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Referee Rumours: the retirement of Halsey

By Our Man In Black

We don’t use names of referees when we publish our rumours. As has been said before we trust our sources but we will not expose them to the wrath of the highly secretive and shady PGMO.

And so we haven’t been able to name the refs of the PGMO officials in this series so far. Because by naming them we could risk PGMO going after those who have spoken out.  And since we don’t trust their methods we think although they might get the right people they would probably swipe up quite a lot of innocent folk along the way.

But in this article we will use one name as it is about a ref that is retiring from the Premier League this summer.

Mark Halsey has announced that he is going to stop. A man who didn’t always meet approval with referee writers at Untold, to be honest, but a man who (surely no one can deny) was a brave man in the world of refereeing.

He had to overcome cancer during his career, and then he came back to the top. One can only admire a man for his personal courage, drive and determination, and everyone involved with Untold unreservedly wishes him success and good health in his future life outside of PGMO refereeing.

But as we noted, some of the Untold and Referees Decisions referee team were not big fans of his referee style which, they said, was often based on allowing too much, and letting things go.

Now when the story came out that Halsey would stop working for the PGMO, the PGMO (we are told) amazingly said that they were surprised, and that they would ask their lawyers to check if he had broken any employment laws. (Our lawyers say that they can’t see what the problem was – anyone can leave a job unless they are on a fixed contract, and even then ill health has to be an acceptable reason to resign, and if you want an example of ill health, cancer is about as big a reason as you can get).

But our person on the inside knew some nine weeks before the announcement, the level of the settlement that was agreed between Halsey and the PGMO.   So why did the PGMO suddenly change its approach and start saying that they didn’t know anything about him going into retirement?

Could it be that it was because he is going to publish a book in the next months? Are they afraid of this book? Or about things that might be in that book?   Revelations about the real way that PGMO works perhaps.

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In fact rumour has it that the PGMO has been talking with a few other refs who are thinking about retiring. Indeed a total of four refs have been talking with the PGMO about their retirement.  Three of them however didn’t reach an agreement and will continue. Halsey did reach an agreement and will stop.

But if this rumour is true then why does the PGMO say something quite different to the media?  Is it that they fear that the revelation that four referees are seeking out of the PGMO will reflect badly on PGMO and lead to people asking exactly the sort of questions that we are asking in our Referee Rumours?

As always it is hard to know anything about PGMO because of its obsessive secrecy.  It can be argued of course that negotiations between a company (which is all PGMO is of course) and its staff are secret, and of course we have some sympathy with that.  But PGMO is not just any old company.  It is a monopoly supplier.  And monopoly suppliers are in a special position, because they have no competition, obviously.  Therefore they need to be utterly open in all that they do in order to ensure that the public accepts the need for this monopoly.

You may of course at this moment think about other monopolies in football.   The feudal FA.  Fifa.  Uefa.  The Premier League, which has a very cosy relationship with PGMO.

In fact a lot of the problem with PGMO comes down to this unhealthy combination: it is a monopoly supplier and it is highly secretive.

Of course there is a further part to this problem – the fact that the supposedly investigative British media has made no effort, as far as any of our sources within PGMO or within the media tell us, to prize open PGMO.

Now why is that?  Is it, as we have sometimes suggested, that journalists just like to follow the obvious story, and not bother about the real big stories that stay undercover until someone else has done all the work?  We think perhaps of Rangers and the Scottish media at this point.

Or is there an unhealthy relationship between PGMO and the media, as well as between PGMO and the Premier League?

Once again we have to say, we make no allegations at all save that it is the secrecy, the closing down of their own web site etc etc, that gives rise to the rumours of the type we report.


30 June Anniversaries

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11 comments to Referee Rumours: the retirement of Halsey

  • What has happened to the old shoulder charge? Surely bettero that shirt pulling and all the other sissy stuff we get now. There are too many ball skill players and not enough specialists anymore. Todays strikers are too ball skillful and not cool finishers as of old. The game gets more boring with too much passing which is easy to do as if an opponent goes to take the ball it is released to another player inanother negative and tottally unexciting way and finally back to the keeper if danger is near!
    One way to return football to its old exciting ways is to penalise pass backs to the keeper from outside the box. Then the boring you to me and me to him stuff would be challenged and some exciting direct and aggressive and manly football might reemerge.

  • Norm

    Like SJLittle, I like a tad more manly skills in our game – the diving and shirt-pulling is now at a seriously uncontrolled level. I never minded Halsey as a referee (compared to our Hollywood auditioners.) At least he had played the game, albeit at a lower level, rather than read the laws, then adapted them to the requirements of Old Mother Riley. I can relate to him coming back from a cancer battle, and just not being quite the same. He was very brave to put himself back in the spotlight. The McManaman incident was a low point for him though. I say good luck to him in whatever he does now – I hope maybe he could be a whistle-blower, now that would be something! How typically small-minded of pgmol to be arsey about him retiring.

  • And_Arsene_Said...

    Is that you Little John? This is Bill! Bill Tell! Remember when we ruled Nottingham. Those were the days eh. Now we would need forest permits. I wish things never would change eh..

  • clockendrider

    Another excellent piece from this website. The truth will out and this website will have been a vital part of that. Keep up the good work.

  • Adam

    Just to remind people that Halsey was the only referee that was in the select group and from the area around London, Welwyn Garden city, Hertfordshire. Will be interesting to find out why he re-located to Manchester.

    Anyone know when his book comes out?

  • Adam

    Another thing, I think he is contracted to BT channel for the coming seasons as they attempt to compete with Sky.

  • Doanythingformoney

    When you wonder about an ‘unhealthy relationship’- if you mean the same one that exists between the Press, TV, Radio and the leaders of our political parties- the answer is- how unhealthy can you get! In medical terms, it’s a basket case!
    In moral terms- a disgrace.

    Well done ye all—- and knighthoods for all whistleblowers (no Dean intended!). That would stop corruption pretty damn quick.

  • Pat

    Great article! And do protect your whistle blowers!

  • Menace

    It is a foul to shoulder charge in football. It is allowed to ‘brush shoulders’ when both players are attempting to gain control of the ball generally when both players are moving in the same direction.

    Contact with an opponent prior to making contact with the ball can be deemed by the referee to be a foul. In The EPL referees are inconsistent with their interpretation.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Someone will spill the beans once the press change their allegiance and go for a story that makes s lot of people a lot of money. I am convinced this bias and corruption serves many people and purposes but ultimately leads to insider gambling….just follow the money, anyone know why ref Walton retired mid season?

  • weedonald

    Menace….maybe in another form of Football but not in Association Football. Players are permitted to charge an opponent or tackle them as long as it is done in a fair and safe manner,including having shoulder to shoulder contact. There is NO such a definition as ¨brushing¨an opponent. Here are the rules from Law 12, for your edification:

    Charging an opponent
    The act of charging is a challenge for space using physical contact within playing distance of the ball without using arms or elbows.
    It is an offence to charge an opponent:
    • in a careless manner
    • in a reckless manner
    • using excessive force

    Here are the definitions of the above:

    Careless, reckless, using excessive force
    “Careless” means that the player has shown a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge or that he acted without precaution.
    • No further disciplinary sanction is needed if a foul is judged to be careless
    “Reckless” means that the player has acted with complete disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent.
    • A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned
    “Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
    • A player who uses excessive force must be sent off

    Here are the regulations for serious foul play,including in tackles:

    Serious foul play
    A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.
    A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as serious foul play.
    Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.
    Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play unless there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send
    off the player guilty of serious foul play when the ball is next out of play.
    A player who is guilty of serious foul play should be sent off and play is restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred
    (see Law 13 – Position of free kick) or a penalty kick (if the offence occurred inside the offender’s penalty area).

    Please do us all a favour next time and read the Laws before making a statement that is clearly erroneous.