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August 2021

REFEREE RUMOURS: In the Country of lies, can this be the only truthful organisation?

By Our Man In Black


To do games in the PL you need absolutely fit referees. And each referee that does games in the PL most pass a few tests. Fifa refs also take a very strict eye test.  This might sound normal but we can assure you that the tests are very strict.

But according to rumours three referees didn’t pass the PGMO fitness test. We know the names but will not publish them.   At least, not yet.

Now we also heard that for some reason they had to stay on the Premier League rota, and so what was done (if we can believe the rumours that are doing the rounds) was something rather awful.

Well what can you do when you want them to pass? You could harass a time keeper and distract him. You could intimidate him. You could move the cameras that record the sprints back a few yards or so.

Rumour even has it one official had a shorter sprint distance than the other refs!

We also heard rumours that in the distance test some refs did one lap less than they should have done!!

OK, this sounds so bizarre and outrageous you can’t believe it.  Neither did I.  At first.

Now of course failing a fitness test can happen. You can have a bad day, feel sick, have a little injury that prevents you from going all the way. And so refs who fail the fitness test the first time can have a second chance.  That’s fine, we don’t disagree with that.

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The season before last two referees did indeed have to use a second chance.  Nothing wrong with that.   Everyone can be ill sometimes.  But the second fitness test was organised behind closed doors. No witnesses. And rumour has it that in fact….they didn’t perform that second test but just got told that they had passed the non-existent test!!!

So rumour say that three refs failed in the fitness tests in total.   Two on all tests and one on the distance test.

Is this rumour the truth? Well who knows.  If the PGMO was open about everything and they told us that the refs had passed the tests, then of course we would believe them because everything about the PGMO is open, so they are believable.

But we live in a world in which no one is to believed.  OK, we are used to politicians lying all day and night.  But we now live in a world in which one of the biggest banks in the UK – Barclays – lied to the Bank of England and all the other banks about how much it was spending when it borrowed money.  It lied and lied and lied, and it is an institution upon which much of the British economy depends.

So if one of our big banks has all the top men telling lies (something that ten years ago was utterly unthinkable) what about a couple of guys testing a referee within an organisation that is utterly secret?

There is a secretive organisation, and there is a rumour, in a country in which everyone in a position of power and influence lies all day and all night.  What are we supposed to think?   That somehow the PGMO is not like the rest of the country and is the one institution that doesn’t lie?

But if that is so then surely they should not be secretive.  The one honest and truthful agency in Britain that doesn’t lie is…. the most secretive?

No it doesn’t make sense.

So just like everything else the PGMO tests of refs are done in a place far away from the media and public. Nobody knows what really happens when the PGMO organises their tests. And it might be very uncomfortable for the PGMO suddenly to find themselves two or three refs down at the start of the season. Especially when Untold is criticising them every day for having far too few refs.  It might be another indication that their strategy is completely wrong and that they don’t have enough referees for the PL.

No Untold can’t be right.  Not in a country where everyone in power lies.

Can you imagine an organisation that has to make sure that there is complete honesty in the game and then themselves they cheat when doing the tests of the referees?


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29 comments to REFEREE RUMOURS: In the Country of lies, can this be the only truthful organisation?

  • MJB

    What is it about admitting that one is wrong these days? It’s like it has become a taboo in society at large.
    From certain individual’s at the work place right to the very highest echelons of power. Nobody wants to admit to being at fault. It’s like they are scared of spontaneously combustion or somthing.
    The sooner those in power admit to being human and start becoming transparent about their actions the better this world start to become.

    O.k., rant over. Thanks for another fascinating article.

  • greencardusa

    Hmmmn, the PGMO does not lie; it simply avoids speaking the truth. May be a bit embarrassing.

  • RedZ

    As an observation, isn’t there something of an anomaly in calling for openess from PGMO yet hiding behind pseudonyms yourselves?

    Equally, repeating rumours without naming names is worse than any tabloid could ever manage.

    There is a case for PGMO to answer but if you want to be the ones who bring them to heel or generate openness, you need to practice what you are preaching.

  • WalterBroeckx

    maybe tabloids would give the names?

    I understand your remarks and wished we could be more specific. But then we would give away the people who provide us with the inside information.

    I cannot tell you more about it for the moment. Just that we completely trust our sources.

  • Unbelievable belief

    They all work for Murdock.
    And big tits are sexy in his empire.

    On men?!?
    Fergie bitched about the lack of fitness, and we laughed, but he had half a point.

  • Ryan F

    @ RedZ, I completely agree, and I would perhaps go a little further: the rampant paranoia that pervades this post makes me have second thoughts as to its veracity. All these ‘he said, she said’ rumours without a scrap of evidence, it just doesn’t add up.

    Next this site will be claiming that the Moon Landings were faked, that Liverpool fans caused the Hillsborough disaster and that George Dubya ordered the 9/11 attacks.

    Yes, I admit that refs can and do get things wrong, and with annoying frequency. But just because they are fallible humans, it doesn’t follow that there’s some mad conspiracy to keep unfit refs in a job.

    There a thousands of very good, qualified refs chomping at the bit to officiate in the Prem. I watch a lot of Conference football and the officiating standards are high. What’s the point of keeping an unfit ref in a job when there’s a whole queue forming behind him? And if theses refs are unfit, how come UEFA keenly use them for European and International fixtures?

    And what’s all this nonsense about ‘banks and politicians lie, therefore it stands to reason that referees do as well??!!’ That’s the biggest non sequitur I’ve heard in a good while.

    All this bile and hatred off the back of some half-backed rumours from anonymous sources, it’s just pathetic.

  • gouresh

    @ryan: the moon landing was faked.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think that was the general reaction before calciopoli was found by the police in Italy. I don’t blame you for this reaction.
    Your questions:

    What’s the point of keeping an unfit ref in a job when there’s a whole queue forming behind him?

    In this you might find the answer itself. Look I know for sure that some refs failed their fitness test. So why did they keep them? Because… yep…for some reason the PGMO don’t want to lose them.

    And if theses refs are unfit, how come UEFA keenly use them for European and International fixtures?

    I will make the list a bit shorter: they were not UEFA listed refs.

  • Minesy

    OK Ryan …

    So why are there only 2 top flight refs from the South ? (And none from London, the South East and East Anglia ?

    Why are you so sure that the wrong decisions are all genuine mistakes … I mean, they may be, but how can anyone tell … there has been match fixing all over Europe … did you hear about the Turkish clubs today ? … this website rightly asks the question, if this is all fair and above board why all the secrecy …

    People called it nonsense when accusations of MPs fiddling expenses came to light … or celebrities having their phones hacked … or the Police selling information to the tabloids … or the NHS covering up medical negligence …

    But you keep telling yourself all is well in the Premier League … I wish I could share your optimism ….

  • WalterBroeckx

    And if all goes well you will read the names in the serious media later on. 😉
    We also know the names of the media who know about it.

    And I hope that they have the courage to publish it on their channels. And when they do, come back to us and say: hey you did tell it how it was. 😉

  • Doanythingformoney

    We need a whistleblower to settle this ref/fitness issue- someone big and public spirited who thinks secretive organisations are an abomination and wants us to know the truth. Of course, he or she will have to be prepared to be extradited by Obama and the CIA for the crime of telling us t about what is really going on. Our ‘leaders’ are going mad. You can’t make it up. Why do our elected stand by and accept secret organisations in sport? Time to go!

  • Unbelievable belief

    Do anything
    Professional sport is probably the 2nd or 3rd biggest industry left in the UK. after banking and booze.

    We all know there was nothing going on wrong in the banks.

    gouresh, what? all 6 moon landings? And even putting the landers and footprints on the moon for satellites to see 40 later? Thats a Hell of a good fake.

    Hell of a dumb ass.

  • Adam

    @Unbelievable belief, You forgot the Arms industry and aerospace, also the pharmaceutical industries are big on the research & development front. Other big exports are still tobacco & Alcohol which you mention.

    Professional sports doesn’t even make the list, due in fact to its restrictive nature in that only a few can be involved compared to the size of the nation, usually sports are combined into the Entertainment category.

    I think gouresh was being ironic.

  • Adam

    Ryan its OK to disagree, but then to validate your disagreement by predicting the future is a twunts way of going about business. Twunt is a cross between a tw*t and a C*nt which you are.

    “There a thousands of very good, qualified refs chomping at the bit to officiate in the Prem”. (Prove it).

    Actually there are about 80 refs on the national list, not thousands and the usual route taken is; become an assistant work your way up and then become a ref and start again from the conference and lower leagues, it’s the assistants in the higher leagues that will make the step into refereeing, usually.

    That maybe why you find a decent standard of officiating in the conference as they all want to prove they can do the job rather than a job for PGMOL and Mike, that comes later, if your groomed.

  • weedonald

    RedZ and RyanF….you have both made the assumption that the writer is just another rumour-monger who wants to spread BS in the faint hope that it will start to smell like flowers. Here are a few things to consider:

    1)Based on what Walter and Tony have been doing for quite a few years, such a rumour-mongerer would be flamed out of existence by one or the other of the two. What Walter is saying (and you can call him a liar,but we know he’s honest)is that this writer is highly placed and will shortly be proven right…..with all due respect, you need to back off and see what happens.

    2)As a retired national and professional referee, I can personally attest to corruption, manipulation and intimidation by the equivalent of the PGMOL in my home country, I am not a liar or a sensationalist but if it could happen in my country, why not in Britain?

    3)Neither of you, from what I can see from your posts, have referee qualifications….if I am wrong please correct me. Therefore, you have no idea what it is like to try and reach the EPL level as an official(or the equivalent) and what politics, compromises and distasteful ¨collaboration¨ is often required to do so. Let me assure you that few professional referees can maintain 100% integrity, or for that matter want to. It is the same for FIFA officials (only 7 per member nation)and leaves us wide open for bribery, collusion, pressures and in some cases corruption. It is, in my opinion, a minor miracle that most officials manage to retain their values and ethics in the face of such temptations.

    I understand and sympathize with your collective umbrage at what you see as a spurious and biased rant against the Game and its key participants but it is far more complicated that that and it would behoove you to take some time and research, investigate and probe more deeply into what Walter and Tony are trying to shed light on. If they are proven wrong they, I am certain, will admit it…we all sincerely hope that they are but experience and life tells us otherwise all too often!

  • robdogooner

    Transparency is the only way to end corruption.

    The real question is “what reason could PGMOL have to be so secretive?”

    And the only logical answer is “because the’ve got something to hide.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Agree with you ,Dom . Why can’t these “holier than thou” and ” I know best ” posters give the benefit of doubt to the writer ,and like the rest of us wait with baited breath for the full expose ; which ,from the hints should soon be forthcoming .
    If they do know something ,do enlighten us and broaden our horizons .Don’t nip it in the bud .Are you trying to sidetrack us ? Do you in some way profit ( or being paid to)in diverting our attention ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I just hate duplicity in any form , and am all for disclosure and transparency .Have to agree with robdgooner’s
    comments ; what does the PGMOL have to hide ?

    deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter; double-dealing.
    Synonyms: deceit, deception, dissimulation, fraud, guile, hypocrisy, trickery. )

  • The Awenger

    One solution would be to have refs from different countries in every league. That way the overall quality of refereeing will improve and it will make it harder to control referees from different nationalities and backgrounds.

  • Dave C

    I love this site. The detractors are jealous because they are too scared to actually do anything themselves. The money laundering happened (given Italy is the only government so far who cares to stop the corruption), and it’s a shame journalists in other countries choose not to bite the hand that feeds by sweeping such offences under the rug. The more intelligent three species gets, the better they become at avoiding detection or consequences due to the corrupt system.

  • elkieno

    When ever I mention the dodgyness of the refs at work, I get laughed at, eye rolled and called paranoid. It is the same with the two bone head posters at the top.
    The pgmol need people like those 2 at the top to help them continue their ‘duplicity’ in their jobs!
    Stalin had a word for them, ‘useful idiots’.
    Now Higuain is still coming right?

  • RedZ


    You need to re-read my post. I don’t have umbrage with anything Walter has said. If I did, a full blown rant would have no doubt made it to the spam bin 🙂

    My observation which Walter answered, was that if you want openness from an organisation, then sheltering behind nom de plumes undermines arguments, no matter how valid they may be, in the same way that vague rumours do.

    Do I think that English refs are corrupt? It would be bizarre if there was not some corruption but like other countries, I would think it unusual if all were.

    Why is the PGMO secretive? The answer given will be as a measure to minimise instances of corruption. Whether that is true or not is up to the accusers to provide evidence to support their arguments. I understand “whistleblowers” have to protect themselves, of course, but something substantive would give impetus.

    Time will tell if any suspicions are validated.

    But you’ve undermined your own argument.

    Am I referee? No. Your logic says I cannot comment on being an EPL referee because I do not understand it.
    Are you an English referee? No. Your logic says…

    As I said, spurious arguments undermine any points so keep it factual and stop those who think you’re barking at the moon.

  • WalterBroeckx

    the thing is I know what happens in my country behind closed doors.
    Weedonald knows what is happening in his country (a different one) behind the closed doors

    We now get information about the PGMO and what is happening behind the closed doors.

    And the same things happening in my country, his country and apparently the PGMO.

    So even if I wouldn’t trust my sources (and I do trust them).. in fact I had written about it in the last years and said how I thought things went on behind the scenes. My sources just confirmed my suspicion.

  • weedonald

    REDZ…..your use of an avatar and a pseudonym seems to follow the norm…so I guess its oik for others to use it, including everyone posting on UA….and their arguments are as valid as yours…..this is a red herring,nothing more.

    I never implied that all referees,English or otherwise, are corrupt….in fact I said that the vast majority maintain their integrity….try re-reading my original post as well.

    Walter did remind you that his source(s)were trustworthy but not able to reveal their true identities because it would risk their access to the truth yet you persist in demanding they ¨prove¨ their reliability with more substantive information….in the secretive world of officiating, one has to be patient.

    No I am not denying you the right to comment on EPL officials, I am reminding you that what you think you know is based on insufficient experience and too simplistic a view of what officiating is like. If you were like Walter and me in terms of referee experience, you’d understand more clearly how professional referees can be compromised. I don’t need to be in the EPL to see that such potential manipulation is universal, but certainly not necessarily the norm (at least I hope not).

    Your last sentence perplexes me but I am sure Walter can interpret it.

  • gouresh

    does anyone remember the cricket scandal in the 80’s? As I have posted in the past, it might take an accidentally phone tapping to rightly said above a whistle-blower for the truth to come out.
    @ unbelievable belief: these is enough enough evidence that man did not land on the moon. NASa is very secretive just like the ref’s organization and if you believe that every picture which is controlled and supplied by NASA, its up to U. I don’t want to get into this debate on this thread.

  • RedZ


    You’ve clouded my original point point by putting others into the mix that I hadn’t initially raised.

    I didn’t demand anything. I made two simple observations:

    1. IF claims are being made, substantiate them. I didn’t say the points raised by Walter weren’t valid, just unsubstantiated. The post has vague allegations – look at the language used:

    according to rumours
    we also heard
    Rumour even has it
    We also heard rumours
    And rumour has it
    So rumour say
    Is this rumour the truth? Well who knows.

    Perhaps there is substance behind it but the post does not offer this. Maybe it can’t but if that is the case, why repeat rumours? Allegations of corruption are serious, needing investigation but let’s get some facts out there. The one thing that will break PGMO’s silence is facts. They won’t answer rumours, they will ignore them or say, “Prove it”. What then? Tracks can easily be covered if they know there is an allegation.

    2. The second was that anonymity when making allegations offers some protection but credibility is truly gained when individuals show themselves and their positions within organisations.

    Walter’s sources may indeed be trustworthy and I am willing to believe that they are but I cannot be sure of that, can I? Everyone – you & I included – have factors which influence our viewpoint; that is the human condition.

    As an example, how do we know – and I mean the public – that Walter’s source is not doing this through some sense of personal injustice, overlooked for a promotion for example? I am not saying that they are but how do we know that?

    Such motivations would alter our view of their perspective. It doesn’t diminish what they are saying but allows us to find a path to some semblance of the truth.

    But the whole issue is proof. Let us not be caught up in whirl of rumours which we berate the media for in other areas of football coverage.

    And as for anonymity being a red herring, it isn’t. When allegations are made, the source is the key to the credibility of those allegations. I am not making allegations, I am looking for something to give them credibility in my eyes.

    Peace out.

  • colario

    Whilst the PGMO operates behind closed doors it is open to accusations that may or may not be true.

    The much heralded claim that referee mistakes even out in the season has never been proved. In any case if the PGMO depends on this claim as evidence of good refereeing then clearly we have a poor standard of refereeing in the Premier League.

    The PGMO needs to be brought to book for the poor standard of refereeing it provides. Clubs need to know for sure that the referee is capable of the job.

    Along side this the ref needs all the technology available to him/her. We all know the ‘hand is quicker than the eye’ We all know how easy it is in the heat of the moment to make a wrong decision – no one blames the ref for that but todays technology can help resolve that problem.

  • weedonald

    RedZ….In answer to your point 1, which I agree makes some sense, my guess is that Walter intentionally obfuscated and clouded his statements for two reasons: fear of a libel suit or similar legal mitigation from the PGMOL or other authorities, regardless of whether there is any basis to claim libel and an unwillingness to state categorically what he was told and by whom, since it would likely expose his source(s) and burn his bridges as well….anyone faced with this dilemma might turn to generic camouflage to cover his Arsenal a bit, I believe.

    In your second point the use of anonymity reducing credibility is true only if the information is clearly spurious and irrelevant. Walter, who like you,I trust to bring veracity and transparency to UA, believes his source and I am sure, did his homework before presenting this information to us….he is asking us to have faith in his trust of the source(s) and that he did do sufficient due diligence to ensure that any vengeful or delitirous motives were at the heart of his sources’ intentions.

    Pax vobiscum as well

  • WalterBroeckx

    hammer, nail, bang on it.

    And RedZ just to give you an idea on what happened a few weeks ago and I quote from another forum on the internet:

    Did anyone hear Glenn Turner on Talksport earlier? Very interesting insight into the current state of refereeing under Mike Riley. He suggested that officials were refereeing in a state of fear, careers were being affected by excessive punishment for incorrect decisions, complaints about the refereeing organisation made by officials were being investigated by members of that organisation, and that officials were generally disgruntled and bemoaned the fact they didn’t have the freedom to speak to the media following contentious decisions, etc. (He said a number of current officials had spoken to him when he said he was going to voice concerns and that they called from private numbers, seemingly because they were worried about using their PGMO laptop/phone in case they were traced or they were being monitored.

    He also mentioned the incident at the 2006 World Cup with Graham Poll showing 3 yellow cards to the same player – Poll has since suggested he was initially disappointed by the assistants’ failure to help him. Glenn Turner said Poll specifically told him and the other assistant that they were to concentrate completely on the game and not note down incidents as Poll had never made a mistake with paperwork in 20 years and wasn’t about to start that night! Poll was also told by Mark Viduka (heard over the mic’s) that the Croatia player had been cautioned twice – Poll told Viduka to get on with his job and Poll would get on with his!

    Very strong stuff but a lot of interesting – and in my opinion – valid points about refereeing. I felt Turner came across very well and as a passionate football fan. Mike Riley needs to respond to some of these criticisms but no doubt he won’t – no transparency with the public!

    The interview is here from 12.00 if anyone is interested in hearing it back –…episode/111701

    Now you can try to click on the link if you want and then come back. And then you will find…. what you will find. Did you click? ……. Are you back? Yes, it’s gone.

    Just to give you an idea that if even Talksport pulls an interview that they have given live on the radio later on… Maybe you understand things a bit better now on how we are doing our series?