by Andrew Crawshaw
I have started my preparations for the referee previews for this coming season and have noticed some changes within our favorite referees organisation, so I thought I would bring them to your attention.
I am writing this on Monday Afternoon and as yet the referee page of the Premier League website (premierleague.com) hasn’t been populated – thanks guys! There is a general page relating to the PGMO which has the following gems :-
Premier League matches are officiated by Select Group referees and assistant referees.
They meet for a ‘training camp’ twice a month, where they perform physical and technical training sessions, and analyse match videos.
There is a robust system for measuring Select Group performance over the season. Each Premier League match is evaluated by a former senior referee who scrutinises every decision using the match footage and ProZone to measure the officials’ technical performance. Former players and managers (Match Delegates) assess the accuracy and consistency of decision making and their management of the match.
Technology is used as an aid too: detailed performance analysis is supported by ProZone which provides statistical data on each match
So the Match Delegates who prepare the initial reports on the referees and assistants is done by ex players and ex managers, two groups hardly noted for impartiality or knowledge of the rules judging from their comments in the press, radio and TV when they perform pundit duties.
So what are the changes for this year?
Firstly this season there are 18 referees in the Select Group who will officiate the vast majority of Premier League games this coming season. They are :-
|Home County||Age||Year Appointed||FIFA Accredited|
|Martin Atkinson||West Yorkshire||45||2005||Y|
|Robert Madley||West Yorkshire||30||2013||Y|
|Andre Marriner||West Midlands||45||2005||Y|
|Jonathan Moss||West Yorkshire||45||2011|
|Craig Pawson||South Yorkshire||37||2013||Y|
Secondly there is a new group of professional referees (12 are full time, 6 part time) to look after Championship matches. They are known (imaginatively) as Select Group 2. Whilst we probably won’t see much of them, they probably present the most realistic referees to be promoted to the Pl in the future. They are :-
|David Coote||West Yorkshire|
|Geoff Eltringham||Tyne & Wear|
|Oliver Langford||West Midlands|
|James Linnington||Isle of Wight|
|Andy Madley||West Yorkshire||34|
|Tim Robinson||West Sussex|
I cant find out which 6 of the 18 are part-time, sorry
Alongside the announcement of Select Group 2, the EFL has clarified its referee and assistant appointment policy for season 2016/17. The restrictions mean match officials will not be eligible to participate in certain games if they:
- Reside in the same town or city as either club;
- Have played for any of the participating clubs at youth, under-21 (reserve) or senior level;
- Take an active interest in a club (season/match ticket currently or previously);
- Have personal connections with a participating club
Thirdly the 27 Select Group Assistant Referees who prominently officiate within the Premier League will also become full time professional match officials. They are :-
|Home County||FIFA Accredited|
|Andy Garratt||West Midlands|
|Andy Halliday||North Yorkshire|
|Scott Ledger||South Yorkshire|
|Harry Lennard||East Sussex|
|Sian Massey||West Midlands|
|Mick McDonough||Tyne & Wear|
|Marc Perry||West Midlands|
|Eddie Smart||West Midlands|
|Richard West||East Yorkshire|
|Matthew Wilkes||West Midlands|
On a personal note, I am delighted to see the return of Sian Massey to the list of Assistant Referees for the forthcoming season. She always struck me as about the best we could have and I can only remember her making one error in Arsenal games. Welcome back and I hope you appear in an Arsenal game very soon.
Fourthly there is likely to be a major change in the attitude taken by referees to managers and players this year
At least that seems to be the intention of the Premier League, EFL and The FA who have announced a collective undertaking to improve behaviour across the game.
Their undertaking will task the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) to take a stronger position and action towards unacceptable participant conduct.
This will focus on behaviour towards match officials, with the aim of reducing disrespectful conduct such as aggressively challenging decisions or running from distance to confront an official.
The PGMO will apply the Laws of the Game to manage rigorously the following incidents of bad behaviour with the following sanctions.
Dissent towards match officials – Yellow cards will be issued to players who:
- Show visibly disrespectful behaviour to any match official
- Respond aggressively to decisions
- Confront an official face to face
- Run towards an official to contest a decision
Offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures towards match officials
- Red cards will be issued to players who confront match officials and use offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures towards them.
Physical contact with match officials
- A yellow card for physical contact with any match official in a non-aggressive manner (e.g. an inquisitive approach to grab the official’s attention).
- A red card for physical contact with match officials in an aggressive or confrontational manner.
Surrounding match officials
- A yellow card for at least one player when two or more from a team surround a match official.
- The FA will continue to sanction teams when they surround match officials.
Conduct in the technical area
- The requirements of the Technical Area Code of Conduct will be more rigorously enforced for players and club staff.
- Additionally, match officials will be required to retain professional detachment from players and club staff at all times.
This initiative – if rigorously implemented – is likely to have a major impact on the way the opening games of the season are conducted and will make predicting the referees performance something of a lottery.
[But I am certain we can rely on you to win that lottery Andrew. Tony.]
If you have not written to Untold before or have had a post rejected please read our guide on comments
- THE BRICKFIELDS GUNNERS ‘ LIFE’S LESSONS 101 FOR ‘them’
- The complete and absolute update on the ten deals Arsenal are currently juggling and why Chuba Akpom is boring
- When is a trophy a trophy, and when is it not? (Clue: when Arsenal win it).
Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle. The books are
- The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
- Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace. By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football. By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
- Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal by Mark Andrews.
You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page