By Walter Broeckx
What was a rumour for a few days now is looking to be real: Mark Clattenburg is quitting his job as a Premier League official to become Saudi Arabia’s new head of referees. He will be the new man after Howard Webb has resigned from this function some 11 days ago. I didn’t even know that Webb was head of the referees over there to be honest. As he seemed to be involved in the PGMO up to a while ago. It looks as if the PGMO is more like a pigeonry then anything else. With referees flying from left to right, in and out on their way to whatever direction they go.
It might be that his last match in charge of a PL fixture was Arsenal – Hull. Still a review of him to go.
If we look back at his career he looked to be one of the few honest referees when he came in to the PL. There was a time we were lucky to have him as that would mean no real bias against us. This all changed when Clattenburg broke the instructions of the refs to go to an Ed Sheeran concert after a match. Instead of being banned he got rewarded. But it looked that he had to give up his honesty for a part. And his bias against Arsenal reached heights only seen by refs like Taylor, Dean and other Atkinsons.
And to reward him the PGMO lobbied to get him some big finals including the Euro 2016 final, the Champions League final and the FA Cup final last season.
His new post will involve working with Saudi referees to improve performance and professionalise the set-up, while he will also take charge of some league games.
The Premier League’s referee body, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said he had been “a great asset” and “an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing. We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark, and it further underlines the high esteem for English match officials throughout the world game.”
So buy Clattenburg I do think you had it in you to be a great ref but unfortunately you fell to the PGMO disease over time.
But what does this means for the PL and the PGMO? Well…. it means that we have one referee less. One of the referees who does a lot of matches even.
So instead of having the 24 referees they promised us when they started with professional referees we only have around half of them full time in the PL. 12 referees for 10 matches each weekend? And then European matches on top. And FA cup matches. And midweek matches….
As I said in an earlier article the PGMO managed to get only 7 full time referees to do more than 10 matches. And now one of them is leaving.
If it wouldn’t be so sad it would be funny. But Clattenburg leaving will mean that we will have Dean and Atkinson even more than before.
My big advice to anyone who thinks of taking up refereeing: don’t hesitate. By the shortage the PGMO has created I think you could do your first PL match somewhere by the end of April.
Seriously now, this just shows once again how utterly useless the PGMO are when it comes to delivering referees for the PL.
Not 24 refs as promised. Only 7 who do more than 10 matches after some 15 matches and some of the 17 who had done matches only with one or two matches. This is incredibly low. An all time low in fact. And then the PGMO poster boy leaves the PGMO in the mess they have created.
I can’t read minds but I wouldn’t be surprised if Clattenburg has had enough of what he had to do in the last years in order to get his finals. Based on what I have heard from people who know him in person he was obsessed with improving his game.
I can now tell that Clattenburg was one of the refs who has been reading the Untold Referee reviews in the past. I don’t know he still does now but I know for sure he did it when we started all those years ago. He even used our reviews to improve his game. Yes I know he compared his own matches with our reviews I have been told by a person I trust as I know that this person knows him in person as I got details of certain things I couldn’t and can’t repeat as that would give away the identity of that person and I promised not to do this.
But knowing what I know about him I think it must have hurt him over the last seasons that he had to go against his nature in order to get his finals. Now he had what he wanted… he walks away from the PGMO. Is it sticking out a finger to the PGMO and their chief Riley? And leaving the PGMO further in the shit they have created.
So Clattenburg goes to earn a lot of money probably and the PGMO… well they continue in their secret ways and are now at rock bottom on having enough referees to do matches in the PL. The PGMO now looks even more terrible than the way Italian football and refereeing was organised in the calciopoli years in Italy. Yet no newspaper or news channel is asking them where the 24 refs are they promised when they turned the refs professionals. Just Untold is asking this very important question. If we continue like this each ref will have to do each time around 7 to 8 times in a season. That is an involvement of almost 25 points in a season…. this is beyond ridiculous. This is near to criminal. As criminal as Calciopoli was in Italy. How long will the rest of the media accept this and stay silent? Or are they in agreement with this? Well it wouldn’t surprise me if I look at the way they talk about referees….