9 responses

  1. Nitram
    10 February 2021


    “It is the broadcast, print and online media that is to blame for endlessly deflecting the discussion on referees by the use of the gaslighting techniques. They are to blame wholly, totally and absolutely.”

    I have been banging on about this for over a decade. The media are the self appointed judge Jury and executioner of the PGMO, the referees, and ultimately the authorities than run the game in England.

    They choose who they want to do well and who they don’t. The referees oblige accordingly.

    Anyone with half an eye can see how poor, inconsistent and biased they are yet the media constantly allow them to use their outlets to perpetrate myths such as the one that showed how they get 103% of their decisions correct, without a question.

    When I used to read, listen, watch the media I lost count of the times the old ‘we’ve got the best referees in the World’ chestnut was repeated. Or how many times when a Greek or Polish or whatever referee was on duty we were informed how they shouldn’t be allowed to referee at ‘this’ level, as if they usually officiated in a country that still played the game with an inflated pigs bladder.

    This jingoistic, self congratulatory attitude is all part of why we now in fact have some of the worst refereeing in the World.

    You’d of thought they’d of took the hint at the last World Cup as to how our referees were perceived throughout the game.


  2. Les Williams
    10 February 2021

    @Nitram and Tony I agree totally with your points.

    I watch any game these days and if the accuracy of the officiating is approaching 80% correct then I am lucky, 90% is really good. It appears to me that 60% is about what I can expect.

    But the accuracy is not the problem as Nitram points out it is the inconsistency and bias in the decisions that really annoy me. I dont mind if the ref blows up every infringement but they dont – it is normally only one team that gets this treatment.

    I also get fed up with hearing from commentators, in all countries, that so and so is known for diving so the ref will not give him a penalty even though he has been put out of the game in an incident. Then there are other players who seem to be able to commit as many fouls as they want before any action is taken against them. Once again these players are called “competetive” – no they are cheats!

    As you have mentioned before the amount of foul throws at the top level of the game is amazing – but refs only pick up ones against certain sides.

    There appear to be rules that are completely ignored – the 10 yard rule at free kicks and time wasting springs to mind. Why bother if you are not going to enforce them. The biggest laugh was the change to allow subs to leave the pitch anywhere – what an absolute waste of a rule change! I should think that rule change saves about 3 minutes playing time added up over a season!

    I dont know what the answer is but the way the game is going I can see fans walk away fed up with what are obviously rigged games.

    The authorities haven’t even got the good grace to replay games where there has been a crass wrong decision – I remember Young Boys against Cluj in the Europa League this season, where a team lost a chance of prize money due to a refereeing blunder. To me this kind of “mistake” just makes the whole tournament lose any integrity it had.

    Sorry if I dont sound optimistic. But as I have said before all I want is fairness and a level playing field.


  3. Nitram
    10 February 2021

    Les Williams

    “But as I have said before all I want is fairness and a level playing field”.

    Me too. We get people coming here accusing me/us of just whinging about the refs simply to cover up for Arsenals deficiency’s, but that simply isn’t true.

    I’ve been an Arsenal fan since the 60’s and followed them the length and breadth from the mid 70’s through to 1990 when I moved abroad for a while.

    We had some good times but for a lot of that time we were distinctly average and at times down right poor. Yes referees made bad decisions but I never ever felt WE were being screwed. I knew when we were good and when we were bad.

    Today it is different. We get screwed.


  4. Mikey
    11 February 2021

    I agree with everybody so far and as I’ve said before, incompetent referees I can live with provided they make poor decisions for all which then do actually even out over the season. They don’t.

    And as Nitram has said on this and previous threads, the media controls it all. His example the other day that what is a “dirty tackle” by one side, is “full blooded” by another. One player dives whilst another was “touched so was entitled to go down”.

    I too started out in the schoolboy enclosure at Highbury in 1960’s and over a couple of decades was fortunate enough to witness some wonderful achievements. And, although you wouldn’t know it if you listen to young Arsenal fans nowadays, I also witnessed some genuinely appalling Arsenal teams and results to match. Like Nitram, I too never felt that we were being screwed or that other teams were getting favours. Today is indeed different.


  5. Dawie
    11 February 2021

    The sad thing is that my friends and family that supports Pool, this year talks only about the poor decisions they have received starting with Van Dijk at Everton. I just refer them to the fact that England had zero (0) or none of their refs at the previous world cup, which they have to admit was mentioned many times before, including last year when the were delirious with their side. They even admitted to Salah having dives at times to win penalties! I predicted that Klopp would not win anything this year and they were horrified.
    Of course this year they bang on about the quality of refs and how they feel screwed by PGMO, but my standard reply is “Welcome to reality” which is not appreciated. I keep smiling when they refer to Hurricane when Spurs play, but divers in EPL are NOT punished, even though the media admits it too. Hearing Sky pundits going on about winning your team an advantage with a dive, shows the lack of morals that pervades the media.


  6. Steve Vallins
    11 February 2021

    Mikes & Nitram
    I agree with all the points you make and have put a few thoughts together which are a bit random but here goes .
    I started going to Highbury in the very late 1950’s we lived off the Old Kent Road
    There was no football on television you saw any incidence once there wasn’t 25 cameras picking up anything untoward , but we know that dark arts went on . We had to wait for the Saturday evening papers and the Sundays papers to read match reports and not people’s opinions , the game was never analysed like it is today with so many people involved and making a living from it .

    Of course there were strange decisions in every game back then but they were accepted because they could not be proved wrong or right , today every decision is analysed to prove or disprove an incident , has the media or is it football that has gone too far with this simple game .
    Is all this about money and media who dictate and who is allowed to win , in 1960’s and the 1970’s a different team won the 1st division every season until Liverpool had a good run and because of that good run they were able to buy the best players which kept the run going , did we think then that referees and the media dictated how things went then ?
    I think things started to go strange for Arsenal when GG as manager started to have success and carried on with AW a southern team breaking the northern teams dominance , in that run of approx 30 years there have been many strange incidences which effected Arsenal .


  7. Nitram
    11 February 2021

    Steve Vallins

    You make some interesting observations.

    “Of course there were strange decisions in every game back then but they were accepted because they could not be proved wrong or right, today every decision is analysed to prove or disprove an incident, has the media or is it football that has gone too far with this simple game”.

    I think the point you make about how the media coverage grew is critical. When we all just saw the incident once, live and in real time, including the ‘reporter’, all of our opinions, including the ‘reporters’ were pretty superfluous. The decision had been made, correctly or incorrectly. All we could do was whinge and whine about it down the pub Saturday night, then forget it. A reporter banging on about something 99.9% of people didn’t see or ultimately care about was pretty pointless. In other words a match day reporter had hardly any, if any, influence at all on fans, and certainly not on the referees.

    But once it became a mass media product in which every little incident is replayed again and again, the ‘Pundits’ and ‘Medias’ opinions became ever more influential, especially as they had effectively also become their paymasters.

    Referees and their bosses now started to worry more about how they were judged by x y or z on a Sunday afternoon, or on the radio and in the red tops on Monday morning, than whether or not they actually applied the rules to the strict letter of the law. They knew their every decision would be scrutinized to the enth degree, and if you didn’t come up to muster you could be in big trouble. A decision the ‘panel’ liked, no matter how errant it may seem to you or I, could earn you lavish praise and untold Kudos. A decision they didn’t like, could, as we have seen happen, earn you a spell in the stiffs, or The Championship as some might prefer to call it. And believe it or not referees are only human. What would you do? Give that 50/50 penalty against United and earn the wrath of Fergie and his myriad of friends in the media, or err on the side of caution and wave play on? I wonder?

    You ask “Is all this about money and media who dictate and who is allowed to win”?

    Yes it is, without a shadow of a doubt.


  8. Les Williams
    11 February 2021

    @Dawie – I remember reading an article where UEFA said they wanted people to “talk about” games the next day when UCL games are on – Does this mean that they are uninterested in the sport, just the social media and mainstream media responses?

    I am just asking for a Friend (sarcasm)!


  9. seismic
    14 February 2021

    I think it may have started in 1998/1999 – the season after we won our second double. Until that time foreign coaches/managers, and to a lesser degree, players were treated as a novelty by the football establishment, particularly the media. After we won that double, the knives came out.


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