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July 2021

Ref Rumours: It is a postcode lottery

By Our Man In Black

You might well imagine that referees can’t referee all teams, and quite reasonably PGMO – the highly secretive referee organisation – insists that referees declare who they support, and then doesn’t give that ref those teams.

But there is another exclusion clause in referee contracts, and that is to do with refereeing the team whose ground they live near to.

Again that might seem reasonable – until you understand how it is done.  As all UK readers will know, all addresses in the UK are allocated a postcode.  And it is the postcode of the referee’s home that is used to decide which are the local teams to the refs.

But, and this is where the craziness of the situation arises – postcode areas are very different  shapes and sizes.  Many do not correspond to the county boundaries or anything else that you might recognise, they are based around postal sorting centres.

This can result in a referee being allow to referee a match of a team just 10 miles away, because he happens to live just across the postcode boundary.

What would of course make much more sense would be to measure the distance between the home of the ref and the ground, saying (for example) you can’t referee any club whose home ground is within 50 miles of your residency.

Take for example Mr Clattenburg. He is a Newcastle supporter and so cannot referee Newcastle games.  But he lives in the Sunderland postcode so cannot officiate with them.  However the rumour has it that Mr Clattenburg is about to move into the Newcastle postcode area and so will be able to referee Sunderland games – just by moving around a bit.

Now that may not seem particularly important to an Arsenal fan – but there is an underlying issue here.  This information about post codes is not public knowledge – although there is no reason why it should be kept secret.   But the fact that it is hidden away from the public shows that secrecy is at the very heart of PGMO thinking.  It is, to use a current phrase, “in their DNA”.

Now that we’ve brought this tiny piece of information into the open we’ll be able to understand exactly what is going on when a ref suddenly is allowed to referee a certain club.

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Meanwhile, it really would be a good idea if PGMO changed the rules and said that you cannot referee a club whose base is within 50 miles of your home…. except that they can’t do that because all the referees live in an area in the north of England.  None of them come from London and the south east.

More thoughts anon…

The books…

The sites from the same team…

2 comments to Ref Rumours: It is a postcode lottery

  • Mick

    This is of course an utterly ridiculous situation and highlights the apparently inept nature of the PGMO. The secretive nature of this unfit for purpose organisation further reinforces doubts and suspicions regarding their operation and motives as far as I am concerned. I asked the question before but the way they act, the closed shop nature, the apparent favouring of certain clubs is reminiscent of the cloak and dagger culture found in freemasonry. Is there any evidence to suggest freemasonry is active within the refereeing fraternity?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Just says it all about the way the refs are run. Mind you, in some ways, it is not all bad the refs are all from up north, if they decided to take on a few southern refs, can imagine this lot going for a bunch of spuds, like the spud supporting ref who got caught trying to stitch up Wenger a few years ago. Either that, or appointing a bunch of southern refs with Martin Atkinson type leanings.