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July 2021

The politics of refereeing; it is not just what you know, it is who you know


The books…

The sites…


By Walter Broeckx

When I was reading my article on the statistics of Dean again I found that there was a big gap. There was something important missing. This was my fault but I kept it out of the article because otherwise it might have been twice the length it actually ended up at. And people would miss this important part of the hidden referees world.

The thing I left out or just briefly mentioned is that the referee world is very much about politics and who knows who and who likes who.  Likewise family ties are important for some careers.

And again “Politics” are very important. And I don’t mean big international or government politics. But gently stroking the right person at the right time is THE WAY TO GET PROMOTION.

Everyone who has been a ref knows it. You need someone powerful to lift you to the top. So if you are smart and you can identify the person that can put in a good word for you it is important to please him.

You must remember that to get to the top and to get a Fifa badge you first of all must be a good ref. But that is only 50% of what you need. I have seen amazingly good refs myself who don’t get a chance to get higher. And then I see poor refs who get promotion. Because the latter knows how the game outside the field is played.

And that game outside the field is maybe even more important than the game on the field. When the commission has to choose between two refs who get the same score on the field. Who will they pick? Ref A who never is friendly towards the commissioners, who has no family ties, who has no bonds with high placed people? Or Ref B who always is there to laugh out laud with the most stupid joke a commissioner makes, who’s father also was a ref and knows the commissioners, and who is always chatting and talking with the powerful people in the game?

Well even if ref A gets a higher score on the field, the ref that will get promotion will be ref B.

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And that is a very sad thing in the referee world. All the referees I have spoken with they all know it. And it just isn’t in my country of Belgium but it is widespread.  Across the world as I found out in my contacts with refs from over the whole world.

Spotting the right connections at the right time. It is something the public in general is not aware of but believe me as an insider: IT IS ALMOST THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WHEN YOU ARE A REFEREE!!!

Your mistakes on the field are minor mistakes compared to making mistakes in your relations off the field. I have known cases in which referees didn’t get promotion even when he had the highest on-field scores. But to stick with the A and B ref, if ref A is a ‘loner’ with no connections he will miss promotion. Even if ref B has a lower score but well… he has the right connections.

Referees are not friends together, they are each other competitors.  They all want to end at the top. They all want to end in the highest possible division in their country.  Ok, not all. Some do it just for fun. As it can be fun.  But for the ambitious ones, it is a world where you have to be a shark and eat or get eaten.

The correct family ties can also help.  Believe me many refs have fathers who also were refs and who have connections and use their connections to help their sons. That in itself is of course not just a referee thing but many refs at the end of their career end up in the commissions.   So it can happen that a father has to decide in a commission over the promotion of his son or another person.  In such a case the father usually has no voting rights. But the father can of course have a few words with the people who have voting rights. And those people know that one of the fellow commissioners is the father of that ref. So what will be the most plausible outcome of the vote?

So if you have no family ties in the referee world you have to overcome this handicap. A big handicap. And then the best way to overcome this handicap is what we in my own language call “licking yourself to the top”. I’m not going to mention the body parts you are supposed to lick as I want to keep this site clean.  But there are some parts I don’t really want to lick – although some people will lick anything they get offered.

So for those who were still thinking that only the performances on the field are important for a ref this might come as a surprise. But the fact is, socializing with the right persons at the right time are as important or even more important. Of course you must be a bit of a good ref but believe me it is just a part of it.

Of course with Dean I want to say that I don’t know if Dean has the right family connections. I don’t know if his father was a ref or not.   But  I really do think he is a smart and ambitious person.  And it sure would be interesting to find out if Dean has family ties with refs or not. It could explain a lot and could confirm my thoughts on him.

So why doesn’t PGMOL release the information and let us know who is related to whom in the world of refereeing?

Personally I think that Dean is already having an eye on the place of Mike Riley… but maybe that just my bizarre imagination.

However can you imagine Mike Dean becoming head of the PGMOL? I leave that thought with you.

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75 comments to The politics of refereeing; it is not just what you know, it is who you know

  • Gerry Lennon

    How much further can this intrigue go I wonder?

    Great stuff Walter … I think your ending paragraph may have saved you legal issues?

  • Paul Southcott

    Walter, great article.

    Years ago in England I got to the old ‘Class 1’ level, even being 4th official on a few Football League games and coming on to the line for half of one 3rd Division game (now league 1) but that year (1989) I moved to another duristriction and as I hadn’t done a feeder leauge got downgraded! The new authority didn’t like my style of refereeing and still doesn’t (I apply the laws of the game, whereas they would like some things to be overlooked), so I never got a promotion from them. I am still refereeing at 55 but know I will never get a promotion.

    Once they even called me in to test my knowledge of the laws of the game – 2 questions they said I got wrong, when I was in fact correct and told them and showed them from the laws of the game. Then I showed them my award from 1986 for winning the referees national quiz!

  • menace

    It is not only the referees that live in a bigoted world. We all do. There is also the price of promotion so where ties do not exist, financial reward does.

    It is clearly obvious that a successful Manchester United is a lot of money in the pockets of English based FA officials. The club is world renown and has a huge market that allows the English FA to coin that market. As a consequence the rest of the UK and particularly the English clubs have to play second fiddle to Manchester United. They are allowed to ‘tap’ without penalty, cheat without comment and glow in all the unfair glory.

    Football still has a place in the fairness of society and good quality sport with honest endeavour can be successful in spite of the bias and cheats.

    When a Manager questions the refereeing because a player is being targeted with serial fouling, it is obvious that sportsmanship is missing from the game.

    Unsporting behaviour is common in todays English football. The standing (obstructing) in front of the Goalkeeper is unsporting not tactical, yet referees allow it to go unhindered. Time wasting is unsporting as well as theft of the supporters money. It has to be addressed at a high level and corrected.

    Our beautiful game is in the hands of not so beautiful minded people.

  • Talk of referees Mark Harsley should not even be a ref,Rooney confronts the liner and the ref just grins he goes for him and he pleads for his life is that a referee really?Over to you @walter

  • rantetta

    Good article, Walter.
    You wrote a series of articles about the ‘ref’s ladder’ some time ago, and they too were excellent articles.

    Having read this piece not long after waking I feel a little bit sick. No one should have to wake up to Deano, especially the ***-licking images. There’ll be no hash browns for my brekkers this morning.

    Check out this wonderfully polite letter that Walter wrote… in 2009, and if you have the time/inclination, peruse the articles about UEFA on either side of this post:

    Could it be that much uber-licking took place not only as a pre-cursor to Dean’s initial promotion, but particularly following his suspension:

    Deano and the Webbmeister have modelled refshite for the likes of Dowdy-do-do’s and Probert, but Taylor has also learnt well, as shown by the all-out blatent ‘smile, turn and run away’ from Sunderland’s players wilfully trying to injure Arsenal’s players.

    Sorry folks but this has gone on for years and it ain’t stopping this season. ManU were supposed to win the title last season. Anything will be done to make that happen. Sp*ds were supposed to finish above Arsenal last season. Anything will be done to make that happen. Arsenal aren’t supposed to finish in the top 4. Anything will be done to make that happen.

    Arsenal will simply have to take the licks (untimely phrasing, granted), and hope that their journey to 3rd comes without too many broken bones.

    Come On You Gunners.

  • Shard


    There are different types of corruption. It doesn’t have to involve money directly changing hands. Thank you for (yet again) pointing that out.

  • Willam

    Fully agree with menace on MU and the pockets of the FA and mo ie match officials.Remember one bald ref consistently gave the red faced a record 13 repeat 13 penalties to help him win the epl.In the 59 th match 0f 2005,he gave the ugly brit bulldog a penalty following atackle by Campbell which was outside the box.Keane’s lunge on Veira was not an offence.Add to the fact that Reyes was repeatedly kicked by the Neville bros and no card given until late in the game.And if I aint wrong he sent off a gunner to help red faced win.
    That is why why for his dominance the disgusting rf can’t carry on his empire to the cl. I expect Mourino to prevail over him and show he has been helped in no uncertain way by the FA and other cronies. That is why if he keeps on winning the epl ,year after year,the epl better be known as
    FANCHESTER UNITED SOCCER LEAGUE.By then I hope more fans will switch to watch other sports.

  • Shard


    So Halsey indulged Rooney? ManU won again? Guess what I was doing at the time…Not watching the EPL, that’s what. I watched the final of the hockey India League, which was very enjoyable, following which I saw some of the 6 nations rugby, and then some ligue1 interspersed with some bundesliga. Far more satisfying and entertaining than watching what passes as the ‘best league in the world’.

  • Shard


    Ties in nicely with my comment following yours. The League is slowly losing me to other sports and other leagues.

  • Shard

    As for types of cheating, this article is interesting in that it shows a difference in the stance that Wenger and Ferguson have taken towards doping tests.

    Keep in mind Rio missing his test, Owen Hargreaves’ recounting of his ManU injury ridden days, Bebe’s purchase and its rumoured connection with Nani missing the World Cup. Why do I bring this up? I already believe ManU have cheated their way to numerous titles. Why wouldn’t this be another way for them to do it?

  • bjtgooner

    Walter, this is a good article and I thoroughly agree with it. I have come across “licking one’s way to the top” in many parts of industry, so it is not just prevalent in refereeing.

    But, “licking to the top” will only work when those already at the top want that sort of behaviour, perhaps in turn they used the same route to gain promotion.

    This is unfortunately an example of a major character weakness – in any business it will only be stamped out when there is someone straight at the top.

  • bjtgooner


    Good link.

  • Tasos


    Former Man Utd defender Jaap Stam signed for Lazio on 24th August 2001.

    Stam was later suspended after testing positive for the anabolic steroid “nandrolone” whilst playing for his new club having failed the test following a game against Atalanta on 14th October 2001.

    Tests have shown the anabolic steroid “nandrolone” can stay detectable in the human system for some months depending upon the dosage.

  • ARSENAL 13


    Now I know, Where that “child from within” thing came from?

  • Gouresh

    [this is in response to shard’s link]
    today i took the car out instead of my motorbike. before i put on the Egnima CD, i put on talk rubbish. they were praising red nose, that how good be was outside foot-ball and he was like a father figure to all other manager and they call him for advice and tip. they gave an eg of the celtic manager. red nose wrote him a letter praising for the win & al that. the manger later contacted red nose and asked him for tip on CL game and also he he could come and see the new training ground to which red nose replied ‘yes’. when its ready. so it was alll very rosy rosy in favor of red nose. i realised, it’s this reason, teams/managers don’t apply the ‘break your bones’ tactic’s against manure. they just roll over not to mentioned the ref’s involvement as well.

  • Dec

    Let’s stop whining children. Maybe a little perspective is called for here. Nepotism and favouritism are prevalent in most walks of life. We can all wish it was not so and by all means highlight and condemn it wherever we find it ( well done Walter) although you bordered on assassinating Mike Dean’s character without any evidence of wrong doing whatsoever. As for criticising Man U at every opportunity, it gets silly at times and lets decent Gooners down by the implication that to support Arsenal you must hate Man U , Chelski and especially Spurs ( I’ll allow Spurs ‘cos they’re local rivals).
    Truth is Man U will win the league this season, probably by a record margin, not because of refereeing decisions or performance enhancing substances but simply because they have the best squad by a mile. Plain and simple! Good luck to them. Hopefully we’ll be better able to compete in the future, but for now they’re just better. Live with it guys and try to emulate it on time not whinge like babies.

  • Gouresh

    when i mean ‘this reason’ i mean, that red nose must be speaking to other managers offering advise, players where then the other managers are obliged towards him.

  • Shard


    So are we allowed to ‘whine’ about Arsenal’s trophy drought?

  • Arun

    @Gouresh, I think Adrian Durham also works for the talk sport . He is, by far, the worst pundit ever. I read his article once in the daily mail in which he blasted Messi for signing a new contract with Barca saying that he is afraid of new challenge and regular non-sense with which he writes. If anyone considers talk sport seriously, he must have his brain checked.

    @ Dec,
    bordered on assassinating Mike Dean’s character without any evidence of wrong doing whatsoever
    Ever read about this:

    not because of refereeing decisions
    Their both the matches against Liverpool and the match against Chelsea comes to mind.
    or performance enhancing substances
    So, you are claiming this as if you have taken their blood samples and tested them.
    So, overall, your post is nothing but crap. If you seriously believe what you have written, you seriously have no understanding of how the world works.

  • Arun

    Thanks for the link.

  • Shard


    The manner of Stam’s departure was also somewhat acrimonious wasn’t it? Something to do with agent’s fees. I really have no idea whether ManU did it or not. But nothing would surprise me. Not in the least.

    The instances I mentioned are pointers towards it, or have other explanations. None of it is proof. There are other indicators such as a low injury record, prolonged carers of some individuals, enhanced muscle growth for a certain slimy looking guy. Again. Neither of these are proof in any way. What would go towards providing proof would be a more comprehensive policy towards checking doping. Something, on the basis of the article, Alex Ferguson seems opposed to, for whatever reason.

  • Adam

    @Walter, Football in general has worked this way. I could point to numerous youngsters who never made the step in to pro football but their lesser colleagues did with certain connections. I won’t give you the guys names in the comments section but, a lad I know was at West Ham, two fathers on the sidelines discussing their kids they agreed that one kid was much better than the other in all areas of the game. It was the lesser kid who made it in to pro football his name is Frank Lampard Jnr. The two dads were Frank snr and my mates old man with little connections in the game.
    Another example, my best mate growing up made it in to pro ball, his dad was manager of our side so matey got all the exposure and his move to Charlton. And I can bet there are thousands of people around England with similar stories which leads me to believe that with the improvement in grass roots coaching more kids could earn a living out of the game, even if they have to move abroad.
    You cannot blame people for playing the game of politics, Its just a shame you have too.
    Anyway my generation are retiring from the game now, so it will be interesting to see if certain people take their careers further?

  • Tasos


    Other general side effects from steroid use include anger or rage, known as roid-rage as the individual becomes more aggressive, more hostile.

    Vomiting whilst on the field of play could also indicate the symptoms of steroid use.

  • Tasos

    Also Hair:

    Male pattern baldness is common in both females and males due to the conversion of high levels of testosterone into dihydro-testosterone or DHT, causing the hair follicles to shrink, which only then produces very fine hair. Eventually with continued steroid use the hair follicle dies leading to permanent baldness.

    As you say none of this proves anything.

  • Tasos

    This was taken from the BBC website;


    Man Utd v Spurs 24 Apr 2010

    1352: Patrice Evra is doubled over on the Old Trafford pitch, throwing his guts up. I’m not joking – that was projectile vomiting. He rubs his tummy, but he’ll continue. I didn’t want my lunch anyway, frankly.

    1436: What on earth did they give the United players at half-time? Now it’s Nani’s turn to vomit his guts up on the pitch after Patrice Evra’s illness earlier, and he rubs his stomach too. Spurs will wish he’d felt like that 10 minutes ago, probably.

    Once again this proves nothing.

  • Shard

    Just to add to incidents, reports and rumours that don’t prove anything

  • Dec

    Of course you can whine if you wish, it’s a free country. I’d prefer to support Arsenal than blubber about others. Silly stuff about referees conspiring or having agendas or even sillier stuff alleging SAF is Lance Armstrong in disguise just ignores the fact that over recent times we’ve been adjusting to a new football landscape. If you don’t like it whine away, won’t change things but if it makes you feel better….

  • Shard


    You’re lucky that you only see the world in a duopoly. Black and white. Either one situation or the other. Must be nice to be so naive. Ignorance may be bliss, but maybe you shouldn’t advertise your ignorance so freely, let alone preach it to others.

  • AL

    Great article Walter, the days of getting promoted on merit alone are long gone, in many walks of life sadly. But we should be aiming to get promotted without having to lick someone’s rear end, and some unscrouplous individuals will not hesitate to lick anyone’s bottom as long as it gets them to the top.

    Interesting link Shard, ferguson doesn’t strike me as a completely honest individual. In fact he bullies his way through most things(BBC, his own players, media, refs, everyone) I wonder why he’s held in such high esteem in England. Guess its the knighthood…..

    Rantetta, agree that some people must have decided we should never have a repeat of last season’s results again; Aguerro winning the title with virtually the last kick of the season when City had been about 8 points behind with about 5 games to go, and Arsenal securing 3rd spot with the last game of the season to leave spuds sweating it out when they had been 8 points ahead with about 5 games to go….. This time around, things are going to be nailed down with a few games to spare, just so we dont have a repeat.

    Dec, at the start of this season I recall manure getting a penalty in almost all their first 5 or 6 games. Some of their closest rivals haven’t even got a couple so far, and we are approaching the end of the season. If that isn’t getting assistance then I dont know what is.

  • AL

    Great article Walter, the days of getting promoted on merit alone are long gone, in many walks of life sadly. But we should be aiming to get promotted without having to lick someone’s rear end, and some unscrouplous individuals will not hesitate to lick anyone’s bottom as long as it gets them to the top.

    Interesting link Shard, ferguson doesn’t strike me as a completely honest individual. In fact he bullies his way through most things(BBC, his own players, media, refs, everyone) I wonder why he’s held in such high esteem in England. Guess its the knighthood…..

    Rantetta, agree that some people must have decided we should never have a repeat of last season’s results again; Aguerro winning the title with virtually the last kick of the season when City had been about 8 points behind with about 5 games to go, and Arsenal securing 3rd spot with the last game of the season to leave spuds sweating it out when they had been 8 points ahead with about 5 games to go….. This time around, things are going to be nailed down with a few games to spare, just so we dont have a repeat.

    Dec, at the start of this season I recall manure getting a penalty in almost all their first 5 or 6 games. Some of their closest rivals haven’t even got a couple so far, and we are approaching the end of the season. If that isn’t getting assistance then I dont know what is.

  • Tasos



    Facts do not cease to exist because some choose to ignore them.

  • AL

    Great links Shard, keep ’em coming please:)

  • I liked your Post, Walter, but to me you were just saying something specific about referees ‘getting on’ that is true in all walks of life. Isn’t it.

    The problem I have is that you have extrapolated your own experience in local refereeing to the professional (EPL) game where referees come under the control of the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO)and they have their own standards that are applied to the selection, management and disciplining of referees.

    I suppose there may be some nepotism involved in the selection procedures, but the PGMO in turn answer to the FA, and indirectly to the Premier league, so there are checks and balances in place, in as much as that is possible in an intensely personal and subjective role.

    Perhaps you are really asking ‘who regulates the regulators?’ and that is a whole different discussion.

    I still liked the Post though! 🙂

  • AL

    And Dec, I also don’t agree utd ‘have the best squad by a mile’, city & Chelsea have more depth & better quality all round, while utd only have a pair of decent strikers. I believe utd get assisted by officials, if the opposing teams don’t just roll over.

  • Incidentally, Walter, the ‘art’ of cultivating a mentor, to help with your career, is known as “arse-licking” or “brown nosing” in English, and I suspect it is similarly referred to in other languages.

    Usually, the licking of other parts of the body, particularly the genitalia are conducted for more sensual reasons, not that I would know!! 🙂

  • Al,

    I think you have made the point to Dec, and that is a more serious allegation, in my view.

    Referees can earn substantial rewards by being picked to officiate at ‘Big’ games, and as a result do not want to fall out with SAF.

    SAF is notorious for accusing referees of unfairness towards Manure, and insisting they should not referee Manure games if they displease him. Whether we like it or not, the Manure games are seen as ‘big’ in that context and can lead to catching the eyes of UEFA leading to officiating at European competitions and eventually at FIFA competitions.

    The pressure on referees to keep SAF onside so that their careers are not derailed, at the very highest level, is obvious, albeit insidious!

    Ferguson knows what he is doing, and that might explain why Manure seem to get more than their share of penalties and ‘good’ decisions!

  • Shard


    Would Wenger, or Mancini, or whoever is occupying the ‘chuck the clown in the water’ seat at Chelsea be similarly indulged and obliged by those at the PGMOL? Why does Ferguson’s word hold more weight for the referees? ManU’s aren’t the only big games, and why would him being dissatisfied with their performance lead to them not getting appointed again? But we know this does happen. Atkinson and Clattenburg following defeats to Chelsea and City didn’t get a ManU game for 11 months. How often did we get Dowd after Newcastle? Or Dean every year? If I had taken your recommendation on board and started reading some Shakespeare, I might paraphrase him and say that something is rotten in the state of England.

  • Shard


    I just remembered that it had led to a misunderstanding with you some time ago, and so I just want to say that I forgot to put a 🙂 at the end there…

  • Sadly, Shard, I have no recollection of any such misunderstanding.

    Of course, I would not dismiss your contention out of hand, as you do have a penchant for asking and answering your own questions, albeit directed to me.

    An example, from above, might be “ManU’s aren’t the only big games, and why would him being dissatisfied with their performance lead to them not getting appointed again? But we know this does happen.”

    Perhaps the misunderstanding you referred to previously was the result of you seeing my role as playing the part of the ventriloquist’s dummy, in which my response is redundant?

  • Shard

    You are much too humble RA. Your responses are never redundant. By the way, I did not answer my own question. I just said it does happen. My question included the ‘why?’, which I did not answer because I do not know. Also, I didn’t paraphrase Shakespeare, I just said I might if I had read him 😀

    That you do not remember any misunderstanding, I do not consider unfortunate. Quite the opposite 🙂

  • Shard

    I read your comment again, and it appears I have given you offense, and perhaps that you see cause for this being a regular thing. I assure you that it is entirely unintended. I’ve been told before that I can come across as abrasive even when I don’t mean to. A character flaw for which I make no excuse.

    As for your responses being redundant, I have already said this is not so. If at all I do tend to say something at you rather than to you, it is not as a ventriloquist’s dummy, but as a sounding board. Which is because I value your responses, not, as you feel, find them redundant. If this is something which bothers or annoys you, I will strive to curb my penchant, which I must admit I had not noticed till now.

  • Gord

    @Red Arse

    I am not sure if you would call it a truism, or not. But something I seen a long time ago, was that the difference between being a brown-noser and a shithead, was depth perception.

  • Shard,

    Now here I was enjoying your quality comments, and mistakenly pleased that you recognised my notoriously poor sense of humour for what it is. 🙂

    I think there is a quid pro quo for that laissez faire, and that is I am not easily offended, anyway, as I said before, you have never caused offence!

    The reference to a ventriloquist’s dummy was an example of my humour, and was not to be taken literally, as I was intending to pull your leg — and perhaps did not make that clear with a smiley.

  • Andre Krause

    Long time reader…first time poster…thx for analysis…we just got appointed DEAN for the blackburn fa tie!!!

  • Shard

    Phew… Then we’re even in that regard RA 🙂

    As my first response shows, I did think you were pulling my leg (which is better than squishing me), but I was worried I had unwittingly caused some annoyance. Which wouldn’t surprise me. I’m sure there are others on here who can testify to that. Although some I most definitely intended to offend 🙂

  • Shard,

    For various reasons I only comment on a limited number of blogsites, and then fire off sporadic responses for a short time as the mood takes me.

    I do read the sites tho’ and I have noticed that you are insightful, but forthright when the need arises. 🙂

  • Shard


    Now you see why I value your responses. You’re always (well ok..mostly) nice to me 🙂

  • Shard,

    I am in fits of laughter at the mad so and so’s on the Bergkampesque site.

    If you want to see a site from a different perspective give them a look in. 🙂 Crazy or what!

  • Shard


    You’re absolutely correct to call them mad. I wouldn’t begin to know how to get into that conversation. There are a few familiar faces there, and if anything, Bergkampesque seems to bring out the crazier side of them. 🙂

  • Mahdain

    @All I saw a stat from optajoe this weekend and i said to myself what a “coincidence”. Man united and QPR are the only teams in the PL this season yet to have a penalty against them. Maybe Tune Group and Gill have had a say?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Interesting remark from Krause… Dean… again apparently….hardly one month between his last Arsenal game. And that was again hardly one month after his last Arsenal game…
    And that again was hardly one month after his last Arsenal game….

    Oh well you get the picture.

    I really wonder what the FA and the PGMOL are after ??

  • WalterBroeckx

    I suddenly feel a bit sick,

    Dean again… So expect a sending off from an Arsenal player. If Vermaelen plays he will get booked (standard), a penalty against Arsenal (also again almost a dead certainty) …. no penalty for Arsenal no matter what….

    I really wonder how on earth they keep on sending him. Unless they have a specific reason for this of course…. Come on this can’t be a coincidence anymore….

    The only good thing is that they probably cannot send him now for the Spuds game in 3 weeks. But then again.

    Now we can make a bet on Dean for the United game.

  • robl

    Just putting down some spread bets – if Verm does get booked, and we get a pen against us, and a sending off at least I’ll be going to Aus. It’s my new antidote to Mike Dean reffing us.

  • Gord

    I am not a person to bet on situations, but that might not be a bad idea. FIFA and UEFA are sensitized to betting abnormalities. If you can show consistent odds in your favour when Mike Dean is refereeing, you might get FIFA/UEFA to listen. I think the FA and PGMOL are a waste of time.

  • Mahdain

    Dean again for Blackburn makes me sick. I mean seriously why oh why do they keep sending him to us even with his well documented bias against us? Stats prove it,his actions prove it and heck even his dancing and jumping proves it. what more evidence do they want so that they can stop sending him to us once and for all? Why do they keep sending him?

  • Mahdain

    Mike Dean was the ref when we lost to Bradford… Just putting it out there

  • Shard

    Can anyone really, seriously believe anymore that English football is refereed in a fair manner? That they are doing their absolute best to be impartial and make sure that correct decisions are taken on the field?

  • Mahdain

    @shard those in denial and who have agendas of their own do believe that.. It has become so blatant its not only infuriating but also sickening… Bent organisations running English football down

  • Sav from Australia

    @Shard 10.11pm
    The referees are biased. The authorities are in on the act. But I believe that the referee reviews that started here on Untold are the key. Enough pressure and they will be exposed. Surely?

  • AL

    WTF! Dean again? Someone must be really having a joke at our expense. How many times this season already? Is there a way we can bring this to the nation’s attention apart from this blog? This can’t be right, people.

  • AL

    Even if we are too good for Blackburn besides the obvious help he will give them he will make sure we are crippled somehow for our next few games after that. This is wrong.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Correct Al , we will beat Blackburn, but with dean there will be a cost. Then we will meet him again at WHL. Ivan, you are on committes, why are you allowing this?

  • Mandy Dodd

    The bookies are right, as wenger knew, once they got rvp, that was it, citeh are now a bunch of demoralised mercenaries, still capable of playing well at times, but now punching below their weight.. Nasri seems to have lost the sheer enjoyment of playing he had when he was with us. Where will he end up….i can guess…..He has a trophy and a fistfull of dollars…..but I wonder……arsenal need to make sure rvp is the last title gift to other teams, such things are hugely damaging on every level and I think we have all had our fill.

  • Domhuail

    Walter….corruption of referees begins with the ass-kissing required to advance. Once you sell your soul to the highest bidder or for the biggest reward, you are a prostitute and can never be trusted to be totally impartial or untouchable again.
    As a retired professional referee I paid the price for my ethical and moral principles and I still don’t regret it. Basically I shot myself in the foot when I was on the FIFA nominees list by divulging some unethical and nefarious dealing being perpetrated by my provincial chairman. After exposing his and others machinations, I was dropped from the list, dropped from the professional league and refused key international games when I was the senior-most official in line for that appointment.
    I also seemed to ¨fail¨ every written or on-field assessment from that moment on, despite, upon revision being shown to have passed all standards. The chairman once assessed me and at half time came into the dressing room and screamed at me for being an incompetent referee! This was totally against the rules for assessors but he was supported by the local FA nonetheless.
    My local FA refused to risk losing the referee chairman or even acting on any of my allegations and my fellow referees tried but failed to prevent my eventual demotion.
    At that moment I saw the bigger picture for what it was, a cabal of self-interests and corrupted fixers who preferred the status quo and eschewed any ¨risky¨ but justified enforcement of common decency and respect for the rules of healthy and fair Football competition out of fear, cowardice and indifference. This is the competitive side of officiating and the dog-eat-dog syndrome Walter talked about.
    I am now happy to officiate kids games and appreciate the sincerity and honesty they bring to the game…they are there to have fun and they do….its now the parents who are getting insane.

  • Red-Man

    I hate to say “I told you so”, but:

    My comment’s currently the last one (08/02/13 and 10:45).

  • WalterBroeckx


    An amazing thing. Don’t know to laugh or cry

  • Mahdain

    @Red man says it all doesnt it? Myself i rightly predicted that we would have Dean and Atkinson for the back to back City and Chelsea matches weeks ago and i was right which made me really sad. The predictability of PGMOL is really sickening.

  • Krause

    Is there a limit on the # of times we are appointed a referee by the FA in all competitions in a season? I remember back a few years ago and we had Graham Poll appointed like 8 or 9 times in one year. At this rate we could be looking at Dean another 2 or 3x’s is that right?

  • Mahdain

    @Krause this will be Dean`s 5th appointment in all competitions for us so far this season..last season we got him 6 times in the league alone and not sure if we had him in cups. I wont be suprised if he is the ref at white hart lane and i am 99.9% sure he will be the ref in our match vs Man United. Thats 2 more plus one in the middle then im sure we will be looking at something like 7 times this season or more

  • WalterBroeckx

    and you can be sure that if we manage to beat Dean (and Blackburn) this weekend and if we would get further in the FA cup the chance of seeing him again in the next round or in the semi final let alone the final is around + 95%

  • Mahdain

    @Walter my thoughts exactly.. if we manage to beat him in this round then im sure they`ll give him another chance to screw us over and out of the competition and if we somehow managed to reach the final then its nailed on for him to be the ref. Infuriating

  • Pat


    Thanks for telling the story and good on you.

    Glad you say you still don’t regret it.

    If you’ve got principles you’ve got no choice.

    As to the matter of Dean – is there a way of expressing an opinion at the cup match? As long as people don’t get themselves ejected of course.