I was an active referee for 35 years and involved in referee coaching, assessing and for a period the manager of the PGMOL.

I played an active role in the introduction of various pieces of technology to help to raise the standard of officiating.

  • Buzzer Flags
  • Communication Kits
  • Use of Polar Heart Monitors
  • Goal Line Technology
  • Prozone Referee

I have also and remain a strong supporter of the use of Video Technology.

Sadly in England we are approaching our involvement in the technology in the wrong way.

  • The PGMOL have failed to train their match officials and Video Assistant Referees to the required standard to operate the system.
  • It really is not good enough to select so few games in which to develop the skills of the officials to make the best use of the system
  • I have read the protocol and it is evident that the officials operating the system appear on occasions to be ignoring them.

A reminder of the Protocols laid down by the IFAB

  • Minimum interference – Maximum benefit.
  • Serious and obvious errors
  • Serious missed incidents

Why are you not fulfilling these clear objectives?

PGMOL/FA please ask yourselves and do something about it!

  • Why was in form referee Paul Tierney not supported by experienced Neil Swarbrick in the Tottenham Hotspur v Rochdale FA Cup game? Graham Scott like his colleague in the middle are still establishing themselves in the Premier League.

Tierney is a terrific prospect and his  growing reputation should not be impaired by an oversight of this magnitude.

  • I know that every goal will be reviewed by the VAR but why is this process taking so long?
  • I might suggest that this is down to a lack of training and expertise by the person in charge of the technical equipment. Yes, the video operator responsible for providing the appropriate images to the VAR.

Clearly at the moment the experiment in England is failing and putting at severe risk its use in the Premier League next season.

Is that why the advert by the PGMOL for a VAR Manager says the job is only required until September?

I did suggest to The Football Association to involve Howard Webb in a consultancy role for a short period. His expertise learned whilst bedding in the system for the MLS would have been a wise investment.

Why not take advantage of Paul Rejer who has returned back to the UK having had several positive years managing and training MLS referees in the States.

You need however the permission of You-Are-The-Ref. Com where he will be developing our Referee Education Programme.

Currently what we are getting in England is falling well short of the delivery performance of our counterparts overseas.

Webb and Rejer delivered a top job for the MLS.

It looks like the PGMOL are in search for a VAR Manager so that they can pass the buck to the new incumbent after their own feeble attempts to manage and deliver VAR have sadly failed.

Finally to the IFAB I say again look at better ways of communicating to fans in the stadium what is happening in the review process.

A sign on the stadium screen is clearly inadequate and doing the game a disservice.


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