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- When will the government finally act over the safety and well being of young footballers?
By Christophe Jost
The Premier League’s refereeing could be in a dreadful mess for either of two reasons. It could be incompetence or it could be corruption.
And of the two, corruption seems the more unlikely, simply because if it were a case of corruption, then across the last 20 years or so, someone somewhere would have spilled the beans. There would have been an email, a recording, an envelope which slipped into the wrong hands, a picture…
But not nothing has been revealed through the 31 consecutive years of the Premier League. There has been a lot of mumbling, but no serious accusations that could be defended in court. And this in a world in which nothing is secret anymore.
And remember, if there were to be corruption going on, it is not going to have been on the part of just one referee. At least, it could have been one referee, but if it were, that referee’s results would have been noted and he would have been moved on.
Besides the referees in the Premier League have been at this for years. And if you are a referee, it is part and parcel of the rules of engagement that for the time of your job (refereeing a game), you are to apply the rules of the game and forget any personal feelings you might have about either club involved in the game or any of the club’s players.
Indeed, like any judge in a courtroom who must judge a defendant without considering race, age, sex, or looks, the referee has to start from a position of neutrality. I ain’t saying it is easy. I am saying many people get it wrong – and in fact many referees get it wrong in other leagues besides the Premier League.
But there is a difference between the Premier League and some other leagues. Because rather interestingly, in Germany, the competence of referees is being talked about openly on TV. And no one is talking about corruption.
Indeed many of the referees are unable to dismiss their own bias and thus their preference for or dislike of a team. And that shows through occasionally, depending of course on the teams on the field. In other words, some games they referee are ok, but others are more questionable.
As for the organisation overseeing refereeing, that clearly is incompetent, because, despite all the time it has had, it has not been able to sort this issue out. Indeed it is quite obviously not training the referees in its employ. It is not selecting them because of their basic competence and then training them up so that they can work in the Premier League.
As a result, there can be bias, but then when a referee shows his bias and influences the result, it is all swept under the carpet of the old catchphrase, “It all evens out at the end” which Tony and Untold have shown repeatedly is a lie, total gaslighting (see footnotes below) – there are enough stats published by Untold to prove the point.
Considering the money that the Premier League as an industry is generating, I think we can also safely say that the club owners are incompetent as well. That they will let their ‘bets’ (investing in a sports club is like betting in a casino) of hundreds of millions of dollars be influenced, and even decided by an organisation like PGMO and then accept that they are getting screwed weekend after weekend by an organisation of a few dozen people, reveals nothing other than incompetence.
As for the media establishment, it just evades my understanding how TV channels, radio stations, newspapers and websites, all of which are capable of uncovering scandal after scandal, allow their football coverage to be run by a set of incompetent parrots (sorry you nice little birds, that comparison is unfair on parrots).
Now I am not saying that all papers are doing a good job, but some are serious and do uncover important stories that we need to know. Except, except, surprise, surprise, when it comes to the PL and other football-oriented subjects.
If we look past the PL, and move on to the structures of football, such as Uefa, Fifa, the FA and their equivalents elsewhere, we do see quid pro quo, an old boys network, or quite possibly outright corruption in terms of having a seat at the table.
And we can see how in many cases those at the very top get away with it, while if anyone gets caught it is the underlings. And yet these organisations consider themselves as having an equal stake in the world of football. .
In fact, the PL is a group of private enterprises, run by individuals for the most part, with a couple of the clubs run by countries.
Which is my final point: the actors within the refereeing debacle in the PL are so incompetent they don’t even try to get rich within the game. Instead, they bumble along, making mistakes, refusing to give interviews, and remaining utterly and totally secret.
The whole story would make rather a good novel, although if it were published, no one would believe it. Of course, from an English point of view, it might happen somewhere else… but not in England.
To paraphrase Mr Wenger, PGMOL have made their target of being incompetent and have transformed it into a worldwide unique art. And they have been able to become the center of attention as their failings are discussed game after game instead of the beautiful game itself. Maybe this was what they wanted. Being seen, talked about, the center of attention.
Gaslighting: how refereeing in the Premier League is manipulated, and why the media never speak about it.
- 1: Are the referees and the media really out to get Arsenal, or am I just imagining it?
- 2: How discussions about refereeing are deliberately stifled by the media
- 3: Referees: the odd statistics that are simply never revealed or discussed
- 4: How we have been utterly misled about football: part 4
- 5: Hiding the problem of refereeing is destroying the credibility of the Premier League
- 6: Revealed: PL referees are not 98% accurate but actually just 75% accurate
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers: where will each team finish?
- Arsenal v Lens: what we found, what we felt, what they did
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences
- Arsenal v Lens: they had a poor start but are now flying
- Where there is power, money and greed there is corruption