By Walter Broeckx
People who have followed our blog a bit over the last years will have read on more than one occasion that I pointed in the direction of the decisions makers in the PGMOL when it comes to the things that went wrong in the PL when we look at the referees.
We have been accused of being biased ourselves. We have been accused of being conspiracy theorists. I almost wrote terrorists and maybe the PGMOL has been looking at us as such. We had people telling us how wrong we were. We had people telling us how deluded we were.
But of course we also have done our best to educate the public when it comes to explaining the laws of the game. We have not been alone on this but it is in fact a task of the PGMOL and I think they are the only ones to have done nothing when it comes to this.
Now one of my complaints and I even had a short exchange about this with John Cross from the Mirror on twitter is that the PGMOL is or should I say was sending refs in a not random way to teams. My criticism was also that because they don’t have enough refs in the PL they cannot cover all the games properly.
But I said on a lot of occasions that the PGMOL was seemingly trying their best to be very friendly for a certain manager that has now retired. This usually ended up with getting praise from one side and laughter and abuse from the other side. I just knew what I was saying. And I think I have found proof of what I have been saying all these years. Proof and maybe there is a new light shining on the horizon that it finally might end.
Because after the game Manchester United – Chelsea I found this in the Mail Online. And it was written by former top referee Graham Poll. So a man who should know how things work in the PGMOL. A man that has been a ref for many many years in the PL and was a member of the PGMOL in his function as a referee. A man who should know how things work and who knows the ins and outs in the PGMOL.
The knowledge I have from the PGMOL is from people who write in to me starting to say: ‘please don’t mention my name but I have heard that…..’ or ‘please don’t say you got this from me but I know that…..’ The please don’t mention my name is rather popular. And so I have found out how the PGMOL works and my attacks on them are based on what those people have told me. People who seem to know just like Graham Poll how the inner things work at the PGMOL.
So when I read the article from Poll thanks to one of our Untold readers who mailed the link (REALLY THANK YOU!) and a few persons on twitter who tweeted the link also I was amazed but not surprised. This is what Poll wrote in the Mail Online:
Manchester United v Chelsea is a top fixture; one of the top games of the season and as such needs one of the top referees appointed to it and Martin Atkinson is one of those.
That’s not just my opinion; he is ranked in the top three English referees by UEFA and by PGMOL referee chief Mike Riley.
Clearly there have been issues when he has refereed this fixture before; notably in March 2011 when United lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Sir Alex Ferguson was given a five-match touchline ban for criticising Atkinson’s performance after he felt goalscorer David Luiz should have been sent off prior to his strike and that the penalty for Chelsea’s late winner was softly awarded.
Atkinson also angered Ferguson when United were knocked out of the FA Cup by Portsmouth but of course they are no longer managed by Ferguson and so the PGMOL feel happy to appoint one of their top referees to a top game.
Personally, I’d have preferred to see another referee appointed so that we were focusing on the football and not debating whether Atkinson should be appointed or not.
If you want to read the article yourself here is the link : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2401830/Manchester-United-v-Chelsea-I-wouldnt-appointed-Martin-Atkinson–Graham-Poll.html#ixzz2dQu7KQFe
And the most important part of the article is put in bold. I repeat it : but of course they(= Manchester United) are no longer managed by Ferguson and so the PGMOL feel happy to appoint one of their top referees to a top game.
And that is exactly what I have been talking about all those years, amongst other failures by the PGMOL. It clearly is saying that as long as Ferguson was manager of MU the PGMOL didn’t dare to do it. They were always afraid of Ferguson for one reason or the other. But now that he is gone, they are no longer afraid.
So it looks as if Poll is saying that those days are over. So that would be great news. But then again I wonder: how long has this regime of fear been going on? How long has the PGMOL not dared to send any random ref to Manchester United games. And how much were the refs aware of this fear from the PGMOL about this?
Poll seems to know it but now only dares to open his mouth. But how long did he knew it? And how much did the current refs knew or felt it? Because as a ref going to a United game in the knowledge that your boss might get in trouble if you make errors against United are you then still free and unbiased in your decisions? And in the knowledge that your boss has unlimited power over your personal career as a ref and you could feel the repercussions through your boss later on.
Does this sound like a normal way of doing things? Not for me. But if you read the words of Poll carefully you can read it being said there.
So have we been watching a travesty for all those years? Did we think we were watching honest football matches but that in fact the PGMOL was ruled by a bunch of chickens that didn’t dare to stand up against the most powerful manager in the PL? If so, then this is a complete horror. And thanks to this (deliberate??) slip of the tongue from Poll we have seen confirmed what we at Untold have been saying for a while: the PGMOL was just dancing to the tune that was whistled by the piper. And Poll knows who the piper was. So do we.
Do I feel the need to say…told you so?
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