By Tony Attwood
Could it be that our constant campaign to embarrass the PGMO (and the mass media that supports it), by pointing out referee errors, their refusal to give any public statements or to bring themselves in line with the rest of Europe, is having an effect?
And could the media’s abject failure to consider refereeing as an issue of interest, actually starting to crumble – just a little?
I am not holding my breath (since I do fancy continuing to live for a while longer) but I was certainly taken aback by an article in the Mail which revealed that (at least according the Kieran Gill and Sami Mokbel) the PGMO are actually giving their referees marks for their performances – and basing their salaries on those marks.
Now given what I know about PGMO I would suspect that each and every one of these ne’er-do-wells is automatically given 10 out of 10 for every show, but the Mail claims that “a typical top flight official’s salary can be boosted by bonuses of around £50k.” It seems the scores after each round of matches are put into a merit table, which determines the payout.
There is precious little detail in the article, which focuses on saying everything three times, but they do add that “A typical Premier League referee earns a basic salary of around £110,000 to £120,000 but bonuses can boost that figure to £160,000 or £170,000.”
But they do make one point: that referees hate the pitchside monitor because when they are told to go and review a decision, the implication is that they have made a mistake, and that will reduce their salary.
The Mail adds, “If he’s made a mistake, which clearly his VAR thinks he has if he’s (told) to go review his original decision, then he’s going to be marked down for it afterwards.”
However, it is being suggested that the PGMO has decided to do things differently, by having every single decision including each throw-in marked by evaluators.
Now in a sense, this should not surprise us. PGMO is an ultra-secret organisation that runs refereeing in a completely different way from the rest of Europe. It is primarily protected from scrutiny by the compliant agreement of any major media in England outlet ever to discuss whether referees are making regular errors.
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And this is continuing despite the clear evidence presented on this site from sources as varied as the London School of Economics (part of London University), analyses of refereeing in other parts of Europe, and the Tomkin Times which I have cited here before. (If you haven’t read the articles linked there, and you are interested in referee accuracy I would urge you to take a read.)
One other note near the end of the Mail’s piece is also of interest…
“Sportsmail can also reveal how, during a recent half-term review with PGMOL bosses, referees raised concerns about feeling pressure to overturn their original decisions when told to visit the pitchside monitor by VAR.”
The argument being put forward is that with just the tiny amount of time available to look at the VAR monitor, referees are foced into changing their view too quickly, and that calmer reflection could have allowed them to ascertain that their original decision was right.
The Mail says of this, “‘They have a potentially match-defining decision to make and they’re getting guided by a video assistant referee who clearly thinks he should side with what he’s seen. It’s no wonder they feel under pressure to overturn their calls. All referees are feeling the same way right now’.”
Thus there is something rather insidious going on. If the referee feels he was right, and he is told to look at the monitor, the implication is that HQ thinks the ref was wrong. But the ref knows that if he changes his mind and admits he was wrong, this will influence his salary.
In short, this is nothing to do with football anymore. This is about how much the referee earns.
Gaslighting: how refereeing in the Premier League is manipulated, and why the media never speak about it.
- 1: Are the referees and the media really out to get Arsenal, or am I just imagining it?
- 2: How discussions about refereeing are deliberately stifled by the media
- 3: Referees: the odd statistics that are simply never revealed or discussed
- 4: How we have been utterly misled about football: part 4
- 5: Hiding the problem of refereeing is destroying the credibility of the Premier League
- 6: Revealed: PL referees are not 98% accurate but actually just 75% accurate
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- How the media got Arsenal quite wrong last season – and will do so again in 2021/2
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