34 responses

  1. Kentetsu
    24/02/2012

    Walter, you did not answer any of the questions asked at the start of your article (I believe it was bob who asked the questions in the first place?) and only hinted at answering the question about ref press conferences. Taking on the example of Holland, you seem to support the idea of ref press conferences.

    For all the other questions you did not give any answer. I understand you may not know the answers and your search into professional refereeing across Europe hit the proverbial wall, but could you explain your own experiences in Belgium on a non-professional level. Do you have (annual) meetings organised by the KBVB to brush up your knowledge? Does the KBVB at times assess your performance?

  2. Gerry Lennon
    24/02/2012

    Personally I would like it sorted on the pitch at the time?
    Introduction of the orange card. Not for a player, but for the referee to inform the public that a decision, or non decision is being looked at by an off-field referee. By taking the pointless 4th Official off the touchline to somewhere to have instant access to cameras from all angles, with a technician to run the action through, but still allowing play to continue for at least another 60 seconds with the on-field ref’s decision standing.
    No hold up in play. Absolutely no ‘discussions’ by players after the ‘Orange’ signal has been given. If a mistake has been made, then play is brought back and justice is done there and then. Otherwise, play continues with the on-field ref decision as being the correct one, or no ‘obvious’ error made.
    Simples?

  3. Walter
    24/02/2012

    Kentetsu,

    there has been a bit of a mix up as this was part 2 and part 1 still has to be published.

  4. Walter
    24/02/2012

    In Belgium we have at least one annual meeting with the refs. The higher you find yourself as a ref you get more meetings and group trainings. Top refs have weekly trainings and meetings.

    About after the match interviews I do think it should be done.

    I know some refs will think it will undermine them but I think it will have the opposite reaction in the long term.
    Like I said nobody wants to confess in public they made a mistake. So the ref will do all he can to avoid this. And thus making “deliberate” mistakes will go away. Unless you have a masochistic character and like the humiliation.

  5. Walter
    24/02/2012

    The annual meetings takes place at the start of the season.

    In Belgium the post game reviews are done in a rather similar way to what we are doing here at Untold. Looking at the whole game and see what the ref did or not did and check it with what can be seen on the images.

  6. Spyder
    24/02/2012

    Certainly there is something to hide about English referees, bo doubt about that.

  7. Woolwich Peripatetic
    24/02/2012

    Gerry,
    It’s a good idea but it this obsession with ‘hold ups in play’ is a fallacy used to keep the football loving public biased against the use of technology.
    Take tennis. Technology only intrudes at what in football would be termed a dead ball situation, either at service or when the ball leaves the play area.
    Take rugby union. Firstly, the amount of time the ball is actually in play is ~80 minutes, compared to a usual amount of around 60 to 70 minutes in an average football match IIRC. Secondly, it is very rare for a referee to stop play based on the advice of the TMO. Referees aren’t afraid to issue cards and warnings at the next break down of play for something they missed previously. Thirdly, rugby is a stop start game, every successful tackle results in the ball being on the floor and the game pausing naturally. The referee has very little to do with it.
    Take cricket. Twenty20 is played with the assistance of technology and at a fairly rapid pace so there is no inherent reason that technology slows the game down.

  8. Walter
    24/02/2012

    And of course I think the PGMO ref reports should be made public. So the public can check the PGMO itself and see if they do a good job in checking the refs.

    The biggest problem will be some bruised ref ego’s at times but hey if you cannot stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

  9. Walter
    24/02/2012

    Woolwich I agree but I think the idea from Gerry is good in the way that this can undermine the forces that are in power to stop video evidence entering the playing field.

    Fifa/uefa hide behind this “holding up play” to stop it from becoming active. So any idea to undermine this is a good idea.

  10. Woolwich Peripatetic
    24/02/2012

    Walter,
    You’re suggesting that an organisation that does not want to have their actions subjected to scrutiny will introduce a measure that is actually effective at scrutinising their actions?

    My suggestion would be to increase the number of match officials to twenty two, one for each player, with ten substitute officials, in order to make bribing every official so difficult as to make the practice unworkable.
    Or a ‘referee services auction’, tagline: “Will throw games to the highest bidder”. A completely open and transparent process whereby gambling syndicates and corrupt FA officials have to bid against each other to secure the outcome they desire.
    I regard both of the above as MORE LIKELY than the introduction of technology.

  11. 1979gooner
    24/02/2012

    quite simply, Yes!

    the workings of the PGMO are hidden and it does appear that something is being hidden

  12. Stevie E
    24/02/2012

    Woolwich
    I remember an incident where a player had been fouled in the box and the ball went out of play, for which the ref called a corner. The camera then went to the dugout to show the manager (Steve Bruce I think) watching a replay of the incident and then going crazy trying to show the 4th official it was in fact a pen. The 4th wouldn’t even look at the screen. All this happened while the player was sill on the floor and a couple of Sunderland (?) players were remonstrating with the ref. This proves how quickly video replay can be shown and what a difference it can make to the outcome of the match.

  13. Tasos
    24/02/2012

    Video technology will eventually enter the game, as it has in so many other sports. EPL supremo Richard Scudamore has said that “tests are on-going” but its very doubtful anything we be in place before next season.

    Tests are on-going? You could ask, what needs to be tested?

    Television was invented many years ago and Sky have broadcast football in the EPL for two/three decades, they now have so many cameras positioned around the field of play that someone watching the English game in Outer-Mongolia is able to judge a debatable/wrong decision within seconds, he can know if the correct decision has been made but the officials are unable to do likewise. The game must move with the times.

    Amongst the many other sports that have adapted, Tennis has Hawk-eye and Mac-Cam, Cricket has the third umpire and Rugby has Video Referees, the technology is already there, you could say that other sports have already tested it for the people that govern football.

    So why hasn’t it been brought in already Mr Scudamore?

  14. Mahdain
    24/02/2012
  15. bob
    24/02/2012

    Tasos,
    Yes! And Scudamore is delaying with “tests” in order to implement “goal line technology” instead of true video replay. It’s one big sham of a holding pattern designed to continue to hide what is there in plain sight – that is, what is being hidden in plain sight. Perhaps you misspelled his name – isn’t it Spud-Amore?

  16. bob
    24/02/2012

    Tasos,
    And could add that in US (so-called) football – especially in the biggest and championship games – the games are stopped, by rule, for ref video review. And It provides extra drama, not boredom and interruption of the precious flow that traditionalists argue (and thereby help continue the alleged “incompetence” that video replay could alleviate).

  17. bob
    24/02/2012

    Walter, Kentetsu,
    Cheers, very glad to be of any use! 🙂

    The need for fair play is fast becoming dire. And it outweighs the traditional ideal of football as a pure continuum of non-stop play. It is neither pure nor continuous. Already there is stoppage for substitutions, real and faked injuries (via dives), fouls/advantage, whatever; and perhaps other such moments for replay/review could be teased out. It needn’t take any longer that the rapid-fire replay that commercial cameras already provide on many occasions. At the very least, there could be a system of coach’s challenges (two per half as in US Football); with one challenge (of the four) removed whenever a coach gratuitously tosses a flag, or tosses a flag for an honest challenge that proves incorrect (on replay review). The alternative: endless laments, tsk-tsk’s and hand-ringing, and embittered fans from MANY teams.

    The question is whether we will hide behind the “continuous flow” mantra, or whether fans will summon the moxie to pose a demand for video replay – have the keyboard-courage to raise and sign a petition. Like today’s, UA/Ref Review has continually taken us to the edge of posing such a demand. And it’s not just about Arsenal. In the previous thread, Tasos gave us an Amazing link to a passionate, principled Chelsea supporter (and ref), who, like their coach AVB, had the courage to call out a ref (Foy and Webb, respectively) and the PGMO itself. Does their being Chelsea really so blind us to the common ground that a common demand for fair play via video replay could bring to us, to football? Or is the masochism of self-righteous whinging our true lifestyle preference?

  18. Woolwich Peripatetic
    24/02/2012

    Stevie,
    I would say conservatively that a system to track players moving into offside positions using fixed cameras around the stadium would be trivial to implement. To then identify those players would be an order of magnitude harder but not impossible. Working with testing conditions like rain and poor pitches where there is low contrast between shirts and the background would be difficult but certainly not impossible.
    Video goal line technology I believe is a red herring, how many times is there actually an argument about whether a ball crossed the line, versus the number of times dubious offside goals are given and onside goals are wrongly disallowed.
    All of this misses the point that once you remove the ability to make mistakes by humans you remove the ability for them to make them deliberately.
    Bob,
    I’d love to see the scorelines when a bunch of cloggers (let’s nominate Stoke) try to repel a nine man Wigan side with only five players left on the pitch. That’d be football worth watching, unlike the dross the PL regularly serves up.

  19. bob
    24/02/2012

    Woolwich,
    Yes, capital idea!!! I’d purchase advance season’s tickets for such Stoke-Wigan matches, just to help make it possible. (And, oh please, assign some of the favored stenographers to cover it in the Sun, Mirror and Manchester Guardians’ football pages.)

  20. Kentetsu
    24/02/2012

    Walter, thanks for the clarification on your standpoint and your experience in Belgian football.

    Like you, I am a proponent of transparency. The more transparency, the less shady business can/will take place. Not sure though, whether the general public would need full access to weekly ref reports, though. All the clubs in the professional leagues definitely should have, but I think for the average joe an annual report would suffice.

  21. Kentetsu
    24/02/2012

    Some more questions for you.

    Is the EPL the only league where the refs are full time professionals?

    Is the FA the only national association which does not directly employ the refs (but through the PGMO instead)?

  22. bob
    24/02/2012

    Kentetsu,
    With such ref reports to ponder on a weekly basis, Joe would become above average. And as for transparency, are you only advocating transparency for the few? Why not give everyone a continual chance to learn something worth learning, not an annual chance?

  23. Gerry Lennon
    24/02/2012

    I am pleased that my suggestion has had such a positive feedback, thank you.
    The way I see it working in reality is this:
    The 4th official, alongside a video technician, has a main screen, alongside a bank of monitors. Each monitor runs a loop at 10 or 15 seconds intervals behind the ‘live’ action. The technician has access to all camera angles and can bring up any one to the main screen. If it is not a ‘clear’ wrong decision, then play continues with the original decision standing. If a decision is changed in favour of the ‘innocent party, which would also mean rescinding any card wrongly given, or even recalling a player ‘sent off’. Also the time to reset the play from say a goal to a goal kick, can easily be calculated and added to the extra time, although I stress, in most cases, this will be minimum. I think at least 3 views can be seen inside a minute? However, if play has still held up, then more time could be allowed without incurring any extra-time?
    It is all about having the correct decisions being made so teams are not UNFAIRLY penalised. This is still a refereeing decision, albeit relayed to the on-field official. It does not undermine referees. It does penalise cheating. A foul is a foul, a dive is a dive, off-the ball incidents … the aggressor gets the greater punishment. In the latter, this could be a two way thing, where the 4th official alerts the on-field ref that something has happened?
    All these things are a bane to managers and supporters alike, when they are on the receiving end of a wrong decision.
    All decisions could be relayed to the big screen at the ground for all to see? This transparency should remove any suspicion of bias? That at least, is something the referee’s association should wecome … unless they really do have some thing to hide?

  24. Kentetsu
    24/02/2012

    In the first place, if all EPL clubs have access to full weekly ref reports for matches in the EPL, then they will be able to control each other. I do not believe that the EPL is that rotten that all twenty clubs are in on the match fixing, whichever form it may have.

    I am not against full publication of the weekly reports so that you and I will be able to read it, but I know for myself that I am not likely to read a weekly report. An annual year review on the other hand I am likely to read. From that standpoint, I would say complete access to the weekly reports may not be very interesting, but yes, I guess other people will read weekly reports with interest.

  25. bob
    24/02/2012

    Gerry Lennon,
    The problem I see is in who chooses the neutrality of the now all-important 4th referee, who could well be drawn from the same tainted batch. In my view, the reviewing ref need to be fished from another non-PGMO pool, or somehow ensure total transparency. That said, I love the idea of then showing the call on the stadium telescreen for all to see. Indeed, why not: except for what is being hidden to preserve the holy tri-une deity of PGMO/FA/EPL.

  26. Tasos
    24/02/2012

    @bob

    If you want an example of how stoppages in-play are already going unnoticed by the masses, watch how well Mike Dean ignores the constant time-wasting tactics from Arsenals opponents this weekend, especially when/if they’re in an advantageous position (not loosing), in fact he even complements the act with his very own version, chatting with his assistants and even opposition players once play has been stopped.

    If I remember correctly Mike Dean penalised RVP, in the recent home game against Man Utd, for daring to question his complete control in this field.

  27. bob
    24/02/2012

    Kentetsu,
    A weekly available report allows people to advocate/demand fairness and pressure for corrections to be made midstream. Your preference for an annual report is for something that is not a living document, but a review of what’s already been done; and so, which can only impact the following season (after the storm is over). An annual review could channel the potential energy for redress and reform away from and outside the season itself. I don’t think that this serves actual reform in a more immediate, self-correcting way that is both possible and needed.

  28. bob
    24/02/2012

    Tasos,
    Yes, good one. The “normal” ref-induced/controlled stoppages that go unseen and do impede the otherwise perfect flow. Perhaps we Should label it Dean-Time?

  29. Kentetsu
    24/02/2012

    bob,
    Fair points, but if the clubs have access to the latest reports, they will be able to address any issues directly. The clubs are also the ones with the most power to force the PGMO to address the problems. The FA doesn’t seem to care, the media is already turning a blind eye to anything that does not help the elite few, and the power of the mass – which I believe will be limited in number, considering the small number of people who raise their concern about the quality of refereeing is sub-par – is limited.

  30. WalterBroeckx
    24/02/2012

    Dean-Time… almost as good as a Webbalty 🙂

  31. ak47
    24/02/2012

    great art. Woolwich Peripatetic-1004 🙂 nail-head.

    my questions would be, how do we go about forcing this action through.

    whom could provide the most effective opposition to those cheating scum.

  32. bob
    24/02/2012

    Walter,
    So we have an unholy trinity:
    Webbalty
    Dean-Time
    Fergie-Time
    What an interesting candidate for quantifying.

  33. Mahdain
    24/02/2012

    seriously i just cant understand why after 25 games there are refs yet to ref our matches while we are getting dean for the FOURTH time this weekend.. yes people there are refs who we are yet to have..4 of them actually in friend,halsey,taylor and jones

  34. Woolwich Peripatetic
    25/02/2012

    I’ve got a new one, even better than the referee services auction! Meta-rigged betting.
    Bets are taken on whether the referee has been bribed or not (or is naturally biased/incompetent in a way that favours one team). They’d go mad for that sort of thing in Macau. And the best part for the gambling syndicates is they don’t even have to waste their time/money bribing anyone because people will see the announced officials and bet accordingly.

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