Welcome to Referee Decisions

Referee Decisions is a web site that publishes reviews of referees by referees.

We cover as many football matches from the English Premier League as we can by watching videos of matches, and recording each decision, noting if it was right or wrong.  The reviews are all done by qualified refs.  If you are a qualified referee and would like to help us there are more details on how to do this below.

Also below there are details of what we have been doing in the past, and details of how to join us if you are a qualified ref.  But if you would like to see what the referees are doing to your club, just look on the right side of the page and you will see a heading Category Specific RSS.

Scroll down that list until you see your club and then click on your club’s name.  You will be taken to a page that shows all the articles we have published about your club – including a review of how the refs treated your club in 2011/12 (except of course for Reading, Southampton and West Ham who we didn’t review in that season while they were in the Championship).

In the 2011/12 season, over 40% of all the matches in the Premier League were covered in this way, and the results that were published were extraordinary, in the sense that they revealed a much lower level of competence than is generally ascribed to referees.

Perhaps even more importantly, the research revealed that the old adage that mistakes “all even out in the end” is the opposite of the truth.  An extraordinary, some would say frightening, bias was revealed.

Of course all such projects have to start somewhere, and in our case the referees who came together to start this project were all Arsenal supporters.  And that of course opens the project up to a claim that it, itself, was biased, especially as our analyses included Arsenal games.

We didn’t want to pretend we were something we were not, so we published our findings on a site that openly proclaims that it is a site that looks at football through the eyes of Arsenal supporters. And we have compared our results to another web site that reviews referee performances in a different way and which has no links with Arsenal – and our results were in many regards very similar to theirs.  So we are encouraged to believe that we are on the right lines.

As I say, we all start somewhere, and this is our origins.  But what we want to do now is expand the number of referees and to include in our number referees who are by their inclination supporters of other teams – or perhaps no team.

Our instructions to those who join with us are simple: referee the match on TV as you would referee any match – with impartiality and fairness.  We don’t think our referees this last season were biased in a pro-Arsenal way, but we are wanting to expand and take on refs who are most certainly not pro-Arsenal, to allow us to be able to answer any pro-Arsenal bias claims and most importantly to allow us to be able to cover many more matches.

We will then publish our reports on this club-neutral web site, that has just been set up for this purpose.

Below you will find a link to our analyses for the past season – and within each article on individual clubs you will find links to the games we covered.   But you might already have a couple of questions, so I’ll try and answer them.

First, is there any money in it?  The answer is no.  It’s a labour of love.  Of course we dream that maybe just as Opta started out as a little research project among friends and turned into a multi-million pound business, so might this.  And if so, money will be shared out, but for now, no. All I can say is that we started our Arsenal site three years ago with no readers, and last month it got 800,000 visits.  So we do know a bit about getting an audience.

Second, do I have to do lots of matches?  Again no.  If you can only do one a month, we’d like to have you on board, although ideally we’d like one a week – or even more if you can give the time.  The only thing we ask is that you are clear in your commitment.  The one thing we want to avoid is taking on a ref who says “yes, I’ll do two reviews a week” and then we get nothing.  We know circumstances change and sometimes we can’t do what we offer to do – we just ask our ref reviewers to keep us informed.

Third, what actually is measured?   We have a standardised grid – just look at some of our reviews and you’ll see what we do.

Fourth, will I be identified?  No – our ref reviewers are listed by number “Ref Reviewer 3, Ref Reviewer 8” and so on.

Fifth, is anyone taking notice?  Yes – the BBC picked up on our work, and ran a significant story on what we are doing.  Then, the PGMOL (the organisation that runs Premier League ref affairs) suddenly changed its web site from an open site that talked about educating fans into the laws of the games, into one that only members of PGMOL could enter.  (Of course we can’t prove that was down to what we were writing, but it was one hell of a coincidence).  And the entry on Wikipedia about PGMOL now mentions our work (although of course this could change any day!)

If you are a ref and you are interested, just email WalterBroeckx@hotmail.com and tell Walter about yourself.  If you want to know more about the blog and how we are putting all this together, write to Tony.Attwood@aisa.org

If you are a statistician, journalist or a blogger and you are interested in our data for collaborative analysis, just email TheAmazingDogFacedBoy@Gmail.com and tell DogFace about yourself and what format you require the data to be presented. Our data sets are far more extensive than the match reports presented on this site so please ask it you don’t see the information you are looking for.

If you are a wealthy philanthropist and you wish to make a donation to help fund our service and the work that goes into it; then we will accept all donations gladly.

Please Contact DogFace TheAmazingDogFacedBoy@Gmail.com or Walter WalterBroeckx@hotmail.com for details.

We do hope you will be interested in talking to us.  Please, if you are interested, but are unsure, do get in touch.

70 Responses to Welcome to Referee Decisions

  1. Patrick Cairns says:

    Hi

    I’ve been a fully qualified referee for 9 years now and would be very interested in getting involved. If you need someone then please get in touch.

    All the best

    Patrick

  2. createstrain says:

    Just thought id hop over and say hi, thanks, keep up the good work and best of luck.

    “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing”.

  3. Slysoulman says:

    Welcome, refereedecisions.co.uk! Hope your little effort sanitizes the game as we go along re the quote by Createstrain at 1:19pm. And hope you replicate the Opta story too. Good luck.

  4. LRV says:

    Bravo! Keep up the good work.

  5. Oi says:

    Really looking forward to your reviews. I can’t help noticing the lack of a Arsenal RSS feed on the right side of the page ;P

  6. Shakalula Gooner says:

    Just popped in to see the type of avatar your computer will assign to me (smiles).

    Very much like the idea that the site is not linked to any particular club. Perhaps, it will generate more rational look at the data and what it is saying about the overall officiating quality of the EPL.

    I pray that this site and other initiatives lead to better all-round refereeing in our beloved sport and in the most popular league in the world. Wishing you all the best in the hardwork and controversies that lie ahead for you guys (and gals?) here,

  7. Mick says:

    Incredible work, thanks in advance for providing many more hours of interesting material and stimulating comments. I have added you to my bookmarks pronto. My best mate is a Spurs fan and I will encourage him to have a look here as he feels let down occasionally, especially when playing at Old Toilet with Webb in charge!!

  8. Ian Jenkinson says:

    Hi Guys,

    I think you have taken the next logical step, your very own site! This hopefully will attract fans and referees with allegiances to all Premier League clubs (or any football club for that matter) and will add great meat to the bones of this project. Walter, Tony, Dogface and all the reviewers, well done on your fantastic work. Hopefully this new site will gather great attention. It certainly deserves it. Keep up the great work……

  9. Brickfields Gunner's says:

    Nice work ,Walter ,Tony ,Dogface et al . Now fans all over the globe can get the info and true facts very conveniently as opposed to the BS dished out by the crooks -ie, the press , the PGMOL. and a certain red faced knight !
    I see this as becoming a massive and influential site , and quite capable of upsetting (or bucking ) the power that be . Kick them in the gonalds ,lads !
    Congratulations and cheers ! A job well done !

  10. Lanz says:

    This may be off topic. Nevertheless, I wish to suggest that the masthead be redesigned and made more attractive, name bolder, etc.

    Cheers.

  11. Sean Peloe says:

    I am qualified referee with 13 years experience. Would love to get involved.

  12. Walter Broeckx says:

    Sean a mail is on its way to you

  13. Tom says:

    Really interested to see how this plays out.

    Far bigger point is that we need this at all, but the quality (bias) in refereeing has become more and more pronounced with the scrutiny of the TV cameras.

    But it comes as no surprise – to me its incredible that English men are still allowed to referee PL games. I challenge anyone to have the passion and drive for football required to become a premier league referee and not have an allegiance to one team.
    To have truly impartial refs we’ll need to agree seasonal swaps with the likes of the German and Dutch leagues.
    I watch as much football as any man out there and have as much passion as many for the game. I couldn’t referee a single premier league game without demonstrating some kind of bias – even subconsciously I know it would come through.

  14. Tim says:

    Laudable idea for a project, however, isn’t having Walter (who writes for Untold Arsenal and for his Dutch Gooner Fanzine) re-refereeing matches post-facto sort of like having Sheikh Mansour as auditor of FFP?

    I think the very first rule of this site should be that a fan of a club should not be allowed to judge that club’s matches. Just the same way that we wouldn’t want Howard Webb refereeing an Arsenal v. Reading match if it were found out that he had been writing at Untold Reading for the last three years.

    Instead, however, you will be hiding the re-referee’s identity. Why?

    • Dogface says:

      Hi Tim,

      We have put requests out on all the major fan sites for referee’s and also through some other external referee based contacts – neither are affiliated with Arsenal. We are having a good response and, yes, no referee who supports a certain team will review a match for them.

      Walter does not amend the data, he is a point of contact – it is, as you can see, open source and can be questioned on a call-by-call basis by anyone. We encourage this.

      The data is then passed to me to compile and generate these articles – sometimes Walter adds a comment, sometimes not. We are looking to automate that side of things too.

      The referee’s identity is protected as the environment can be a bit of an ‘old boys club’ – this is for the freedom and protection of the referee in that he can be honest in his judgement without fear of repercussions from his/her authority… we have heard some shocking stories about the internal politics of these bodies.

      Hope this helps.

      • Tim says:

        Dog Face,

        Thanks for the reply. I want to get behind this project but as a quant I have reservations and a ton of questions/suggestions which would probably be best sorted out via an email. You have my email address if you’re interested.

  15. bob says:

    Walter, Dogface,
    Bravo and bon voyage!
    You have stolen the fire from the gods and are doing all football fans a great service in helping restore a level playing pitch and a large grain of fairness to the world. Prometheus, the fire-stealer, warmed the people’s hearths and hearts. You’ve done his legend and our beautiful game proud. Cheers 🙂

  16. Stuart says:

    Must be lots going on behind the scenes, not been a review published for a week now.

  17. Mahdain says:

    i think this will go a long way to squash those you are an Arsenal fan site so its obvious you are going to see anti Arsenal bias claims..Great job Walter and Dogface cant wait to see what changes are going on behind the scenes

  18. DocBrody says:

    Super excited about this!

  19. rastique says:

    hi, is there any chance to read something new any time soon, i´m getting a bit nervous cause i don´t know what´s going on, please, keep us more informed…

    • Dogface says:

      New reviews will be up shortly – we have had a major IT upheaval and referee recruitment drive to improve our service.

      Please bear with us – a lot of work is going on behind the scenes.

  20. Dogface says:

    We have turned the corner – we are new and improved! New reviews and a new marking structure is in place… you may not agree with it but that’s by-the-by.

    The data we have behind the scenes is the real value and it is that that we hope other highly skilled people will utilise to analyse referee perfomance.

    Exciting stuff!

  21. DocBrody says:

    Are you going to change the layout of the site to make it easier to browse the reviews?

  22. Raging Bull says:

    Really like the idea behind this site, keep up the good work guys. As a big football fan, I find it very hard to believe that there isn’t any bias in English football, and it is great we have people here working behind the scenes to expose any problems there might be. Even if the club I support is shown to have a bias in favour of it, I would hope that your work helps to make English football a fairer place overall. Unfortunately biased refereeing decisions (whether overt or unwitting) can influence match results and even league positions over the course of a season, so in order to maintain the integrity of our competition it is important that we can independently call it fair.

  23. Mihir says:

    Hi DogFace/Walter,
    What would make this even more interesting for the general audience would be a ref ranking system. You could present your own monthly referee decision awards for the best ref and worst ref. It would be a good intro for people not so much into details and at the same time push people to viewing more individual articles if they are interested in the details.
    Regards,
    Mihir

  24. Norman says:

    Awesome site! Going through as much as I can. I see this weekend United v Arsenal will be officiated by Mike Dean, a referee who Arsenal have only won once in the last 16 prem games he reffed. Seems the ref association are really going all out for United this season.

  25. Mike says:

    Great site!!!

    How do the stats add up for specific rivalries, regardless of who the ref is?
    Is there a bias toward a certain team over a rival whether at home or away?
    And when will the FA be open about how they assign refs for matches?
    Why don’t they simply do it like the FA Cup draw and pull out their names at random?

    Keep up the good work and continue to show the incompetence and bias refs have towards certain teams!

  26. Goggs says:

    First and foremost, let me begin by saying how I think this project is a wonderful idea. Any rational supporter hopes for a level playing field.

    I have just a few concerns regarding the approach being taken here.

    The fundamental reason why people believe that decisions are not given by refs fairly is because refs have an inherent biased towards/against certain teams. Over a large sample size, such discrepancies should become apparent.

    Over at this site, the same process is being repeated. There is a group of independent referees (no slight at them, but highly probably not as highly qualified) who each will be assigned to a certain game. How then does this eliminate the process of biased decision making? All the independent referees have their own inherent bias as well. It’s almost tantamount to having a refereeing body to referee another refereeing body when they are just as likely susceptible to the same problems which originally gave rise to the need for referees needing to be refereed! (A little convoluted sorry)

    The way I feel this can be eliminated is having a group of the independent refs on this site review each game, per say 3. Large sample sizes reduce the average percentage of bias-ness or error.

    It might take quite a bit more effort, but I believe it can make this good idea/concept a great one 🙂

    • Walter Broeckx says:

      Goggs,
      that is of course our wet dream. If only we could get some 20 more refs to join us…
      But as we have found out: impossible is nothing. We grow and grow and who knows where we will end?

  27. Hello,

    I think this is a great idea, provided the information can be utilised, found and reviewed easily. I would like to be involved. I am a FA Football Referee, and I think this would be a fantastic experiment to partake in.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Take care.
    Dylan Valentine (Referee)

  28. Jason Rhodes says:

    Its great that as we teach both deviant behaviour in sport (A-level) and GCSE students how to officiate (fairly) that we have such a wonderful resource. It would be amazing to see this in other sports! Im sure the students would welcome the opportunity to find out more about your findings.

  29. Stuart says:

    Only 1 home game each for Stoke and Sunderland published so far. Are you saving up a big suprise for us?

  30. Stuart says:

    Hi guys,

    What are the chances of getting an index much like the team index on teh right hand side but for referees?

  31. Will says:

    Nice work I should thank all admins of this site for their efforts.

    One suggestion I would like to make regarding your writing style. I just went through some “last season review” of several teams and your writing seems to imply a conspiracy behind the apparent ref bias discovered from your data. To name a few, third last paragraph in Chelsea review “One could wonder if something has been said somewhere.”, third last paragraph in Liverpool review “Why was Liverpool suddenly being targeted in some games when going first in the league? Who didn’t like this?”, third last paragraph in Man City review “Was someone trying to stop them?”.

    There are many possible reasons why bias occur, for example ref would tend to be in favour of the home team due to the hostile reaction from the home fans, ref want to “repay” the team because last time out he gave them a really hard time and was heavily criticized by the press etc. To suggest someone deliberately influence/pressure the ref to deliver certain results (though you didn’t claim this plainly, be frank the example I quoted in the last paragraph did point to this direction), you need evidence more than the data here. The thing is if you use conspiracy to explain your data without more evidences you kind of hurting the impartiality and credibility of your analysis and undoing the great work your have done in reviewing matches and gathering data.

    I suggest you take reference to a recent BBC articles regarding “Fergie time”. The way they interpret the data is more appropriate.

  32. adam says:

    Great site guys, really useful although I have a couple of requests/ feedback.

    The information on the level of bias on the per ref on the season review is floored, as it isnt separated out between home and away games.

    For example if a ref provided for a particular team, on average a plus 1 bias for home game and for away game – 2, then it is clear that compaired to the average home and awy bias he is bias against the team in question, particularly in home games. However if home and away games are aggregated then based on 3 away games and 1 home game the bias would be -1.25.
    If there was 3 home games and 1 away game it would be a positive bias of 0.33.

    In the latter case, without the breakdown of Home/away games it would suggest a pro Ref opposed to an anti ref. By way of example I visited the site to check on Mr Atkinson, as he is due to ref the Manchester Derby and was happy to see a small bias in City’s favour. Upon further investigation I have found that the four games he ref’d were city away games. Accordingly if shifts his bias between Home and away, then this should significnatly favour City this weekend.
    It maybe that rather than separating them out(due to small sample sizes) isnt effective but an answer might be to include the deviation from the league average for the home/away team, or for that ref’s average home and away bias, or possilby both.

    Another issue is that it is difficult from the published info the extent to which scores reflect bias against the team or as a result fo bias in favour of the oposition. While it would probably be overkill to provide analysis for all results it maybe worth considering doing so for any outliers particularly if this is against the average. i.e. if a team has an average bias of 1.4 at home but would be 1.9 if it wasnt for one particular game where the bias was negative 17 then it might be worth highlighting if that team had a particular bais shown towards it generally, and in any other games by that ref.

    Again using the example of Martin Atkinson he had a -3 bias against man united for lastseaons in an away game, which is lower than the average and much lower than there average. By comparing this to Chelsea’s average last season for home games (circa +1.9) and the average for Atkinson (-3) it appears that this is showing a bias against Manchester United after Chelsea are taken into account.

    Appologies in advance if i’ve misread understood the data, or simply mis read any of the figures above.

  33. adam says:

    Also, I fail to see how the offside decisions can be placed at the door fo the Ref as this is the Linesman’s decision, as are throw ins, corners/goal kicks and and a certain amount of fouls. Although Refs will overrule fouls, throw in’s and corners on occation, I cant recall many offside being overruled by a ref over the last 20 plus years of watching football

  34. menace says:

    Patrick Vieira once said that a referee was indecisive and was red carded for using foul language and following the usual FA enquiry that realised the word ‘indecisive’ is not foul language, concluded that PV4 was being insulting and therefore the red card stood.

    So, the referee decisions name is a little optimistic. I look forward to your excellent work and pray that somewhere someone will get unbiased officials on to the playing fields of football at every level. This is because if the EPL is poor, then the Sunday league and schoolboy football is truly sad.

    Could I suggest that each week you break each Law of The Game into its simplicity so that we can be kept up to date with truth rather than commentator interpretation.

  35. Raven says:

    Hello this is great and the only source for ref inconsistencies I can find. Do you have a summary of your findings, for example:

  36. Raven says:

    Hello this is great and the only source for ref inconsistencies I can find. Do you have a summary of your findings, for example:

    A table of all refs reviewed
    A table of all the teams review and their average bias points

  37. nick allen says:

    any chance of rolling this out to include the football league ??? this is where many clubs are short changed with numerous poor decisions being made .

    perhaps even the fa cup ….remembering recently seeing a plymouth player sent off for nothing in fa cup game earlier in season , was that referee accountable??

  38. Dogface says:

    Nice of Mike Dean to give us a clear benchmark on what the “letter of the law” means with regards to officiating – also nice of the sports media to roundly defend this.

    I hope that nobody will now have any issue with the way matches are reviewed on this site with regards to the “interpretation of the law” or other such woolly apologist obfuscation regarding the measured consistency of our approach.

  39. John Smith (really, it IS) says:

    What is the email address of the PGMOL and what is their website address?

    I can’t find them anywhere!

  40. Walter Broeckx says:

    John Smith,

    The PGMOL had an own website. And despite in their founding notes saying that they are there to also educate the public they haven’t done this. Their website has been put down by them about one year ago.

    So you can’t see them, hear them, talk to them. For some reason unknown to me they want to live a live in the shadow.
    There still is a pgmol-extranet for members only.

    Some say the PGMOL doesn’t like the audience asking questions, some say the PGMOL is working like a hidden (?) organisation. Some say Mike Riley (head of the PGMOL) doesn’t want anybody to interfere in what he considers his private business.

    But as with any secret organisation: we don’t know the truth.

    This is the link to their former website http://refworld.com/information/7/article/5/0

  41. Tumwesigye Timothy says:

    I cant hide my face of being a gooner, am a footballer who plays just because i enjoy the game. We have seen players and teams being punished years after evidence of cheating the likes of Juventus, Milan , Scrapped titles etc.
    The English FA that claims consistence has not come out on a single occassion to testify that these problems really exist in the EPL but just come out on most occassions to defend their referree’s decisions in a matter of saying their decision is final, yet he lie(s) under them.
    Its still frustrating to see inconsistence of senior referees season by season just being neglected webb, mike dean, dowd, atkinson etc
    am happy that sooner or later we could see a clean EPL once your independent analyses hold water to the FA.
    We should see some referees serving a ban for inconsistence or completetely stopped from officiating. Eg in the recent AFCON Tunisian ref incharge of the Ghana Burkina Faso game looked too unproffessional and biased throughout the game and his fate followed him, as well as no major success to the team he was trying to favour
    great achievement please keep it up

  42. Jugular says:

    I really like the site, as I came across it while looking for information regarding the 2013 semi-finals between Chelsea and Man City. I am a Chelsea fan, and have seen good and bad calls, both for and against Chelsea.
    I have gone through some of the match reviews, and the question I have is whether there is more than a single review of each match, and how you deal with the different opinions ? (Two reviewers disagreeing on a call/non-call by the referee.)
    Do you have cumulative referee reviews for the season, or will that only be released after the season has finished ?

    • Walter Broeckx says:

      Thanks for the comment Jugular.

      At the end of the season we will try to publish the findings of the whole season and then we will see what we have found. To be honest: we don’t know what we will find 😉

      As to your question about dealing with different opinions: when this happens or when the match reviewer is not 100% certain we ask the question to the other reviewers and ask them their opinion and then the majority of votes is the decision we take.

      This is also what would happen when someone questions one of our decisions and asks us to review it. We then also consult the panel of ref reviewers and the majority of votes is what our decision will be.

  43. Lee says:

    The inconsitency of refereeing is now making the EPL a complete turn off.

    I cannot understand how Gibson can stay on the pitch after a blantant second yellow card offence (Arsenal Vs Everton). There seems to be some rules that I don’t know, that the referee can just ignore certain teams appraoch.

    I am expecting the Lance Armstrong moment – when the facts are finally admitted as there is no reason these simple decisions can be explained apart from corruption of some form.

    The EPL has become a joke, hard work, determination and skill no longer are the deciding factors in many games – a large percentage of games are now dictacted by the referee and their poor decision making – but why?

    The refusal to explain decisions, or to face the media, the refusal to use retroscpetive punishments and the refusal to use technology only confrims in my mind that the league is fixed. There is no other plausable explaination apart from incompency which is not punished.

  44. Walter Broeckx says:

    You may have noticed that there are currently no reviews published. There are two reasons for this:

    1. our site was under attack from the zombies or whatever they are called. Hence I couldn’t even log in any more to the site. But this seems to be fixed right now. But it wasn’t funny at all being kept out of the site myself.

    2. Due to technical problems on the site where we do the actual reviews we are not able to use the standardized form we have used this season. The review data site is completely separated from this site and the problem is more hardware over there.

    We hope that we can solve the problem in the next week and then we can start publishing again.

    Sorry for the wait

  45. Walter Broeckx says:

    The technical issues have been resolved so from now on we hope to be able to publish the reviews again on a regular basics

  46. Sav from Australia says:

    I was wondering if you guys had considered starting a matchday podcast to generate attention towards the referees and their likely bias. Alot of people listen to podcasts in the buildup to matches, etc. I am sure an EPL ref-watch podcast would generate significant attention. Speaking for myself, I would definitely subscribe to such an initiative.

  47. Fashanu tayo says:

    Why is webb a criminal refree to man u and always hurt arsenal and fa ars also in surpost of his bad behavour fuck d sheet

  48. Daniel Neto says:

    Hello,

    This is a new project that will be focused in displaying information mainly about premier league and la liga, with well written and newsworthy content.

    Are you are interested in sharing links?

    Best regards,

    Daniel Neto
    scaryfootball.com

  49. James says:

    I’ve been visiting this great site for sometime now, I’m a Liverpool fan who subscribes to a superb fansite which has taken notice of the work you guys are doing, & many subscribers think what you’re doing is top drawer. There appears to be a genuine lack of bias in what you’re doing, so can I say well done.

    There are fans over there too, who are very much involved with writing articles based on statistics, scrutinising tactics & Opta indices etc, & I was wondering if any had contacted you. I could let you know who I mean if you emailed me. I’m not a referee, but I am very much interested in what could be corruption within the Professional standards of UK football; & I firmly believe there isn’t enough of this type of scrutiny that you are carrying out, in what, let’s face facts, is such an affluent sport. Long may you continue.

    I have a question for you about the scrutiny of PGMO’s, specifically directed at what we often see during a match. It is this:
    Why should so-called ‘Professional’ officials not have to face questions about visible & audible decisions they have made during the game; & then be held accountable for their answers?

    It seems to me that they can carry out contradictory actions during the game, & then just lie to hide their incompetence. This in turn, lowers the standards of professionalism, at a time when I think it’s reasonable to expect the opposite, with the advent of technology.

    Hopefully, you can understand what I’m getting at?

    Once again many thanks, & I look forward to any reply & your excellent scrutiny continuing.
    Regards, James

    • Walter Broeckx says:

      Thanks for the nice comment James.

      About your questions that refs don’t face questions about their decisions is something I have touched upon in the past.

      Let us take Holland as an example. In Holland the refs can talk with the media after a game. And on a few occasions I have seen refs coming on TV after a game when they look at some decisions they made during the game and see if he was correct. I know refs can opt to look at the images and then withdraw their cooperation. But on many occasions they came out in the open and admitted they were wrong and had made a mistake. Usually followed by apologising for their mistake and offering an apology to the team that suffered, the players and supporters.

      So when a ref knows that he can be confronted with his mistakes he will try to avoid such things as much as possible. Because it is not fun to openly having to admit making a mistake. I would love to see it being done in the PL.

      But then they probably have to make another show at first called AOTD (Apology Of The Day). But I am pretty sure that after a few weeks the show could be cancelled or made very short. Because refs will make sure they do all they can to not be on such a show.

      And that is all we want: making football fairer for all. And making people accountable for their mistakes and errors and for …. whatever can go wrong in football that is kept hidden.

      • James says:

        Thanks Walter, I couldn’t agree more with your comments about referees acknowledging their mistakes; & I feel that should be especially so in the BPL, which tries to call itself the best league in the world, & is awash with cash.

        Also, have you seen the recent Mark Halsey stories? What do you make of them, & could his ‘whistle blowing’ (pun intended) nudge us towards greater transparency?

        • Walter Broeckx says:

          I do hope so. I’m waiting for his book to come out to read it.
          The fact that the PGMOL is offering £50.000 to a retiring ref just to make sure they keep their mouth shut is something that should make us raise our eyebrows.
          If there is nothing to hide, then why pay that money?

          • James says:

            Agreed 100% Walter..

            I believe conspiracies may go much further than we let ourselves think.

            I think the BBC are involved (check out Greg Dyke’s history over a 25-yr period, for example), & for certain, Fleet Street make their demands, don’t they?

            As for cash incentives from official bodies, this has to do with Ferguson, a man who has attained extraordinary powers of influence in the modern game. For me, it indicates a corporate stakeout & conquest. And no, I am not joking

  50. Walter Broeckx says:

    Oh and to follow up on my comment about Holland: I have seen a few refs saying on TV that they want help from technology and not just about goal line decisions. But about missing a foul that they couldn’t see and a missed offside when a goal is scored.

    And the Belgian FA has officially asked FIFA to be able to use video technology in the future to help their refs.

    So things are moving in some countries and they are trying to do all they can to get cleaner and fairer results in every game.

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