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July 2021

Referee Rumours – inside stories from the murky world of PL refereeing

By Our Man In Black

In our last Referee Rumours we reported the rumour that not all games are assessed by the PGMO despite this being one of their main tasks.  As we said then, we can assess the rumour fully because the PGMO won’t pass on their assessments.  Indeed this is why Untold started doing our own referee reviews.

The details of that season are still visible on line – just take a peek at our Ref Reviews 2012, which cover 40% of all Premier League games for the season.

But there is worse to come about the assessments.  Because another rumour that we are hearing says that the assessments are not completely done in a fair way.

Now as you know, the Untold Ref Reviews (now taken over by the web site Referee Decisions) are published in full, showing each and every event that we notice, along with commenting on whether the referee gets it right or not.  It is from these reviews that we infer that the referee accuracy and effectiveness in the Premier League is way below that which PGMO smugly say is what happens.  Our figures are there for all to see – their figures are not.

In a world of secrecy, rumour spreads, and this rumour gets to the very heart of the matter.  The rumour suggests that the points given to the refs after each performance are given which are supposedly awarded on the basis of their performance are in fact given in a way that makes sure that the ones who should score high, do score high numbers.

And other refs who have fallen out of favour, or who dare to comment about PGMO and its actions, score lower numbers.

Our source described the assessments and the marks given as a farce. Assessors were told who to give high numbers to and who to whom the  low numbers should be given.

Worse, some assessors who refused to do this were thrown out. It was a case of toeing the line or getting the sack.

So if we understand it right the honest assessors who wanted to give the marks based on the performances of each referee are, over time, eased out. And the ones who will mark the refs according to how some in the PGMO top brass want, keep their place on board.

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Now of course the PGMO could deny this rumour, and they could do so by publishing their own analyses.  We could then compare them with the analyses that appear on Untold and on Referee Decisions.  There might be differences – indeed I am sure there would be, and so we could compare the view of the referees who work with Referee Decisions, and the view of PGMO’s assessors.

Then would could debate those individual points.   If we then saw that by and large the PGMO analyses of how the ref did were reasonable, and that the differences were mostly differences of interpretation of the rules, then fine.  Openness wins the day, and while we would still debate points of detail, we would know that PGMO is a fine, upright and honest organisation working for the good of the game and the good of the Premier League.

All that talk about Arsenal getting endless decisions going against them, and these decisions revealing a bias against Arsenal, would be finished once and for all.  The notion that the Premier League is in the grip of a match fixing scandal of the “Calciopoli” variety, would be set aside.  Arsenal would be shown to have no more, and no fewer wrong decisions going against them than Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City or anyone else.  (For more on Calciopoli visit Untold Corruption

It is so easy.  In a simple change of their manner of operation PGMO could give us all confidence in the way they work.  They could open up, show us that every game is assessed and assessed fairly and that referees and assessors are treated in a straightforward, ethical and moral manner.

Because there is no openness, rumours start – and believe me these are real rumours that are circulating at the moment, not some fanciful Untold invention.

So PGMO could show us that there is nothing wrong. They could show us the list of the match assessors from the last seasons. And then we could see with our own eyes if they have ditched a few people or not. They could maybe add who assessed which games also, and what how well each ref did, and who assessed that ref and how well the assessor did.

That way we could see how many games were assessed by how many assessors.  It seems simple enough.

Why is there this secrecy?  That really is the question.

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1 comment to Referee Rumours – inside stories from the murky world of PL refereeing

  • Lobster

    I admire what you’re trying to do.. Will it make a difference? Let’s see, but still, WELL DONE