By the Referee Rumour Mill
Welcome to the new world – not transfer rumours but referee rumours.
If you are a regular reader you will know that Untold has been covering the murky world of referees for years. If you want to see some of our past work take a lot at the Corruption Archive or if you feel up to it some of our day to day referee news in the Ref Archives
But I have to admit, we’ve not been telling it all. You see, just as there are rumours circulating every day about transfers, players and managers, so there are rumours running around each and every day in relation to those jolly men and women who “control” the game.
Until now we’ve been a bit circumspect in giving these rumours further publicity. But following a major meeting of Untold Scribblers in a public park somewhere in England we voted to reverse our position.
So here we go with REFEREE RUMOURS.
Most things we will be writing about in this series are based on stories, tales and tittletattle that are being whispered in the world of Premier League football. And some things that are not whispered but are more or less taken as fact in the murky world of referees. Stories which everyone in the world of the professional ref has heard and treats as known facts.
We looked at the issue again at this moment for what we have heard being whispered by some people of late goes way beyond the normal gossip. Of course we don’t know if such stories are fact any more than the journalists who write each day about possible transfers know if they are true. All we can say is that unlike a lot of the nonsense transfer rumours, we didn’t originate the stories by sitting in a pub all night with a list of players and a list of clubs, drawing them out of a hat and then writing the resultant combination up using phrases like “Arsenal have been placed on red alert”.
What we have are some people on the inside who are now willing and able to pass the rumours as rumours because they feel it is time that a greater spotlight should be turned on the referees. They know that the broadcasters and newspapers will not do anything to cast any doubt on the probity of referees. They know, as we do that the old “it all evens out in the end” excuse is utterly untrue – but they still put it out. And they know or suspect that if they start carrying any story about there being anything wrong with refs in the Premier League they could well lose their permission to cover the game.
The central point is that Professional Game Match Officials – the organisation that runs the world of top referees in England, is a closed, shady organisation. They don’t have an open web site, they don’t explain the bizarre and extraordinary statistics they release, and they don’t co-operate with supporters – who are ultimately the people who pay their income via gate receipts, TV subscriptions and the like.
What we would like to see is a referees’ organisation where there are no hidden secrets but where all things are dealt in the open. Where people inform the public, and where the original goals of PGMO (to inform the public) is dusted down and put into effect.
But instead PGMO is more and more turning in to a kind of secret organisation where nothing is made public, apart from the appointments of the referees. But it is perhaps because the PGMO is trying to bury all its work as some kind of file of dark secrets, more and more people are now willing to pass on what they hear and what they suspect.
These snippets are, by definition, things that the PGMO doesn’t want made public – and this is our central point. If PGMO opened up and told us what is going on that would stop (or at least reduce) the rumours at once. But somehow it seems that the people who run the PGMO are averse to opening up. They want to remain in the dark and not inform the public. So all we have at our disposal are rumours – and that is what we are going to publish.
As for the truth of the rumours, you will have to make of that what you want. If the rumours are not real then all the PGMO has to do is show us that they are wrong and/or that they have taken care of it. Or open up their information to the public. It is in their hands to turn rumours in to false or turn them in to facts.
We are certainly not going to harm PGMO’s reputation here because its reputation is already so low among those who know about it, it can’t be lowered any further.
So the rumours we will talk about are on a wide and various aspect of all things that surround referees in England.
The first rumour will appear here very shortly.
And by the way – if you are looking for something rather interesting, I don’t think you are going to be disappointed.
- Transfers so far: we are doomed.
- One for the future or is there more to come? The tale of Julio and Xavi.
- Chuba Akpom and The Arsenal
- Ivan Gazidis: this is what he does. Questions from the floor
- Ivan Gazidis: this is what he does
- Fenerbahçe accused again of match fixing
14 June Anniversaries
- 14 June 1973: David O’Leary signed for Arsenal
- 14 June 1973: Peter Storey makes his last appearance for England
- 14 June 1990: John Lukic leaves Arsenal for Leeds for £1m
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches