By Walter Broeckx
Those of you who follow us in our search for making football fair for all will have noticed that the new website that we have started seems to have stopped producing referee reviews.
Maybe left and right in the headquarters of some organisation like the PGMOL they have already opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate that these difficult people have stopped watching the refs and the PGMOL and the way they run the refs in the PL. Well I hope the champagne tasted good but let me spoil the after-taste a bit by spelling this message out: We are only just starting!
Sometimes you start doing things and suddenly you realise that you need to improve what you are doing.
So we had to rethink the way we work. Until a few weeks ago we were working in separate files. Each reviewer on his own computer and then sending the files in when ready. And even though I made the files myself in co-operation with Dogface the way these files were made, made them vulnerable for errors. Looking in the wrong column could get wrong numbers out of the system.
Dogface has managed to change this completely. Since last week we have begun to work in a totally different way. We now have our own website where the reviewers can log in and where we can work on the reviews and where the data is kept.
But changing the way we have worked for the last season to a new system is something that takes time. Our older referee reviewers had to change their habits and their way of working. And of course by using it the first days we discovered situations that weren’t covered yet on the new website. So Dogface had to keep on changing things and making things better. And he still is doing this behind the scenes.
And we also had to work back a bit. Because all the reviews that have been published where made in the old format. And now we have to re-write them in the new website. Something that I am working on for the moment. And things are getting better each day. Only some 10 reviews to check and correct. But as you can imagine this all takes time.
It also meant that we couldn’t publish the reviews anymore because we (I use this lightly as it should read: Dogface) had to see how we would present the new reviews based on the new hard and software we use. This also is something that is taking up a lot of time. Certainly if you think that we all do this in our spare time.
So this is another reason for the delay in publishing new reviews.
But behind the scenes we are working on other things also.
One of the things that people have been critical about is the fact that we only have referees who support Arsenal in our team. From now on we could say we only ‘had’ referees who support Arsenal.
I can tell you that this is something that will be over now. Thanks to the effort of Stuart (on of our regular readers) who has been crossing the whole internet in search of websites who wanted to publish an article about us we have managed to get in more referees. And most of all: those new referees are not supporters of Arsenal.
We are reaching out around the world and our web of referees is know really becoming a global web. A WWRW you could say. World Wide Referee Web. Maybe a good name to remember and maybe use one day? The only continents missing for now seems to be Asia and Oceania. Come on guys what are you waiting for? Join us!
But having new referees also brings some problems. We have to talk to them, ask them all kinds of questions about their background, religion, sexual preferences, partners, children, work, money… Well I gather that by now you think that I am pulling your leg. And yes I am. We don’t ask all those things. But we do have to ask them questions on their preferences. We have to ask them which teams they like and dislike. We have to ask them which ref they like and which ref they don’t like. How many games they can review each week.
We have to look at how some people can get access to the reviews and this seems to be a problem for some people who want to join but who is coming from a country in a bad economical climate and having difficulties in having to pay for watching games on a sporting channel. I know you can download some games for free but when a download takes up to 5 to 8 hours for one half it isn’t that funny anymore and not really a workable solution.
So this might be a next step in thinking about gathering the games somewhere where all our ref reviewers might be able to see the games and review them. Now we do this like with the old reviews: each on our own computer, video, hard disk recorder,….
And those new referees also have to be tested. We give them a game they try to review it and try to use the new software. And this isn’t always easy at the start. Even if the program is really very use friendly in most ways it still needs some thinking on how to use it and how to use it in a correct way so we can get the data out of the system we need. Again this is something that takes time. But from next week on if all goes right and they still want to help us we should get the helping hand of new recruits. And I still am in touch with a few that have asked questions and asked if they could join us.
So we even could be with more reviewers in the next weeks.
And when we start publishing again you will see that we will have every decision covered from now on! Not just the ones you were used from us but also goal kicks, throw in and other stuff that can happen on a football field.
But because of all this the website referee decisions has stopped publishing reviews for the moment. But Dogface has told me that he is getting closer to a solution and that we should be publishing the reviews very soon. So let us keep our fingers crossed and hope that all goes well on all fronts and we will be able to present you the reviews again.