When the referee makes a mistake, and admits it on live TV….


The problem with PGMO

By Tony Attwood

At the top of the league Arsenal are currently 24 points above Tottenham – the club that was tipped by all the main tipsters in the edia to finish above Arsenal this season.  (Still no apologies from anyone on that, as far as I can see, but maybe I missed them).

And I wondered when the last time was that Tottenham were 24 points behind us.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the programming skills to search that out, but if you do, maybe you can tell me.   But I do know that at the end of the 1997/98 season Arsenal were actually 34 points above Tottenham, with Arsenal top of the league and Tottenham in 14th.  In fact Tottenham were equal on points and goal difference that season with the mighty Wimbledon.

Times, of course, change – although not in terms of the way the media describe Arsenal’s journey, as with the Telegraph having the headline today Newcastle receive double boost in hunt for Champions League.  Our next game of course is against Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Tottenham are sixth, having played 34 games.  In eighth place are Brighton, having three games in hand, and two points behind but with a massively superior goal difference.  A win in any of their three games in hand will tip Tottenham to seventh.  A further slip will put them in eighth, something not being mentioned.

Still the football authorities and football media will always go their own way with their own rationale and stories.  And we might pause for a moment to think how different it is in Germany where the most recent Borussia Dortmund (BVB) game ended in a draw meaning they probably won’t win the league.

In that game, there was a situation in which the referee failed to award BVB a penalty.  Following the match the referee came onto the TV programme “Doppelpass” and basically said, “I screwed up and I regret not giving the penalty.”

The programme then re-ran the whole event from the actual foul, onto what happend in the VAR studio, what communication the referee had with the VAR team, and the BVB players’ reactions and the crowd’s reaction.  All of these factors had an impact on the referee leading him to make a decision that can be seen to be completely wrong.  

And as a result the referee says, on TV, “I screwed up,” and then takes questions from the public.   During that discussion, the referee admitted that two players went to talk to him after, but that conversation he said was private and between himself and the players.

However, the programme then did go on to explore how Uefa has got the whole process of VAR wrong, arguing that the whole business of a referee going over to the monitor for two and a half minutes or more when the VAR team has already told him the decision needs to be changed, is just plain daft.  

Now of course such a situation with a referee being interviewed on a TV show after a match is quite impossible in the Premier League because the PGMO refuses to allow it.   And we might care to ask why in the Premier League it is not allowed, when it works so well in Germany.

And it is not as if there is not good reason to change things in the PL.  We might recall that in 2021, for example, Mike Dean asked to be withdrawn “from Premier League games after he and his family received death threats” following a previous game. 

That set of events shows that the processes of the PGMO and their abject refusal to allow processes which are normal in Europe, to happen in England, are not at all helpful.

But the problem now is that the situation has got totally out of hand in England so that it has become almost impossible to imagine a way back from that into the normal more reasoned approach in much of the rest of Europe.   Yet that is what happens when extremists such as PGMO are allowed to take control and the media refuse to pick up the issue, because… well, I’d better not say.

2 Replies to “When the referee makes a mistake, and admits it on live TV….”

  1. If I’ve got it right the last time we were this far ahead of the Totts was the second half of the 2007/08 season when from 1st January 2008 onwards Arsenal were never less than 26 points ahead, finishing the season 37 points points ahead of the neighbours.

  2. VAR in the English Premier League is a joke. In yesterday’s match v. Chelsea there were two clear handball violations against Chelsea which were not reviewed according to the commentators. Don’t understand it.

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