By Tony Attwood
The season before last I watched a Chelsea shot going away from the goal, and then be handballed. The referee sent a player off, which is the wrong punishment because the punishment for deliberate handball which does not prevent a goal is a yellow card.
But worse, his lack of vision of the game was so haywire that although he realised that the offending player was black, he just picked a black player in a red shirt at random and sent him off despite both the player wrongly sent off and the player who should have been sent off, pointing out the referee’s error.
It was so outrageous I thought that maybe, at long last PGMO would start to sort itself and its officials out, learn its lesson, admit its faults and start to resolve. More referees, video referees, continental rules about fouls, allowing discussion by the media without rescinding their licenses to cover the games.
But no, it has carried on, and despite a short period last season where it did seem that there was some improvement now we are back in the Dark Ages again.
Either this is corruption or it is incompetence. Sure as hell it doesn’t balance out in the end, and has nothing to do with the figures that the PGMO put out about the accuracy of its referees.
It is in fact getting to the point where there really isn’t much point in playing these matches any more. We make the prediction in the ref preview, and then it is played out and we are proven correct. So why don’t we just stop it all, and let the nominated clubs win. Why bother to play the matches at all?
What we have now is a league in which a secretive organisation (Professional Match Game Officials) runs the show, deciding how each games goes. Either it is complicit in extensive match fixing, or its referees are not up to the job, and it, the PGMO is guilty, because of its insistence year after year in having so few referees available – so we get the same refs over and over and over.
Whether PGMO is working with an outside agency, (and if so quite who they are working in co-ordination with is an interesting thought) or whether they couldn’t organise a bowl of custard, we can’t say, but there seems little point in running a secretive organisation like this without having some sort of benefit somewhere. Otherwise why not run an open operation in which everyone can see exactly what is going on?
That incidentally is a real question – I just wish someone would tell me. If PGMO is straight why is it secretive?
The challenge on Kos on 63 minutes was utterly appalling: BT Sprout called it a “good old fashioned London derby challenge” which translated means it was a sending off offence. But of course the official PGMO apologist channel wont say that. So now, even the awareness is there, but covered up in a special language reserved for such occasions.
What I guess it does mean is that the cosy arrangements between PGMO and the media will continue. What PGMO did was what we might have expected, and so it was allowed that a player running riot with fouls could be substituted before the situation was so out of control that even with these officials on the pitch he couldn’t be protected eternally.
So with Gabriel once again the ref in a PGMO match sends the wrong man off in a Chelsea game. How many times does it have to happen before somehow we find a way to overthrow the secret society and restore proper refereeing?
Certainly several Chelsea players now know they are immune and can get away with anything they want.
So certain were Chelsea of their control of the officials that when a ball went out for a totally obvious corner on 77 minutes, Chelsea vigorously complained. The ref immediately responded by sending Santi Caz off.
We have protested and protested and tried to get the media involved in this debate, but they absolutely do not want to know. The suggestion that they might keep up with it all by having their own running chart of right and wrong decisions, monitored by independent people, with all points clearly labelled, will not even be debated.
We have been right and totally screwed.