Daily Democracy

Vote: Is there a problem with the standard of Premier League refereeing?

Abilities of top flight officials called into question once again

Martin Atkinson/ Mickey Mouse

Over the weekend, there were no less than three controversial performances from Premier League referees: firstly, Mark Hughes lambasted Mike Dean for dismissing three players at Eastlands and for “failing to show common sense”. Howard Webb had a disappointing game at the Emirates, dishing out completely unnecessary cards and failing to pick up on incidents that should have ended up in the book. And finally, Joe Kinnear took the subtle route of calling Martin Atkinson “Mickey Mouse” for failing to spot an Andy Johnson foul in the build up to Fulham’s match-winning penalty.

Of course, Kinnear and his ilk are happy to point out the professional mistakes of officials, but fail to offer any solutions to the problems (ie should we introduce video replays, better training, more pay etc).

So, is there a problem that needs to be addressed with the standard of refereeing in the top flight? Or are these contestable decisions an acceptable part of the game (and possibly even one that makes it more exciting)? Let us know with a vote and comment below…

2 responses so far
  • Sack the Juggler // November 10, 2008 at 11:20 am

    There are several things wrong with refereeing in the premier league.

    1) the industry has become such big business now that to leave decisions to the guys out on the field is ridiculous, especially when there are so many camera angles at each premier league game. Even rugby uses the video ref, so why can’t football?

    2) the “sky 4″ on balance get most of the decisions going their way, however within the sky 4, both Liverpool and Chelsea seem to benefit more than most from “dodgy” decisions (just look at last seasons “right results” table). Are these refereeing errors biased towards these clubs because they are just lucky, or does the fact that there is so much money resting on champions league spots mean that there is a real danger of certain officials being induced to side with the sky 4 teams?

    3) with all the pressure that is piling on the referees now (see money issues above), it makes it more difficult for referees to make decisions impartially and the more pressure they are under, the more mistakes they will make.

    So what’s the answer? I reckon the answer is to get players to stop trying to cheat or to con the ref, there is too much emphasis on the ref having to do a better job while it seems that players are actively encouraged to try to con the ref

    Allow officials, even if its just the “4th Official” to make use of video evidence, both during and after the game.

    If someone (such as Gerrard or Drogba) is seen to be diving to gain advantage during a game, then they are banned for three matches going forward, whether that decision is taken during or after the game.

  • How to deal with the problem of Premier League referees | The Spoiler // January 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    [...] According to a poll held on The Spoiler yesterday, the overwhelming majority of football fans believe there is a problem with the standard of Premier League refereeing that must be addressed post haste. The likes of Joe Kinnear, Mark Hughes, and David Moyes are all outspoken on the subject, but none are keen to offer or endorse a positive, practical solution to the issue. With this in mind, The Spoiler has compiled a three point plan to improve the state of officiating in the top flight… [...]

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