By Walter Broeckx
In 2001 the news was made public that referees would become professional in the PL.
In an article on the BBC website from 13 June 2001, we found these bits and pieces and we will only highlight the things that relate to the current working of the PGMO and the referees.
It said: “The FA, working alongside the Premier League and Football League, will overhaul the management, training and development of all match officials. The new scheme will enable officials to go full-time as a result of the financial incentives on offer, and they will also be more accountable regarding their performances in matches.”
The article continues: “The referees’ National Review Board is to be replaced by a new organisation, called the Professional Game Match Officials Board.”
Since then the “Board” part has dissipated. Probably taking the accountability with it when going out the door.
But now we enter something really special as this has been one of the main points we have been banging on over the last 7 or 8 years.
It was written: ” The select group will officiate in the Premier League and other competitions and comprise of 24 referees and 48 assistant referees.”
Yes that is right. You read it well. The plan was to have 24 referees in total.
In our last review we have 17 referees who did matches this season in the PL. So that itself is already 7 referees short to what was told at the start. That is a shortage of around one third.
But it gets worse. Because of those 17 referees we had more than one only doing a handful of matches. If we look at matchweek 13 we had seven refs who did more than 10 matches. The real full time professionals one could say.
We had five referees who did half of the matches (7-8 matches), so we could say that they are more or less part time referees. And then we had five referees who only did a handful of matches. The partial part timers one could say.
So if we really want to be strict we only had… 7 (seven) full time referees trusted enough to do matches all the time. Remember we should have 24 referees full time. And now we only have 7 in reality!
I think 24 referees would have been the ideal for the PL. As that would mean that the appointments could be made in such a way that you never get a ref more than twice in a season.
This is something we have been banging on for well years and year and years….
But the PGMO under the guidance of Mike -50- Riley can’t even fill up the 24 referees the PGMO should have according to what was said when it was founded! The have seven full timers and the rest are part timers. They hardly manage to get half of the number they should have!
So who is responsible for this low number of referees? Is it the FA? Is it Scudamore from the PL? Or is it Mike Riley from the PGMO? I think all of them are responsible for this scandal. Because that is what it is. They have promised and negotiated to have 24 refs and they don’t deliver them. Maybe they want to keep the little select, select group as small as possible to…. yeah why? Tell us Mr. Riley. You could release a note to the press as to why you don’t have 24 referees at your disposal. We are waiting to hear about it.
Untold has shown what a strange person ref Dean is. We have been doing so since 2009 or thereabouts. Now it seems that the eyes of the rest of the footballing word are starting to see what we have been seeing all those years. Yes there is something strange about his behaviour. His dislike for some teams (Arsenal amongst them) and his favouritism for some team can be seen when you look at his stats. The other day he managed again to put himself in the spotlight. After not having send off Barkley from Everton for a dreadful tackle on Henderson a few days ago he now sends off a WHU player for a far less dangerous tackle. And on top of that he and his assistants managed to miss the umpeenth offside decision in the last weeks resulting in MU scoring another offside goal. It seems that Manchester teams are more or less specialised in scoring offside goals these days.
Now I have seen tweets from ex-players saying that Dean should be removed. I have seen tweets from from journalists who also say that this Dean-show has to end.
Well I ask them: where have you been the last 10 years or so? How long didn’t you see the obvious? How long did it take you to see what we have been saying all those years? Well it took you a very long time, didn’t it? And that is part of the disgrace. It is a little blog run by some football enthusiasts (and Arsenal supporters) who have been doing all the hard work all those years. We analysed match after match after match after match. For seven or eight years now. And you? You professionals, what did yo do in the meantime? Well the answer is mention it one hour and then forget it. And then only when you couldn’t avoid mentioning it. Because you preferred to look away from the referees as much as possible.
But coming back to Dean there is one excuse even I want to make for him. That is the fact that it is almost impossible for referees to do the busy schedule they are doing. And then we come back to my previous point … the lack of referees. Dean did a match on New Years Eve and then had another yesterday. Hardly 48 hours in between. And keep in mind that referees run more than the players and have to be alert constantly during the 90 minutes of match then it is no surprise that big errors are made.
I finish with the words of former Fifa referee Roger Milford who believed that the move will be beneficial for all. He said in 2001: “I am sure this will mean more consistency from the officials on points of law which cause controversy, The fact that the referees will meet regularly for training sessions means they will sit down together and watch videos of incidents which have caused controversy.”
Well that surely didn’t happen…..
- Untold Arsenal started in January 2008
- Walter joined us in 2009
- Our first referee review was published about a year after that.
Untold Arsenal: Bournemouth v Arsenal
New from the Arsenal History Society – all the player histories indexed. The AHS player histories tend to be more detailed than those on the official Arsenal site – especially for players from the early part of Arsenal’s history. Now we are undertaking the huge task of indexing the main articles. Players with surnames A to G have been linked to their main articles and we are continuing the task day by day.