Officials Part 3 - Is it time for a former players as officials campaign?

Why is refereeing crowded in secrecy and what can be done to assist them to get more of their decisions right?

We have discussed over the last few articles referees or more correctly officials and the effect they can have on a game. A wrong decision for whatever reason and you penalise one teal while handing an advantage to another. The culmination at the end of the season can mean a club not getting Champions league and the vast riches and club development that go with it or at the other end relegation and the dismantling of a team to start rebuilding again.

Money dictates now, the game is awash with it and players are quite frankly paid vast sums of money they don't deserve. We have cameras in place at every ground in the Premier League so showing major decisions when the game has stopped on the big screen for a video review is perfectly possible and wouldn't cost an added fortune.

Yes it takes media talking points out of the game but it adds new talking points and coverage, fans talk simply moves on to a new topic.

The general argument is that rules should not be introduced into the Premier League that can not be replicated throughout the remainder of the football league, but why?

Why can a screen not be used in the top league in the land, all clubs would know, all players would know, cheating is simply not allowed, get up and get on with the game, stop falling over as if you have been shot when you have merely been blown a kiss. Quite how some of these players would get on on a game of Sunday morning football goodness knows, mind you Iv'e watched some of that recently and nobody tackles anymore in that either.

I fail to see why officials can embrace it as an aid, as both codes of rugby, cricket, tennis has as opposed to the antiquated 'he's only human' argument. Yet humans are con artists, they are dishonest, they cheat. To simply say these are officials therefore they are incapable of having any negative traits is absurd.

So apart from the essential screen what else can be done?

Well let me take you over to cricket. People play cricket because they love it, professional players play because they love it and do you know what many of them do when they retire from playing? They become umpires, they become under the scrutiny of the video replay. Does that diminish their standing, does that diminish their responsibility, not a bit of it.

Players accept an umpire does his best, technology shows many right decisions, some wrong and many borderline where the doubt has to benefit a certain team, they are the rules. You send Danny Rose off for instance if you are 100% sure, not if there is an element of doubt. In cricket, that decision would have been overturned and everyone would simply accept that and move on.

I don't remember ever hearing of a campaign by the FA, the Premier League, the Football League or any other organisation to get ex-footballers to become officials. Why? Surely there must be an element who would do it. I appreciate footballers earn to much money and don't need to work when they finish playing but that is generally the Premier League players.

There are 4 divisions of players, 5 if you count the conference. Are you telling me that not a single one of them wants to become an official? If not, again you have to ask why? Is it because they get to much abuse, well apart from the match itself they are shielded from the public, kept locked away to be wheeled out the following week or midweek.

If you want to make refereeing easier, simply stop players surrounding the ref. Again I take you to rugby, you are not allowed to, you will be penalised. The ref is in charge and only the captain can speak to him. Why can not the same thing be introduced into football?

The game becomes easier to referee, video replays help you get the decisions right, the game is enhanced, cheating reduced. Are there any negatives?

The FA, Premier League and Football League should start a campaign to attract former players, they should be asking players publicly why they don't want to become officials because that tells you what is wrong and what needs to be put right. Is this not basic management of a situation? To keep head continually buried in the sand is incompetence, it's mismanagement.

If we want to attract former players to stay in the game and I think we should then these two simple measures would go a long way to making the proposition more attractive. I for one wouldn't question a referee of a former club taking one of their rivals games when it could have an affect on his former teams outcome. Everything is in the public eye, the video screen is there, he couldn't afford to do anything shady.

Quite frankly the people running our game are living in the dark ages.

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