagher would be changing the opinions of pundits behind the scenes.

  • Anne

    @Red-Man:

    “I guess Anne’s point is that the journos have no interest in seeing past it…”

    It would seem that they don’t. Based on what they’re actually reporting about the decisions.

  • Anne

    @9jagunnerdoc:

    Ok, now I’m really blushing 🙂

  • Anne

    @Stuart:

    I’m not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying that I’m “referee bashing” in this article? Or that to criticize the referees for the decisions they get wrong is “referee bashing?” I don’t think I’m following you.

  • Anne

    @Mahdain:

    I’m glad you liked the article, but I definitely think you should keep writing!

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    I think that you make some very good points about selective enforcement.

  • Anne

    @Wooby:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Anne

    @Matt Clarke:

    “Please do keep on looking into this.”

    I certainly plan to 🙂

  • Anne

    @bob:

    “repeat after me: coincidence theorist, coincidence theorist,coincidence theorist….”

    Lol. “coincidence theorist.” I like that one 🙂 And glad you enjoyed the article. Godfather 1 is one of my favorite movies.

  • Mahdain

    oh UEFA are so gonna be pissed off at that…you can expect a Bussaca type for nou camp. Bet on it

  • none

    Nice article Anne. It was interesting reading a few of the comments already stating that ManU get an unfair advantage from Refs. I wonder how long before they are removed?

  • Shard

    Mahdain

    So far. I would say I was right about Chelsea being favoured this year. barca will beat them at the Nou Camp of course. They massively underperformed today. However, Barca MIGHT..might be made to lose by some contentious decision. A Bussaca moment in the opposite direction. So that Barca have something to blame, UEFA get rid of the talk of Barca being favoured by them, and Chelsea, whose good run in the champs league started in the second leg of the Napoli tie, and continued in the Benfica tie, get to keep winning since AVB got fired.

  • Anne

    @none:

    I actually hadn’t looked at the comments section of that article. The article was posted on 6 April and they haven’t removed the comments yet, so I guess they aren’t going to.

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know anyone else personally who DOESN’T think that ManU are favored by referees? Because I’m beginning to think that this has become a universal consensus amongst football fans. Forget someone in the media proving it. It’s being proved week in and week out on the pitch, and broadcast all over the world.

    Glad you enjoyed the article.

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    I think you might be right. As of now, it looks like the winds might be blowing in Chelsea’s direction. And Barca sure didn’t seem fussed about losing. Or Chelsea’s diving. Or anything at all, really…

  • Mahdain

    @Anne apart from united fans themselves? They are rare and ofcourse they are the ones who believe English game is whiter than white and infact here in my country Webb is the most famous and known ref and for all the wrong reasons all thanks to his antics when united play

  • Mahdain

    @Shard you might be right but im really hoping Bayern wins the whole thing as i really would hate to see any of the other 3 do it..hate Mourinho,cant stand Barca and i dont think i need to say how i feel about Chelsea

  • Shard

    @Mahdain

    One thing in Bayern’s favour is that the final takes place at their home stadium.

  • none

    I really laughed when I listened to Wiley on this http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/premier-league/video/allvideos-22327918/whistle-blower-28980177

    The first phrase that sprang to mind was.. you fuckwit.

  • none

    Offtopic completely (sorry Anne), but the appointment of Dean for the CFC match would be his 6th league match against us this season?

    Well Mr Dean, lets hope you dont break a leg trying to do more jigs this Saturday.

  • Anne

    @none:

    Unfortunately, that video “is not available in my area.” Can you tell me generally what Wiley said? Or if you just want to tell me what incident he’s talking about, there’s a good chance I can tell you what he said from there 🙂

  • Anne

    @none:

    I don’t mind if you go off topic on my threads so long as it’s something interesting. And I agree that it’s an absolute outrage the number of times we’ve gotten Dean this season. Have they no shame? Or are they just getting desperate?

  • Mahdain

    @none you shouldnt have asked that as i will probably go on a rant but too little too late i guess so here goes..
    yes the appointment of Dean to ref our match will indeed be the SIXTH time he refs our matches the most of any ref..
    mind you Dean is statistically the worst referee for us and we have only have won once in the last 12 matches he has been ref..
    He is clearly doing what he is sent to do well and no wonder it is gonna be the 4th time we have him in 14 matches or in other words once after every 3 matches.
    You only need to see the list of refs they sent to us since Jan 22(the united match) to see how pathetic it is
    Rant over

  • Anne

    @Mahdain:

    I’m hoping Bayern wins it as well. We’ll see if they get past Madrid at the Bernabeu. Difficult to do (and not because of any merit on Madrid’s part).

  • Anne

    @Mahdain:

    I understand your feelings.

  • bjtgooner

    Anne, great article and brilliantly analysed.

    I don’t know anything about Dykes and whether or not he has any football background, but he certainly has put the boot into what he was attempting to do – Dykes has done “untold” harm to the PGMOL publicity cause – well spotted Anne.

    The recent appalling EPL ref decisions have been harder than normal to cover up – hence the appearance of Dykes and Gallagher from under whatever stones they normally reside under. I don’t think either has yet been convincing, but does the PGMOL have a “plan B” to cover up for Dykes’ inadvertent revelations?

  • Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    I don’t know whether the PGMOL has a plan to cover up for these revelations, but I would suspect not. And I sincerely hope that this article at least pissed them off a little bit(dare I to dream?)

    They can consider it my “thank you” gift to them for appointing us Dean for the 6th time this season.

  • Wooby

    @Mahdain, I said it in a comment on a previous article. I do think Bayern will win CL becuase it will help silence those German officials complaining about the taxes that La Liga clubs owe thw Spanish government. Farca may well sneak through to the final to help them pay off their tax bill – it will be very interesting to see which “esteemed” official gets assigned to the game at the Nou Camp.

  • Arvind

    @Anne: I happened to turn the TV on for Messi’s “assist” : ) and saw it. I think I thought of you for a bit (although I dont remember when : D) and thought about the Cesc game. You’ve made me think about that again..sadly though I may add : (

    But on another note Cesc’s comments about tactical growth are kind of sad and if those are as they are..with no misquote…I’ve lost some respect for him.

    I actually don’t know who I want to win the CL or the EPL this year. I hate Barca’s diving and ref pressurising, I dislike Mourinho’s attittude, I dislike Chelsea and its players..hopefully its Bayern.

    I dislike ManU and feel it’ll be hilarious for City to lose after blowing that much cash and a kick in the bowels for the AAA..so I’m torn really.

    I saw your comment though, you really think Messi threw that?

  • Anne

    @Arvind:

    Oh, come on, don’t ask me that directly… Can I “take the 5th” in a blog comments section? 🙂

  • Anne

    @Arvind:

    Yes.

  • bob

    On The Dean, let us recall that the Rednose XX is animated (for any with eyes to see) a hormone dance among the Queen Bee’s (Micky R) top killer bees as to who can deliver the most honey to the Hive. Perhaps when The Dean does us (again) vs. Chelski, he will have be in a dead heat with the Webbmaster for he who gets to preside over the upcoming Toilet Bowl: to flush ManShitty’s dreams into the footnotes. Then again, perhaps there will be an All-Hive quartet (Webb, Dean, others to be named) on that most glorious day to come (soon)when the loser gets to provide – by custom and perhaps rule – the Guard of Honor (yes, it’s what its called) to festoon with roses the yellow brick road to Don Fungus’s ascension to Lord Football.

    On a less serious note, perhaps the AFC’s legal department will take note of Dean’s six-pack and consider advising its client, the AFC board, to grow a pair and pursue a legal remedy or extra-legal investigation or call a press conference or step aside whilst fans convene a commission of inquiry with as much publicity as can be mustered in all quarters to electrify world football’s hearts and minds.

  • Arvind

    @Anne: Ha. I had to look up what ‘The fifth amendment’ was. No you’re not allowed that ; ).

    But really…if Messi’s thrown that…whats the point in watching football at all..any more? That’s a genuine question.

  • Anne

    @Arvind:

    I still watch football because I think that there’s still something in the game worth salvaging.

  • Neven

    Dykes (formerly a well-respected presenter here in Asia with ESPN-Star) really let it slip, didn’t he? I don’t think anyone’s surprised with what he had to say.

    Off-topic: No idea what Cesc has learned “tactically” at Barca; as far as I can see, he still seems to be floating around the pitch as neither a midfielder nor an attacker.

    And I wonder if UEFA will set Skomina free against Bayern in the 2nd leg, now that their dream Barca-Real final is in jeopardy. Viktor Kassai (the guy who booked Vela for diving despite being blatantly fouled against Braga) to help out Farca progress, perhaps?

    Too bad we don’t see more of Nicola Rizzoli in these big games (voted best ref of Serie A last season). Very impressive, no-nonsense ref.

  • Gord

    With respect to abolishing mandatory retirement ages by testing referees, I would like to see referees be tested in other ways.

    Whether you connect them to an EEG, EMG, lie detector, put them in a NMR or whatever doesn’t matter. Show them clips of various teams to look for responses (some will be positive and some negative). Show them clips of goals being scored in various ways by various teams. Show them clips of obvious fouls, possible fouls and situations where fouls were called but not actually present. And look at the results.

  • none

    Sorry for the delay Anne, but I think I got this right….

    Female presenter (FP): “Hello and welcome to whistleblower. I’m joined by the former premier league ref Alan Wiley. This week we will be looking at how Ashley Young won a penalty at Old Trafford.”

    FP: “Em, so Alan, was it a dive? Is it a penalty or is it both?”

    Fuckwit: “First and foremost its a penalty because there is enough contact in there for it to been a foul. The foul has happened in the penalty area, so its a penalty. The amount of contact has not made Ashley Young go over the way he did. I think he has exaggerated the fall but its still a penalty”

    FP: “And could we ever see a yellow card for diving and a spot kick in that decision if there was no contact”

    Fuckwit: “I don’t think you can ever reach that. Because when you have awarded a penalty you then can’t accuse a player of diving. So from a referee’s point of view to give a penalty and a yellow card for diving would contradict each other”

    FP “Ashley Young, this has been the second incident in as many weeks is this in danger of getting him a bit of a reputation and can this play against him when it comes to a referee’s decision”

    Fuckwit: “Not from the referees it won’t it might do from media, from other players. But, he won’t get that from referees”

    FP: “Do you think the FA need to look in to incidents like this and could they then charge the player retrospectively do you think?”

    Fuckwit: “The FA wouldn’t go down that route for the plain and simple fact is what are doing then is re-refereeing [Note: I don’t think this is actually a word, but hey] the incident and you are re-refereeing what the referee has already seen. Which FIFA wouldn’t agree with the FA in England would not go down that route”

    For those that can see the video I linked originally. About 40-45secs you have Ashley Young stepping on the defenders foot. While the defender is trying to move away only for a sniper on a grassy knoll to shot and narrowly miss Ashley. Only Ashley’s quick reactions saved him from a certain ingrowing toe nail and obvious career threatening injury.

  • Anne

    @none:

    Lol. Enough contact?!

    http://i.imgur.com/WqQ3Q.gif

    Fuckwit indeed. I wonder whose payroll Wiley is on?

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    Your suggestion of a lie detector has it’s merits 🙂

    In fact, I’d like to wire Alan Wiley to a polygraph and make him repeat every single one of the above statements. I’m guessing that everything after the words “first and foremost” would register as deceptive 🙂

  • none

    This week we have when you stop a match for injury and when to carry on. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/premier-league/video/allvideos-22327918/29064242

    Once again we return to the ramblings of a fuckwit.. Mr Alan Wiley

    Male presenter (MP): Hello and welcome to the Whistle Blower, this week Im joined by the former Premier league referee Alan Wiley. Alan we are talking about the controversy at Old Trafford this week. I suppose we should start with the exact rules regarding stopping of play

    AW: Yeah, if a player goes down injured and the referee feels that its either a head injury or the referee feels that its a serious injury he’s entitled to stop play and get the player looked at. If the referee doesn’t deem that a serious injury he doesn’t have to stop play in those situations.

    MP: So looking at the Jonny Evans’ incident is that what what would be the reason for him stopping play because it wasn’t a head injury. [yes he does actually say that]

    AW: The Evans one is received as a result of a heavy tackle the player stays down, doesn’t move very much which is a sign of a serious injury so the referee deemed that a serious injury and stopped play accordingly
    [btw the clip then shows the player being lead off the pitch, not carried, no stretcher and not limping. Clearly an injury so serious the player can just walk off]

    MP: And equally why did erm the why did you think the referee choose a different option when it came to the Pienaar incident because David Moyes was furious after the game and er was hoping for a similar outcome?

    AW: If you look at the Pienaar one at first you think the referee may even feel he he just slipped over it doesn’t look as serious injury at all and so the referee would wait for the next stoppage in play for the treatment in this situation the next stoppage in play Manchester United actually scored and thats the reason why the referee let that one go.
    [Here you go Alan, the player has gone down and isnt moving. By your own definition.. thats a serious injury and so play should be stopped.]

    MP: Do you think that referees are becoming increasingly aware of diving erm and play acting now especially in the light of what Drogba’s been doing recently against Barcalona?
    [interesting question, but why highlight a Chelsea player here given that in recent weeks we have seen Ashley Young put both Gareth Bale and Tom Daley to shame?]

    AW: I think if a player goes down and he requires a trainer or pyhsio on the referee is not a doctor he has to do whatever the erm player wants. The first occasion the referee says no and it is a serious injury the referee then has a problem.

    MP: Ok, and do you think that the home home advantage is an element and that it erm being a bigger club do you think that ever comes in to it when the referee makes a decision?

    AW: Its irrelevant who’s at home and its irrelevant who’s the club is.

    Of course it is Alan, of course you keep telling yourself that.

  • WalterBroeckx

    That whistle blower is just a mouthpiece of the PGMOL and SAF. What a disgrace….

    And this is how the media keeps the public dumb.

    None, I would like to thank you for this because I cannot see this but this is pure bollocks what this liar is telling.