By Walter Broeckx
“We need to replace the quality and to do so we may need to look elsewhere,” says Keith Hackett. That is the header of an article that you can find if you click on this link.
Sorry for leading you to an outside website if you want to click on the link. But it was rather interesting what was said in the article.
Once again after our last referee review we had people coming over calling us deluded, biased, fools, idiots, whiners, moaners, sour losers,… Well that might be the case but this is something that cannot be said of Keith Hackett. He is not an Arsenal supporter.
Calling us all these names is of course an opinion. But doing the reviews is based on facts. And based on these facts we have come to some conclusions on the referees in the PL. We have learned their favourite teams, we have discovered their bias and their weaknesses. And we now can predict with some accuracy before the match how a ref will do that match and where he will go wrong. And well most of the times our predictions are rather spot on.
In doing the reviews we have up to now examined more or less 50.000 referee decisions. It might be more but to be honest we haven’t counted them all. Of course you might disagree with some of our decisions. In fact I have no problem with that. But even if of all those years you would disagree with let us say 500 decisions this will still mean that you can agree with 99% of our reviewing decisions. And believe me to find 500 decisions on which you would disagree is a lot.
But I do realise that you still could say: well you are an Arsenal website so whatever you say I will ignore it.
Then we can only present to you a few quotes from Keith Hackett, a former top referee and the former head of the referees. So someone who knows (or should know) what he is talking about. Both in terms of doing matches and in running the referees. He was the referee who was replaced by Mike Riley in 2009. So it is good to take note of what he is saying I think.
We will examine what Hacket is saying and split it up in a few points we have raised during the years.
A first quote: ” The Premier League has only three “world-class” referees at the highest level” Hackett said: “Given the standard of officiating at the moment and the fact we only have three referees who are world class in Mark Clattenburg, Michael Oliver and Mike Dean, and until recent events Martin Atkinson, we need to replace the quality and to do so we may need to look elsewhere.”
And for those who have been following us over the years that is no real surprise. Because that is exactly what we have been saying for years. Based on our reviews. Now we can argue about some of the names he mentioned but the fact is that Hackett has reached the same conclusion as Untold did years ago: the standard of officiating in the PL is a disaster.
Untold Arsenal referee-reviewers, have been saying it for years. And look Keith Hackett confirms our findings now. And of course Untold has been running ahead of the rest. I could add ‘as usual’.
On this topic Keith Hackett is saying that the English officials in the PL are being undermined because of a lack of transparency.
Blimey this could have been taken from dozens of articles that we published at Untold Arsenal and Referee Decisions. We have been asking for transparency from the PGMOL for years. But we got nothing. Au contraire, they shut down the website they got and went even more into a kind of back room way of doing things.
There is no transparency in fact when we talk about the PGMOL. Nothing at all. And we have been asking for this for many years. And look Keith Hackett does agree with us on this point.
As the article says, “He is now calling for sweeping changes to the way the present body governs referees.”
Well this is exactly what Untold Arsenal and I have been saying for years. And suddenly Untold is no longer a “lunatic voice” as we have been called. Or well unless of course you think that Hackett suddenly also has turned in to a lunatic person. But I somehow doubt that. In fact I am sure he isn’t.
And now Hackett had a few other remarks that we have been saying before. And again I will quote:
Hackett said: “When we look at the game last week and Martin Atkinson’s performance in the Chelsea versus Arsenal game you can excuse getting one red card wrong. But when you get three that were nailed-on wrong then we have really got to start to examining where we are going wrong. “When we have to question why a referee who is clearly not in form was given that particular game we see the problems.
I can add to this that from doing our reviews we have said before that Atkinson is not a referee do to this match at all. Untold Arsenal said this before the match and some laughed it away. It is not that we are magicians or so. No, we looked at the decisions, analysed them, came to conclusions. In fact it is simple to do IF YOU WANT TO DO IT! But apparently the PGMOL is not interested in doing this.
If they had done so they would have come to the conclusion that Atkinson is not fit to do matches that involve Chelsea because he has strange decisions in those matches. Untold warned everyone before the match; they called us names.
Quote from Hackett: “We were told in pre-season by the Professional Game Match Officials’ Board that Howard Webb would be no longer refereeing games, but would come out afterwards to talk about incidents and decisions such as these. He was a massive loss, but he has not been used in the manner they said he would. Players, fans and managers need to understand why decisions were made the way they were – rightly or wrongly.”
Another promise from the PGMOL that has gone up in smoke one could say. Or maybe Webb feels that he can’t defend the indefensible? Maybe he feels still too close to certain referees that he can’t bring himself to tell them how wrong there were? Anyhow it is clear that the PGMOL didn’t do as was promised. And not for the first time.
Quote from Hackett: “Martin Atkinson is a colleague and we respect him as an individual, but the game requires top-class performances week in, week out by referees. You have to question the management teams which allow the No.1 referee in Mark Clattenburg acting as fourth official on both Saturday and Sunday and not in one of the big games.
In fact I think any ref would have been better than Atkinson for this match in particular. Our findings did show his anti-Arsenal bias and his pro-Chelsea bias. So why did the PGMOL send him? Well because of the lack of transparency and accountability we will not know. We will never know.
In a next article we will continue to talk about the words spoken by former head of referees Keith Hackett.
The list of recent articles and the anniversary file is on the home page as usual
- How the media always knocks Arsenal, but ignores England’s failures.
- Left has never been stronger at Arsenal FC!
- The seven main things that are wrong with football in England
- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 2 comments from the manager and team news
- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 1 the head to head record and comments on Spurs summer signings