19 responses

  1. Terry Norton
    08/03/2020

    Spanish league has 380 games per season yet 21 refs with a maximum appearance number of 14 equals 294 games. 86 games unrefereed?

    Reply

    • Tony Attwood
      08/03/2020

      Terry I am not quite sure what you are doing with those numbers at all, but you might be confusing the total number of games per season with the number of appearances thus far and the number of referees used thus far. Otherwise I don’t quite see where those numbers are coming from.

      Reply

  2. kaius
    08/03/2020

    Really great post. Makes you think why there’s such a hierarchy in the first place. Surely the 21 chosen Premier League referees should be qualified to a standard where they can ref any size or game? Are the ones who get fewer games somehow deficient, or does PGMOL use hierarchy as a kind of perk of the job?

    What on earth is actually going on here?

    Reply

  3. John
    08/03/2020

    Interesting article. Another factor to consider too is where the referee comes from; they are nearly all from Lancashire, and particularly Yorkshire. And where is the PGMOL based? Yorkshire. Meanwhile, t30% of England’s population live in London and the Home Counties, yet I cannot remember a referee from the region since Ellery or Poll. I had a conversation with the chief football reporter of a quality newspaper, and when I mentioned about the absurd regional disparity of referees in the EPL, it came as a surprise to him. As he said to me ‘ you’re right, I’ve never thought about that before’. He also told me that the media have no access to Riley and the PGMOL, which may account for lack of forensic journalism by the media, although given that situation, you might think they would be far more inquisitive and inquiring into Riley and his secret organisation. It further begs the question as to how he has acquired such power, and why the EPL are not taking a bigger interest into how so many incompetent referees like Jon Moss (Yorkshire), and especially after yesterday’s poor performance, Martin Atkinson (Yorkshire ), or the serial clown, Mike Dean (Lancashire, he moved to Cheshire since coming on the referees list), are given so many important games.

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  4. Mandy Dodd
    08/03/2020

    Superb read. I go with your number 6 all day long, and as you say, why is nobody looking into this? And why doesn’t Riley do anything to clear up any of this?
    Have the clubs signed up to keep their mouths shut, no matter what? I sometimes suspect our club may have. After all, Wenger was effectively silenced when it seemed the club would not back his stance in questioning some of these things
    Just to follow up that Richard Keys blog, you picked up on a very significant point Tony, about things being now so bad with refereeing here, it is becoming possible to ignore.
    Would add his highly significant point about Riley hanging around interfering in the VAR bunker most weekends in regards to the Lo Celso travesty, why is he sitting in there trying to control everything? Does he have no life? Is he worried about something? If true, I suspect it might be, what does that say about his trust in his refs, or mike Riley himself?
    And, right at the end, Keys mentions how a lot of current refs contact him pretty pissed off with Riley.
    Keys, an unlikely ally indeed, and a man with some serious inside knowledge, seems like the blame for refereeing and mike Riley’s continued presence goes right up to Scudamore, what made Scudamore appoint such an incompetent as Riley is perhaps the more interesting issue.
    Keys blog well worth a regular read, don’t agree with everything he says, but he has been laying into, and on some levels, exposing Riley and the PGMOL issues for a while, like UA, in stark contrast to some other Arsenal blogs who get very defensive when refs are mentioned, much preferring to lay any blame at the club, despite the mounting charge sheet on the PGMOL which they conveniently ignore, Or put these things down to mistakes, or perceptions, as is their right of course.

    Reply

  5. Richard
    08/03/2020

    As always, another good read. What a surprise that we had Atkinson yesterday and surprise, Mike dean is officiating (cough cough) the Manchester game. We have all seen many dodgy calls over the years but VAR has made me question if I want to watch football anymore. The Lo Celso incident was on another level of decision making that I couldn’t wrap my head around. My conclusion is that Riley has given the word to purposefully make VAR a joke so that there would be a huge outrage and we would go back to the old ways (blatant cheating). Nothing else makes sense. For the first time yesterday, I saw a ref use the pitch side monitor and then make the correct decision! This is how it should work but it seems like they give the accountability to another idiot who has no accountability.

    Reply

  6. goonersince72
    08/03/2020

    Re referees: more assignments = more money. That’s not complicated. Probably more prestigious assignments as well, i.e., Cup matches, top sides every week. Just follow Riley’s Rules. I’m surprised no MP’s from the Home Counties have looked into it. Are they all supporters of MU and Liverpool? Can’t be. Someone must support Watford, lol. The secrecy and lack of accountability certainly make one suspect some form of corruption. A lifetime non-disclosure agreement when a referee retires? And no one in government suspects anything’s amiss? As Richard says re VAR, “has made me question if I want to watch football anymore”. The entirety of the state of refereeing in the EPL makes it hard for me to follow with the interest and intensity I have in the past. Being an AFC supporter I’m, of course, most concerned with the continued mistreatment of the club by Riley’s minions. But Arsenal are not alone in the mistreatment in the EPL. I still watch quite a lot of matches from all the big leagues in Europe. The difference in refereeing, including accessibility, is appalling. Perhaps people south of the Midlands should be contacting their local and Parliament representatives demanding an investigation or explanation. UA has been doing a great job documenting the situation and it’s time football fans returned the favor. Full disclosure – I can’t as I retired to Florida in the States, lol.

    Reply

  7. Mandy Dodd
    08/03/2020

    Richard, many would agree that Riley has taken it on himself or been ordered to make VAR a joke to go back to the old ways, however the way it is being used to constantly favour the most powerful, notably Liverpool and Utd could make this notion, if it is being applied, self defeating.
    But going back to Richard Keys blog, assuming you give his info and credence, personally, I do, was encouraged to read that change is coming with VAR, he states he has heard that the EPL/ Riley will have to change their interpretation of VAR or IFAB or face losing their licence to operate it, all in here, should you chose to believe him, but bear in mind this guy has access to the very top of FIFA, UEFA and heaven knows who else

    https://richardajkeys.com/index.php/blog/233-why-is-our-refereeing-so-bad

    Losing the licence to operate VAR would be a serious humiliation, affect the brand and make a number of powerful positions untenable
    As for Riley, he just strikes me as someone who has been compromised in some way or another , and not necessarily anything illegal before he sends in the lawyers! For such a secretive uncommunicative man, he is bringing a lot of unwanted attention, bad publicity on himself, and making himself look incompetent at best , something else at worst. Why is he putting himself up for all that’s happening, and what might come his way in the future? Is his salary worth that?

    Reply

  8. Joe
    08/03/2020

    Or simply, it’s just plain old English arrogance that THEY’RE referees are incorruptible and therefore corruption doesn’t need to be looked into.

    Reply

  9. Gord
    08/03/2020

    I think the brand is gone, but it is taking people a while to realize it. The brand was lost when PGMO gifted the league to Leicester. Add in this season’s work to gift the league and the invincible title to LiVARpool; I don’t know how it can recover.

    And I think the big clubs in the EPL know this. If this European superleague comes along; I think the big clubs in the EPL will walk away and then the EPL will crash. A slow crash, sort of like an overloaded dirigible hitting the ground.

    Reply

  10. Nitram
    08/03/2020

    Joe

    “Or simply, it’s just plain old English arrogance that THEIR referees are incorruptible and therefore corruption doesn’t need to be looked into”.

    I think you’re right, that could be as much a part of it as anything else.

    We didn’t need to practice. We’ll do it OUR way and show those stupid foreigners how it’s done.

    Yeah right.

    Reply

  11. Menace
    09/03/2020

    Everything in the officiating of EPL stinks of corruption:

    1. The PGMOL select without open competition or set requirements.
    2. The PGMOL appoint match officials without any ballot or chance.
    3. The PGMOL do not broadcast the radio on which they communicate during matches.
    4. The PGMOL do not have an open forum where their process or system can be questioned.
    5. The PGMOL do not follow the instructions of FIFA or any international Football Authority.
    6. The PGMOL are not a sporting body and do not have a code of ethics.

    Reply

  12. Gord
    09/03/2020

    OT: Ozil philanthropy

    In the news this morning (for me anyway), is yet another story about Mesut Ozil helping 40 children. This is a regular occurrence. How many children has Mesut helped since coming to Arsenal? I’m guessing it is over 1000.

    Reply

  13. Gord
    09/03/2020

    OT: Torreira

    Arsenal.com news release, says 8-10 weeks. Which is vaguely through the end of season, but not significantly into summer. So, we should have him back for next season.

    Good luck on the recovery Lucas!

    Reply

  14. Gord
    09/03/2020

    OT: Spuds

    Dumb article at WorldFootball. Headline reads that the spuds are in decline. Gosh, they had a “dynasty” of what, 2 years? And now are in decline? Could easily just be a blip, and there never was a dynasty.

    Reply

  15. WalterBroeckx
    09/03/2020

    I think Terry has not read the other article where the details show what is wrong.
    For the rest :there is something rotting in the state of football in the PL. Very rotten!

    Reply

  16. Chris
    09/03/2020

    @Joe,

    frankly, my opinion is that the whole of football is rotten from within, and what we see is incompetence, hubris and personal gain rather then corruption.
    Thoses referees are unable to take the same decision in the same situation, they are shunned internationally, they can’t hire new referees probably because no one wants to do that – or do you frankly believe that a young referee does not see the incompetence of his supposedly senior-more-experienced-so-much-better colleagues from the PL ?

    This will doom the PL on the long term. But then, this is how evolution goes. The Budesliga has its own problems, but at least they do their best to have referees up to the task.

    And just wait till the falling pound and Brexit make hiring new players much more difficult…

    This past Sunday, there was a discussion on DAZN and one of the guys talking said : I went to see an Arsenal game. Nothing like the Biundesliga with it’s standing fans. It was a bankers type of even, plush seats, no real passion.

    That just says it all, as much as one likes Arsenal…

    Reply

  17. Mandy Dodd
    09/03/2020

    Chris, I personally think there is corruption in some form, but hard to argue with what you say here.
    But corruption, or the negative forces you mention, Mike Riley should be relieved of his post, bring in someone new, untainted, who allows referees to breathe and develop.
    I just cannot fathom why this man keeps his job when all is falling down around him, other than he is serving those with an agenda, or he knows where the bodies are buried
    Mike Riley as a head of a referees body is beyond useless, and surely he is by now bringing suspicion onto that body

    Reply

  18. seismic
    10/03/2020

    My opinion of Riley has not changed since 24th October 2004. I have never seen such a consistently shameful display from an official as that which I saw that day.

    Almost 16 years later, things have degenerated further, as more of the officials plying their trade in the PL seek to re-interpret the rules of the game in ways that seem to have little to do with sport.

    Reply

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