Time for Professional Game Match Officials Ltd to review its activities after another poor season, arguably the worst since its formation.
Glenn Turner, the former FIFA assistant referee, listed over 90 major errors in the season long 380 games – an unacceptable level. I recall being disappointed if the average was one in 10.
The management need some fresh faces who can inject an improvement in performances at the coal face.
The PGMOL is now reaping the rewards for poor leadership and direction from the top. Select group referees have been bereft of support and guidance and assistant referees, under the coaching of Adam Watts, have also performed poorly.
Even the impeccable Darren Cann, one of the world’s best assistants, was prone to error, which is something we have not witnessed before from this top official.
It is difficult to understand the role and contribution that Graham Scott has made since his appointment to the Select Group list at the beginning of the season. If you are going to promote someone to the list then you would expect them to be appointed to at least 10 or more games.
With a huge increase in spending, I have no doubt that the coming weeks will see members of the PGMOL management team playing musical chairs (without the music). Chris Foy, a likeable guy, was one week a referee and the next appointed to the role of Select Group coach tasked with looking after the group of professional referees on his own.
Chris was handed a poisoned chalice given the fact that he was going to offer support and guidance to International list officials without ever having reached that pinnacle of officiating himself.
With no coaching experience or qualifications to do the role his position was doomed from day one. This guy was at one time regarded as my potential successor by one important member of the PGMOL board.
So the button is pressed and the merry-go-round is underway:
– Alan Wiley will be responsible for coaching the group of newly appointed referees (Select Group 2)
– Chris Foy will be moving from his coaching role to take up a media and communications role (Not bad for an ex-copper)
– Adam Watts, a man with little experience running the line, will take on the responsibility of managing the professional referees. Given his failure to manage the assistant referees, one must question this appointment
– I understand that a new person will be appointed to the role of Performance Director
– Finally we await to see who will be appointed to coach the professional referees – watch this space.
Well, I guess next season we will get more of the same and the regression of refereeing standards will continue. I am amazed that other stakeholders in the game represented by the board of the PGMOL are failing to make this organisation accountable for its lamentable performance over recent seasons.
Time for a real change and a new leader capable of making positive advances in the standard of officiating in this country.