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[Archived] Refs Are Biased By "big" Clubs


philipl
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I have had many a discussion about this and Winter merely confirms the obvious. I would like to think refs don't deliberately cheat however they are clearly influenced and affected when reffing the big clubs. It is often an easy option to blame a ref but sadly when you see some of the 'performances' from the likes of Poll, Riley etc it makes you wonder why you waste your money. If the refs could ever understand that the crowd are not there to see them it would be a better situation by far.

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Refs writing books and cashing in - Winter certainly seeking the limelight now!

I wonder how many more revalations these superstar refs will come out with once their "livlehood is no longer under threat" from the omnious influence of old trafford, Stamford Bridge or Highbury.

PL Football become akin to organised crime, the mob influencing the law makers.

Money = Power = Corruption.

I'm just surprised it took this long.

Edited by OscarRaven
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Correct Napoleon.  Jeff Winter was right up there with all the other 'I'm  a celebrity' breed of Referees.

btw I read an extremely good report on saturdays referee in the Sun.  Anybody who went agree with that?

379940[/snapback]

Yup, he's been far too happy to flap his big gob to anyone that would listen since he retired. The man's a joke, even if what he says does occasionally ring true.

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Its hardly big news is it. In every league the big teams have all the influence and so get favourable treatment. Check out Rangers and Celtic up here or Juventus in Italy or Bayern Munich in germany, it happens everywhere. I'm afraid that the likes of us just have to live with it.

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I cannot get the link to work either. Here is the Article from the Newcastler Evening Chronicle:

The human side to the men in black Jan 31 2006

By John Gibson, The Evening Chronicle

When Graeme Souness dramatically lost to his old club Blackburn Rovers in the last Premier League match at St James' Park it sparked great controversy and six-foot high headlines blazed in flaming red.

Because not only did irate United fans stage an instant demonstration demanding the removal of Souness from office, but the winning goal was revealed to have been handballed into the net.

A Geordie was thrust into the epicentre of the impending storm, a position from where he can give a unique insight into what goes on within the third team on a football field - the match officials.

Rarely does such a persecuted bunch of individuals take the opportunity to allow fans to understand what is behind their judgement making.

However, Ashington's Clive Oliver, a Football League referee, was the fourth official at Newcastle v Blackburn a week gone Saturday, and as such was part of the inquest into the day's huge talking point.

"When Blackburn scored the talking point for us was not whether Morten Pedersen had handled the ball into the net, but whether Shefki Kuqi ought to have been booked for his celebrations," Oliver told me.

"I was standing on the track watching play when Blackburn scored and there wasn't a squeak from anyone about the goal.

"In fact, according to referee Howard Webb, only one Newcastle player questioned the decision, and that was Lee Bowyer.

"As he ran past Bowyer said: `That was handball' but he left it at that and no one else said a word.

"Bowyer had got on the wrong side of Pedersen on the goalline, if you remember, but he didn't make a fuss about the way the ball was put in the net.

"Match officials work as a four-man team - we drive to a given assembly point and then take a mini bus to the ground. In this case we met at Ramside Hall. I drove past St James' Park to get there!

"Anyway, on the way back to Ramside it came up on the radio that Newcastle had lost to a controversial goal. Controversial? Why? We all raised our eyebrows.

"Neither Howard Webb, his two assistants, nor myself knew why.

"Of course when I watched the game on Match of the Day it showed Pedersen had clearly handled the ball, but how many people in the crowd or in the Press box knew that instantly if they are truthful?

"Handball had never been mentioned amongst us. What we talked about was Kuqi's celebrations. The ball had come off his shoulder as he jumped to head it, but he believed it had gone straight in and the goal was his. So did the stadium announcer.

"Kuqi ran to the corner flag, pulled it out of the ground, and lifted it above his head two-handed like a weightlifter. Tino Asprilla did something similar when Newcastle played Barcelona.

"The discussion was whether Kuqi should have been yellow-carded.

"Obviously, Howard didn't think so and the reasons were that Kuqi went over to the Blackburn fans, though they were high above him, and not to Newcastle supporters, he didn't delay the restart, and he didn't overdo the celebrations.

"We have to remember that football is an entertainment, like going to the theatre, and people like emotion.

"The difference between Kuqi and Arjen Robben when he celebrated a goal for Chelsea is that he jumped the barrier to get to the crowd. That's why he got a second yellow card and was sent off.

"The one point which brought deep discussion was about removing a piece of apparatus, ie the corner flag.

"A few e-mails whizzed round about that, but not about any handball."

Oliver knows only too well the perils of being a referee, often made the scapegoat for managers losing key games, and he defends his profession admirably and stoutly.

"Of course we're just human and as such will make mistakes," said Clive. "So do the top players. They miss a sitter, strike a wayward pass, or whatever.

"And in the Premier League officials are under huge scrutiny with about 16 different camera angles ready to reveal any misjudgement.

"A referee has only two eyes, not 16, and can only see the action from one angle."

So should new technology be used to help eradicate human error?

"Yeah, I'm for it on goalline decisions but that's all," he said. "However, how precisely it would work I'm not so sure.

"Football is not a stop-start game like cricket where a call for guidance can be made on any decision. Nor like rugby where a referee can call for TV to determine if the ball was grounded properly on a try.

"For example, what if Newcastle were playing Sunderland and Alan Shearer, looking for his record-breaking 201st goal, claimed his shot off the crossbar was over the line before it was cleared - and Sunderland broke away to score themselves.

"How do we take play back to judge Shearer's effort? And if it was a goal, how do we restart play and make a decision on Sunderland's strike?

"Equally, on breaking the Newcastle goalscoring record how does the referee judge Shearer's celebrations?

"Can you imagine booking him for over-celebration in front of 50,000 Geordies at St James' Park and then, if he was already on a yellow, sending him off? It would start a riot!

"A referee has an extremely difficult task that he does to the very best of his ability. He doesn't cheat. He acts as he sees it."

Oliver only took up refereeing at 29 years of age when a knee injury prematurely ended his playing career.

"I played at Northern Alliance level only, but football has always been my life," admitted Clive.

"I took the exam when I was first injured and carried the flag on the line as a means of getting fit again.

"But after a second op I was warned that if I played I'd suffer later in life. I finished at the top - my last game was a cup final! I couldn't walk away from football and so my second love affair with the game began."

Tonight Clive will be in charge of Sheffield Wednesday v Luton at Hillsborough - hoping for no handball goals or extravagant celebrations. ************************* Best and Worst

Like any footballer Clive Oliver can remember his best and worst games, the joy and the nightmare. It happens for referees just as it does for players.

Joy came in his very first Championship match last season - Derby County v Plymouth Argyle.

"The game was played in front of 25,000 when the biggest crowd I'd previously faced was 11,000," said Oliver. "The managers and players had all done their homework - they knew it was my first Championship game - but instead of trying to take advantage everything went like a dream.

"There was no trouble, no flashpoints, and at the end both captains, Jeff Kenna of Derby and Plymouth's Graham Coughlan, came over and we had a three-way hug on the pitch. It was spontaneous but goodness knows what the fans made of it!"

If that was good, Blackpool v Bristol City last season was bad.

"I awarded two penalties, one to each side, and both were strongly contested," admitted Oliver. "I had one team surrounding me as we went off at half-time and the other team doing the same at the end. I didn't ref well, I admit that. It was a massive learning curve for me."

Former Scotland centre-half Colin Hendry was Blackpool's manager and Oliver has also reffed another household name, ex-Arsenal and England striker Paul Merson (left), now player-manager of Walsall.

"I've had Walsall three times - twice at home and once at Hartlepool - and Merson has been a real nice fella. He's totally focused and quite quiet on the pitch.

"I like to talk. Communicating is my style, it's the biggest tool I've got. Players only take five to 10 minutes to suss you out and most will play to win at all costs. If they test the referee and have to bend the rules a bit to gain advantage they'll do it. I use the talkers in the two teams to get through to the rest."

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"The discussion was whether Kuqi should have been yellow-carded.

"Obviously, Howard didn't think so and the reasons were that Kuqi went over to the Blackburn fans, though they were high above him, and not to Newcastle supporters, he didn't delay the restart, and he didn't overdo the celebrations.

"We have to remember that football is an entertainment, like going to the theatre, and people like emotion.

"The difference between Kuqi and Arjen Robben when he celebrated a goal for Chelsea is that he jumped the barrier to get to the crowd. That's why he got a second yellow card and was sent off.

rover.gif KUQI would have needed a team of sherpa's and oxegen to celebrate with the rovers fans at sjp tinykit.gif

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From Philipl's first link:

"Craig Bellamy's a lovely lad," says Jeff Winter.... ohmy.gif

Blimey. I thought only Craig's Mum and Dad would say that.

Anyway, I think Jeff Winter made some valid points. A few of our refs do seem to favour the big clubs. Perhaps with one or two of them it's a subconscious thing. They know at the back of their minds, for example, that if they send a Man United player off or give a penalty against United, then Ferguson will be blowing his top afterwards and he might try and make it difficult for them to referee future Man United games.

Then there are other refs who tend to be "homers" - that's favouring the home side rather than a description for a Lib Dem MP.

It was interesting at the last World Cup in Japan and Korea in 2002, that the host nations - South Korea in particular, who reached the semi-final under Guus Hiddink - were the beneficiaries of several controversial decisions. In their quarter-final match against Spain, the referee ruled out what seemed to be three legitimate Spanish goals against the Koreans.

Some people will defend refs whatever mistakes they make and will say: "Stop whining and accept that referees are only human, they make mistakes, its all part of the game, etc".

But there's so much at stake in a World Cup these days. Indeed, there's a huge amount at stake for any match at the highest level. The careers of managers are on the line and the hopes and dreams of millions of supporters depend on what happens on the pitch.

Last year the German ref Robert Hoyzer was jailed for two years and five months after admitting match-fixing. Together with fellow ref Dominik Marks, they were found guilty of fixing matches in return for large cash sums. The Croatian ringleaders of the betting gang made a couple of million Euros in the fraud.

One of the matches Hoyzer fixed involved Hamburg against lower-league Paderborn in the German Cup. Hoyzer sent off one Hamburg player and awarded Paderborn two disputed penalties. Hamburg were leading 2-0 but went on to lose 4-2. After the match, the Hamburg manager Klaus Topmoeller was sacked - proof that the careers of managers depend on refs getting decisions right.

I think the majority of refs in England are impartial but as in any bucket you're going to get one or two bad apples.

I suspect that in continental Europe, the taking of bungs by refs is a lot more widespread than in England. "Never trust a German or a Frenchman," as my Dad used to say.....

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I think the majority of refs in England are impartial but as in any bucket you're going to get one or two bad apples.

I suspect that in continental Europe, the taking of bungs by refs is a lot more widespread than in England. "Never trust a German or a Frenchman," as my Dad used to say.....

380293[/snapback]

Completely agree about the first bit, but I would just add that I think there will be a 'natural' general tendency to favour the home side in any game as a matter of course: Subconcious intimidation by the crowd, more highlight given to fouls/rough legal challenges by the noise from the supporters, subconcious desire to have an ride home without getting abuse from people outside the ground. But I don't think this is a major factor.

However, as AESF says, there will be a couple who conciously try to favor 'big clubs' for their career. What everybody has to remember is it is a dangerous game to play, if a ref was caught doing it then their career would be over.

The vast majority of abuse directed at refs, imho, is completely undeserved. We have both benifitted and lost out on referee decisions and most of it just comes down to natural error.

You have to put yourself in the referees position, on the pitch running around without the benefit of television replays.

As for the 'never trust a frenchman or a german' thing, well if we are trading in stereotypes I have always found Germans more trustworthy and respectful than the British generally, although to be fair we both have a lot of 'bad apples'. As for the French... well 'they' (don't you love the genralisation!) do seem to be unneccesarily rude an awful lot of the time. I have no doubt the feeling is mutual though.

Edited by joey_big_nose
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Sorry, but since this thread has basically been relegated and I knew nowhere else to put the following article (as it probably wouldn't stand alone), I thought it might be good to change the thread direction briefly and have a look at referee corruption. It is more of a history article than anything else, but still worth the read as it's a very good article, with plenty of insights from players the writer has spoken to over the years.

Time to call the cops

Les Murray

In the mid-1960s I was a junior on the committee of one of the more prominent Australian football clubs. My job, as ‘assistant secretary’, was to keep the minutes at meetings, listen to the deliberations of the older sages and basically shut up.

The club had just lost a game of decisive importance by the narrowest of margins and there was darkness and gloom in the room when the committee met a week later. Some anger, too.

One especially hot-headed committee member insisted that the loss was due only to one thing: the referee had been bought. To prove it, he flashed a photocopy of a cheque for a decent sum made out by the winning club to the said referee.

Continued...

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I have to say that until now I thought all this big club bias to be a load of ######, but seeing Man Yoo's 3rd today has finally convinced me there must be something in it. I think the combination of Murdoch's $600m/year coupled with "professional" refs have combined to ruin the honesty of the game. No surprise really, money sloshing around, greed, plus livelihoods and reputations on the line are all bound to combine.

I really felt for Chris Coleman today - good for him standing up to this crap

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Let's be honest, everybody has known that the Mancs have benefitted from dodgy reffing for over a decade.

We have our list of getting on for a dozen refereeing aberrations against them but find a Premiership club which doesn't have a similar list of complaints.

The difference is this- when they had a great side, you were going to get beaten irrespective so a helping hand from the ref was the cherry on the scum's cake.

Now, the Mancs are to all intents and purposes, just another Prem side but boosted by Shrek and the donkey, the reffing bias they benefit from is very exposed for everyone to see.

The ref was the difference between the Mancs and Fulham last night. End of story.

It is wrecking our game and now that the Mancs are American-owned, it is the patriotic duty of the FA to sort it out.

Where is AESF's flag? cool.gifwink.gif

Whilst we are about it, Ferguson pops up in Simon Jordan's column in the Observer. The reat of the column has a look at Rupert Lowe's Southampton but this bit deserves it's place here:

"I've finally found out why Barry Bright's FA disciplinary panel set my fine for last year's 'improper' refereeing column at £10,000. It was because, I'm told, there was 'no evidence that any fine of any kind would be troublesome to him'. In which case why not make it £100,000? Or £1? It's textbook compliance office cleverness.

"My appeal has been submitted: at the hearing I'll demand the allegations against me be withdrawn, a full public apology, and failing all that, I'll move to libel action. I'll also ask the panel to talk me through - really slowly - how Alex Ferguson has escaped censure for the third time in five weeks after allegedly calling referee Steve Bennett a '###### cheating @#/?' who'll 'need a police escort out of here at full time'. It wasn't mentioned in Bennett's report, but was quoted in full in every national newspaper. At least it clarifies things in the short term. The next time a referee performs woefully in a Palace match, I won't write a constructive column on refereeing standards, Fifa's refereeing structure and the use of technology, I'll take the new FA endorsed route, find the bloke at half time, threaten him with a beating and swear my face off. Thanks for the guidance, Barry."

(The swear word appeared in The Observer)

Edited by philipl
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I'll also ask the panel to talk me through - really slowly - how Alex Ferguson has escaped censure for the third time in five weeks after allegedly calling referee Steve Bennett a '###### cheating @#/?' who'll 'need a police escort out of here at full time'. It wasn't mentioned in Bennett's report, but was quoted in full in every national newspaper.

(The swear word appeared in The Observer)

381969[/snapback]

The old RFW needs to take his own advice to Sparky doesn't he? He should take a chill pill and stop contesting referees decisions.

I honesltly cant think of a better argument for abolishing this country's stupid honours system.

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An extract from Jeff's book:

Puts to rest any doubt that he thought he was a celebrity referee

“I played a little bit of extra time, waiting until play was at the Kop end, before sounding the final shrill blast…the fans behind the goal burst into spontaneous applause. It was longer and louder than normal, even for a big home win. Did they know it was my final visit? Was it applause for me? They are such knowledgeable football people, it would not surprise me.”

biggrin.gif

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An extract from Jeff's book:

Puts to rest any doubt that he thought he was a celebrity referee

“I played a little bit of extra time, waiting until play was at the Kop end, before sounding the final shrill blast…the fans behind the goal burst into spontaneous applause. It was longer and louder than normal, even for a big home win. Did they know it was my final visit? Was it applause for me? They are such knowledgeable football people, it would not surprise me.”

biggrin.gif

382047[/snapback]

Thanks Macky thats more than enough to convince me not to buy it! What a plonker!

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