Football Betrayed. PGMOL splits, journalist proclaims the future.

However the Telegraph is being scurrilous in placing the blame on everyone but themselves.  Thus when they said, “Mark Hughes’ concerns about Ryan Shawcross being singled out for wrestling and Garry Monk’s outburst over Victor Moses’ dive undeniably add to the drama of the Premier League soap opera – as do fans’ phone-in rants – but they don’t make for a balanced, elucidating debate,” they are once more betraying the football debate.

You notice the use of language.  When we, the little fans, speak out, it is a “rant”.  When the Telegraph speaks, it is measured, sensible, serious.   How funny it is to think of that when we have three instances of the Telegraph, by chance or design, finding its agenda being exactly the same as that of Untold – even if they are always a little late off the mark.

But here is another interesting bit.  And remember this is the Telegraph who published that long accolade to the work of PGMOL just a couple of weeks ago.  “Unfortunately, Mike Riley, the general manager of PGMOL, does not want referees talking post-match. Howard Webb, the new technical director and a far more confident figure publicly than Riley, has always been in favour of officials communicating, clarifying points of Law. Until Riley agrees with Webb, PGMOL creates a post-match vacuum into which all views, conspiracy theories and speculation swirl unchecked.”

Ohhhhhh,   Internal bickering within the PGMOL!!!  Whatever next?

But let’s not get too carried away.  The Telegraph works to its own agendas, and is often seemingly influenced by outside agencies, which is why its earlier article on referees and PGMOL was such awful.

The agenda here is that everything can be boiled down to something simple: a power struggle inside PGMOL.  Just notice: the issue that referee errors are not equally spread across games and across clubs, is not touched upon.  Football is once again betrayed by the media – but this time through (it appears to me at least) the adoption of a hidden agenda.

Try this for size…

“It is laughable that PGMOL thinks this damaging situation, this radio silence in a modern media age, enhances referees’ credibility. Nonsense. PGMOL is letting its officials become punch-bags and scapegoats. Oliver and company deserve better. Monk has to be charged by the FA for claiming Oliver “cheated us” but that will be little consolation for a talented 29-year-old referee left squirming in the public stocks.

“The Premier League itself has yet to dispel the suspicion that it actually likes this extension of the match tension, this continued fevered focus, this domination of the sporting agenda. It denies this but the more headlines there are, however ill-informed, the more publicity the Premier League enjoys and more publicity means more broadcasting revenue.”

Well, if you want an agenda, that is one.  Cut out any enquiry into the bias of referees, and focus instead on allowing them to speak.  Clever eh?

But then, the Telegraph really is trying to knock us all off course.

“English football does much brilliantly but it doesn’t do sensible debate particularly well. Why let the facts spoil a good argument?”

Oh come now.  Should that not be, why let the facts get in the way of an agenda?  A good journalist would be saying, “hang on a minute, not everyone is talking about innocent errors by incompetent refs.  Some are talking about consistent bias.  Indeed these guys are producing more and more stats by the day in that regard.   Let’s have a look.”

But no.  Instead of questioning the referees, the Telegraph says, “Referees should be allowed to communicate their reasons for a decision.”

Such an opening up of the debate by that one millimetre will then take all the pressure off the refs, and the focus away from the figures that show that refs are biased.

Eventually the Telegraph falls into the mode of sooth-sayer.  The almighty paper that knows what will happen, and that the right way, the good way, the Telegraph way, will shine through.

“Change will come. It’s inevitable. It’s the 21st Century, the age of communication. Officials will one day be heard as well as seen.”

In places, the Telegraph is on the right track, as when it says,   “There is a feeling in certain footballing quarters that Webb was offered this role at the Premier League to stop him writing a book or being taken on by a media organisation.”

Oh, and then we come back to Walter’s earlier piece…

“Just as video technology will one day arrive to assist officials’ decision-making, referees will eventually present themselves for the broadcasters post-match, bringing some proper perspective to the debate. They might even admit that they erred; most sane supporters would accept that. Referees are humans after all, and most are grounded, likeable characters.”

And that is the killer blow.  The definition of sanity according to following the Telegraph’s vision of reality.

So we can admit that the paper has done us a service, by publishing the press-release type article about video refereeing after Walter’s piece, and now this.  They have revealed the big split inside the PGMOL and they have decided to use that as a way of telling supporters what to think and how to think.   Indeed they have suggested that anyone who doesn’t think this way is not sane.

Their agenda is as strong as ever, as is the camouflage.  Just look at this

“Riley claims that no other country boasts the “strength in depth” of refereeing as England, with only Italy coming close. Webb describes refereeing as a “success story in this country’’, adding that “for all that anyone would want to criticise our officials, in terms of world and European standing we really are right up there. It’s something that should be celebrated”.”

And the evidence for that is…?

This is a case of picking out the facts that fit and creating a story out of it.  It has, in passing, given us insights into the in-fighting within PGMOL and it has also told us about the tactics that will be used for the further betrayal of football – and that is good.

And it also tells us, that some people within the PGMOL are starting to fight back.  Which if nothing else, should be interesting.

Back to the home page for today’s anniversaries

16 Replies to “Football Betrayed. PGMOL splits, journalist proclaims the future.”

  1. Mentioned ‘the monday night football club’ on iplayer radio in previous comments section. It’s will worth a listen and on this subject. They seem to suggest some sort of split also. I think it’s to do with the media who would have wanted to employ Howard Webb. They suggest in the podcast the pgmol job was offered by Riley to keep him schtum. Maybe because the media/Howard aren’t happy they are starting to force the issue.

  2. Also in this last podcast. Graham Poll pretty much states that the current referee’s aren’t happy with the leadership and are given no direction on fouls, yellow/red carde etc… That a couple of referees would sit beside each other before a match day, going through prozone videos, looking at past offenders and decide how they are going to referee the match.

  3. There should be a replay official required to review all red card fouls and penalty decisions in real time. We see three and four different angles on such calls at home on TV, but the people making the decisions that affect the careers of the managers and players; as well as affect the integrity of the game, are limited to what they think they saw.

    So many penalty calls are the result of good sales jobs by the strikers that playing defense in the box in next to impossible. The slightest tap and a player goes down and in so many cases, a penalty is wrongly given.

    Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, and the well-gone Suarez are all noted divers that won many unearned penalties over the previous two seasons. Having those calls reviewed would result in much more honest games and drastically reduce if not eliminate charges of fixing.

  4. ” Just notice: the issue that referee errors are not equally spread across games and across clubs, is not touched upon.”

    Regarding this I did a little stat work last before Hull’s game. I posted it in the Ref Preview. I will post it again.

    There are only 16 Referees in the Premier League. He is one of those 16.
    One would expect all 16 referees to spread out evenly throughout the 380 games in the season, but numbers show otherwise.

    Here the matches others have officiated in the past 2 years. 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 respectively.

    1. Martin Atkinson – 50 (24+26)
    2. Mark Clattenburg – 49 (22+27)
    3. Mike Dean – 55 (28+27)
    4. Phil Dowd – 53 (26+27)
    5. Chris Foy – 45 (21+24)
    6. Kevin Friend – 42 (24+18)
    7. Mike Jones – 40 (22+18)
    8. Andre Marriner – 50 (24+26)
    9. Lee Mason – 50 (24+26)
    10. Jon Moss – 45 (22+23)
    11. Micheal Oliver – 49 (22+27)
    12. Lee Probert – 45 (24+21)
    13. Neil Swarbrick – 37 (17+20)
    14. Anthony Taylor – 44 (25+19)

    15. Craig Pawson – 10 in 2013-2014 (Was appointed completely in 2013-2014 season)
    16. Robert Madley – 5 in 2013-2014 (He was appointed in the June 2013) Just 5 games in one season !!!

    Last but not least…

    Retired (but worked in last 2 seasons) HOWARD WEBB – 61 games !!!!! (31+30)

    All stats taken from

    Having 16 referees in a league of 20 teams and 380 games in one season, the ideal ratio of matches per ref should be 23.75 games.

    But if you look there are 7 referees who conducted more than 24 games in 2013-2014 season. They are

    Martin Atkinson – 26
    Mark Clattenburg – 27
    Mike Dean – 27
    Phil Dowd – 27
    Andre Marriner – 26
    Lee Mason – 26
    Micheal Oliver – 27
    Howard Webb – 30 !!

    As you can see all 7 seven of these Refs have officiated in more than 3-6 than the average matches per ref (MPF) of 23.75

    And mostly those extra matches are like big games involving Top 4 teams + Spurs and Man Utd.

    So from the stats above I can say one thing for sure, in any of Arsenal’s big games we will see a referee out those 6 names above (except for Howard Webb).

    Our big games this season

    vs. Man City (Mark Clattenburg)
    vs. Spurs (Michael Oliver)
    vs. Chelsea (Martin Atkinson)

    3 of 6 refs we have already seen in our first 3 big games. How many points we got out of 9…. just 2 🙁 thanks to these refs.

  5. Premier League Handbook for 2014/2015, Appendix 3 on Page 424, shows Plan A and B.

    Plan A is UK live Camera Plan, and

    Plan B is UK Live and 3D Camera Plan.

    There is also Plan C is a UK Non-Live Camera Plan.

    There are a lot of cameras and a lot of technical detail in Section K.

    The club must also forward a copy of the Match TV recording on DVD or approved format, to the referee.

    I would suggest, that Stoke would doctor the DVD, to disprove the Swansea concerns?

  6. I would also like to know on what basis Riley claims the Premier League has the best strength in depth in refereeing. I would also like to know where he buys this basis, and where am I least likely to be caught by the rozzers when purchasing said basis.

  7. Given what we know about refereeing in Italy in the past, it’s interesting to see Riley name Italy as second to England. Know we know what he means when he says England is the best 😀

  8. @ Usama, you dropped an absolute bombshell with those stats. Going by them, Arsenal has as much chance of doing well in the EPL as a snowball has in the infernos of hell. But I take consolation of some sort from the suggestion in the main article that a revolution in brewing inside the enemy’s camp. What is heartwarming. Waiting for the day the monster they helped create will be unleashed to chew their asses. Worth waiting for, even for a few years!

  9. @Quincy
    October 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    hahahahahahahaha perfect!! as were your previous two posts!

  10. Lest people are unaware let’s have a little peak at Riley, the man in charge of ensuring fair play (lol).

    A few seasons ago, I can’t be bothered to check but it’s in the public arena for any who wants to verify it, Riley refereed 49 domestic games in the season. 41 did not involve Man U. In those 41 he awarded one penalty. In the 8 games that involved Man U he awarded 9 penalties…………..all to Man U.

    I’m not sure what else there is to say.

  11. There is no doubt in my mind that Riley is a major part of the problem. Have heard him described as a “bully” by an ex PGMOL referee (off the record…). Hackett was infinitely more popular amongst the senior refereeing fraternity.

    Still don’t think Riley has forgiven us for the opprobrium surrounding him after the 50th game debacle (as the BBC have just highlighted again).

  12. Ah well, it seems the Telegraph is following these “rules” to the letter;
    1: When re-framing issues under public scrutiny, stay away from substance, instead, create images.

    2: Never openly state a demonstrable (clearly apparent or capable of being logically proved) lie, instead, explain around it.

    With all these stats concerning refs, it is clear to see something is going on. It needs to change and people are getting increasingly frustrated.

    Please Arsenal supporters who go to games, do not do anything that will cause the club, your club, harm in any way. I know when tempers get high, thinking goes out the window, so please be aware and focussed, like the team.

  13. Pete :- I watched a 9 minute video of that match last night , there was no bias….. just blatant prejudice. Apart from Ashley I don’t think we had an Englishman on the pitch but United’s perpetrators apart from Van Nistlerooy were all English. The chuckle brothers for their repeated efforts to clear out Reyes , Ferdinand for the straight red on Freddie . On any other day United would have been down to 8 long before Rooney took his famous dive. I swear one of Cloughie’s little brown envelopes changed hands that day and until the villain in the piece goes – nothing will change because of the danger of his exposure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *