Thursday, 12 April 2012

Why Refereeing decisions cost teams a lot of money

I’m Callum Rivett, and welcome to my regular blog on The Football Front. First of all, I appreciate every single person who reads this, and I’m only fifteen so any feedback will be extremely helpful and taken into consideration!

Over the Easter weekend and what seems to be continuing into this week, we’ve seen some dreadful refereeing decisions. Whether it be the lack of penalties at White Hart Lane for Norwich (two stonewalls), the two goals that Chelsea scored that shouldn’t have counted or the “foul” on Ashley Young by Shaun Derry on Sunday.

The FA have once again proved how ignorant they are of these continuous mistakes by their officials, upholding Derry’s red card which he received for minimal contact on Young who went down like, well, a Manchester United player in the penalty area. There are people who say the bigger clubs get the big decisions, and I for one could not agree more, with this “penalty” further adding ammunition to their argument.

As I was at Carrow Road on Saturday for the visit of Everton, I shall tell you how bad the officiating was in that game. However, many of you will not have heard or seen these incidents since Match of the Day didn’t show them, because that would be favouring Norwich.

First of all, Leighton Baines should have been sent off. There is no disputing that. I counted that he made five fouls that were all bookable offences, yet he only received a yellow card. The referees today seem scared to send off players who play for the bigger clubs, possibly for the potential backlash from those fans or the respected manager.

Next, we had a clear penalty denied. An Andrew Surman shot was deliberately blocked with his hands by Phil Jagielka who dived in front of the ball. Jagielka was inside the area when he handled it, and could have been booked. This would have made it 2-1 to City just before half-time, and in that position you would have backed us to win the game.

But the most controversial incident was still to come. Steven Pienaar clearly trapped the ball between his legs, even laying on it at one point. This was deemed obstruction by the Norwich players, who stopped and shouted at the ref, who thought it was perfectly acceptable. Everton then scored to put themselves 1-2 up.

When questioned on the decision by Grant Holt, the referee said he “didn’t see it.” But, if you look at replays, you can see the referee a mere six yards away at most.

The FA have two options, either: A) Fine or suspend referees who have continuously made poor decisions in a game, or B) take the money out of football so finishing 9th rather than 10th doesn’t mean an extra £500k. Moving up one position in the Premier League earns you about five hundred thousand pounds, and if you stay in the Premier League you earn considerably more than a Championship team, and rightly so, but if your team gets relegated by one point that a referee cost you, you would be livid. The club would lose out on a lot of money, and you could never see your team in the Premier League again due to an error by the referee.

Now, if the FA decide to drop a referee down to the Championship or League One, they may think it’s all well and good, but what about the two teams in those leagues who get stuck with a terrible ref for a game?

They don’t deserve that.

To end, I would like to say, “have some of that!” to Mark Lawrenson, who continues to write off Grant Holt for an England call up, despite being the second top English goal scorer in the Premier League behind Rooney. 15 goals this season for Holt, and happy birthday to him as well!

=Follow Callum on twitter: @calriv97.

You can find more of Callum's work here.

1 comment:

  1. I could not disagree more, Callum. "The ref's to blame" approach is the first resort of a manager whose team has just lost and is seeking to cover up his own, or his team's shortcomings.

    Consider the alternate view - you NEVER hear a manager come out and say "we only won because the ref lost the game for / cheated the other lot out of it"

    I am a coach of over 20 years experience (and playing the game before that). I can categorically state that "refs don't lose games, players do".

    Show me a 90 minute recording of a game of football and I guarantee that I will be able to pick out any number of instances where players decisions have cost the game more so that the minimal mistakes made by refs:

    Runs not tracked, ball watching as players move off them, mis-timed tackles leading to free kicks from which opponents score, missed chances that really shouldn't have been, wrong passing options, ineffective blocks and so on and so forth.

    So, whilst the punditry on TV readily blame the ref, we need to have a long hard look at the fact that the watching public are actually being conned that this is the case. In reality, it is not.


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