By Walter Broeckx
This article is based on an article that you can find when you click on the link a bit further.
“We need to replace the quality and to do so we may need to look elsewhere,” says Keith Hackett. That was the header of an article that you could find if you click on this link.
Part 1 of my article commenting on this can be found here.
NUMBER OF REFEREES
Quote from Hackett:“There are 30,000 officials in England, but only 16 with genuine experience at the top. “Because we have a higher retirement age they are allowed to go on for longer at the highest level rather than helping youngsters.”
Hackett mentioning the fact that only 16 referees are doing matches in the PL. Well look. Another one of our fighting points when it comes to referees and the PGMOL.
Yet again Untold has been the one that has been doing the hard work. We have been saying this for years. Many years. We stood alone apart from our regular readers. The rest asked if we were having our tin foil hats on. I wonder if they will ask if Hackett has one?
Even defending Wenger
About the touchline bust up Keith Hackett said this: “refereeing displays like Atkinson’s often light the touch paper. The catalyst often to these things is the referee” “If the referee has had a good performance then the clash between Wenger and Mourinho wouldn’t have taken place. “Where that behaviour is unreasonable they should be shipped to the stand. But we saw a catalogue of, what I consider to be, weak officiating that damages the image of the Premier League.
And apart from defending Wenger he also touches another point we have been saying. The fact that it damages the image of the PL in the rest of the world but also the fact that such bad officiating damages the whole referee world. I have said it before that such biased decisions make it difficult for every ref in the country and in the world do to it according to the laws of the game. An honest referee sending a player off for a Cahill tackle will get more abuse now because Atkinson didn’t act as he should have done.
TALKING ABOUT DECISIONS AFTER THE MATCH
Hackett said this: “A decision was made not to have assessors at games talking to players and referees and because of that there is a failure of education. “There is a lack of communication where officials say ‘look we messed up and this is what we will do to put it right’.”
Another big point where the PGMOL is not doing what it should be doing when it was founded. Education! In fact it is people like me who are doing this. Or trying to do this. I have read many times on here after articles about referees and the laws of the game written by myself or Dom, another former referee, that many people said that they didn’t know that the laws were like that. Explaining the laws of the game to the broad public was one of the core tasks of the PGMOL. As we have been saying for many years and as Keith Hackett is now saying, the PGMOL is not doing this.
And once again another point that we have talked about for many times is the lack of communication. We have told you how the refs in Holland can do it. They have the choice to come to the cameras after a match and discuss their decisions. And admit when they were wrong. And I have said it before nobody likes doing this so they will do all they can to not having to come to explain their decisions. And of course if they made the correct difficult call, then they can get the praise they deserve. It should work both ways!
Still mistakes will be made but as no person likes to admit openly how wrong they were they will do all they can to avoid it. And if they were wrong they can apology for their mistakes to the players and supporters of those teams. A humbling experience. Which probably wouldn’t be bad for some referees who have a big image of themselves. Because nobody likes to have egg on their face. Referees are that way forced to make the right decisions and not the decisions based on their preferences.
And this is where our ways slightly part. Hackett thinks that bringing in foreign referees might be an answer. I think it will not completely make the problem disappear unless you make sure that there is more transparency and that refs need to be forced to talk about their errors in the open in front of the cameras.
I wouldn’t mind getting in foreign referees but it is only part of the solution. Those of us working with Untold think that bringing in video refereeing (as has been tested in Holland) will make the biggest step forward.
Hackett doesn’t seem to go that way. Yet.
Because, as usual, Untold Arsenal is ahead of the game. Usually the gang follows in our footsteps a few years later. Let Untold take the flack and the abuse seems to be the thinking and once the idea is not that silly, as it maybe seemed at first sight, we will take it over and pretend that it is us who came up with that.
Mind you not that I want to say that we invented fire and hot water on our own but at least we always have been actively looking at other sports and to see if they have found something that worked.
UNTOLD LEADING THE WAY
In fact this is the final conclusion. People always try and laugh at our ideas, call us names and offer abuse, trying to discredit us with one-liners.
But it is when these one liners are thrown our way without any serious counter-explanation or alternative approach, we know we are on the right lines. Naturally we don’t publish the abuse but we do use it as a guide. Generally speaking correspondents only resort to mindless abuse when we have hit the nail on the head.
Standing on the front row is not always easy. But we do it and we will continue to fight for what we think is a just cause.
But now after years of hard work we suddenly see that the former head of the PGMOL comes out and in fact supports most of what we have been saying for years. So I admit I feel a bit vindicated by the words of Keith Hackett. If he confirms what we have been saying all those years it sure feels good.
And the final answer to the title of this series: does Keith Hackett reads Untold? Who knows my dear readers. Who knows….? But even if he doesn’t read Untold himself…I’m rather sure he does know about us. Maybe a little bird told him about us. And I am grateful for that little bird.