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football league

    Joining Alan Biggs this week is former footballer and current BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson and ex Premier League and FIFA linesman Glenn Turner to discuss all the action from the weekend in the Premier League and the Football League. Robert Madley was in charge at Goodison Park where Everton defeated in form Leicester 4-2, his performance was under scrutiny, as was Craig Pawson who was on duty as Manchester United beat a Sunderland side who suffered their third defeat in eight days. There's also a mention for Chris Kavanagh who took charge of his first ever Premier League game, how did he get on? All that and more as the panel also delve into the Football League with incidents up for discussion across the country.....

      A poor midweek of refereeing performances was eclipsed  by the worst sin of all - the incorrect application of law by Keith Stroud at Newcastle.

      The home team scored from the penalty spot only to see complete confusion reign when the referee disallowed the goal and awarded an indirect free-kick to visitors Burton. This was after he detected encroachment into the penalty area by players of both teams.

      Law states that in these circumstances the penalty kick should be retaken. It is amazing that none of the other three officials came to the aid of the referee to advise him that he was wrong in law. It is one thing to misjudge a decision, another to appear not to know the basics of the job.

      The PGMOL were forced to make a public apology for the error and now should take action by introducing an annual test for all its officials on the laws of the game.

      Meanwhile, in the Hull City v Middlesbrough game we had an assistant referee making a huge mistake in failing to detect a clear offside goal in the closing minutes. Following consultation between Michael Oliver and an assistant the goal was allowed to stand. It was an easy decision and difficult to understand why the assistant did not raise his flag.

      In the Arsenal v Bournemouth game Martin Atkinson, an in-form referee, was at fault by failing to award two clear penalty kicks to Arsenal.

      In the Southampton v Crystal Palace game the unfortunate Roger East produced what was sadly a typical performance littered with mistakes. First he failed to award Southampton a penalty for deliberate handball and the referee also made another later mistake. Crystal Palace's Zaha had just gained possession when he was fouled from behind. Referee East unbelievably waved aside any claims for a foul and then, from a cross, Southampton scored.

      It was frankly an easy decision which saw the manager of Crystal Palace Sam Allardyce rightly asking why a free-kick had not been awarded. When teams are in a relegation battle it is so important to appoint your top performing officials to these games. I have questioned in the past this referee's ability to officiate at Premier League level.

      Just a reminder to the PGMOL that Mark Clattenburg is still available for them to use before his departure to Saudi Arabia.

      Finally, the team at You Are The Ref send our very best wishes to Ray Olivier,  a very experienced educator with vast knowledge of law application who will be taking up a new role with the Japan FA.

      Despite appearing to have been marginalised by the PGMOL management, it is sad to see another expert with great knowledge and on-field experience leaving the family of English officials.

      Ray would have been the right person to set the annual test in the laws of the game.


        On the The Ref Show Alan Biggs is joined by former referee Mark Halsey and ex Sheffield Wednesday player Gary Megson. This week the panel discuss Micheal Oliver the big game referee of the weekend, Manchester City v Liverpool, huge games from the Championship and a suggestion of a bust up in the tunnel!

          Joining Alan on the new look Ref Show this week was BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson and former Football League official Dean Mohareb. Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at Old Trafford was a game full of controversy with two incidents up for discussion. Both involving Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and defender Tyrone Mings, who engaged in physical acts of aggression towards each other on two separate occasions. The performance of Kevin Friend, the man in the middle, was under scrutiny. There were also other games on topic in the Premier League and the Football League with head injuries an area of concern for the panel after an incident in a League 2 fixture.

            Goal-line Technology

            Goal-line technology is to be introduced in the Championship from the start of next season in a move welcomed by You Are The Ref. Clubs have agreed "in principle" to use goalline technology from the start of next season.

            Clubs agreed to the decision on Thursday and it will be presented at the EFL annual general meeting in June. Our experts have repeatedly called for it to be introduced and the move will see Hawk-eye technology installed at all Championship clubs in order to assist referees and their assistants.

            SimiLar technology has been in operation in the Premier League since the 2013/14 season and is also already utilised in the latter stages of the EFL Cup and the Sky Bet EFL Play-Offs.
            Keith Hackett said: "I'm really delighted to see this development. There is so much money riding on clubs getting to the Championship that having this proven system is a must."

              Author: Alan Biggs


              Mike Dean and Stuart Attwell find themselves in the Championship this weekend - out of respect to the competition.

              Dean is in charge of Saturday's Yorkshire derby between Barnsley and Leeds while, on the Friday night, Attwell presides over Brighton versus Sheffield Wednesday. Both games are live on television in front of potentially near capacity crowds and a substantial viewing audience. All four teams involved are pushing towards the top of the Championship.

              Although Dean has been at the centre of controversy recently, his absence from the top flight this weekend is in no way a reflection of that.

              The latest round of Premier League fixtures is relatively low profile, giving an opportunity for two Select Group referees to be deployed in major games in a much respected competition.

              "This is standard practice and in no way reflects on Mike - or Stuart, for that matter," said former referees' chief Keith Hackett.

              "I am all for more accountability and feel this is lacking.

              "However, Mike has come through two games, one in the FA Cup, relatively well since the controversial calls of the West Ham v Manchester United match.

              "He is an excellent referee and the Premier League needs him. But I can understand his redeployment this weekend.

              "I also applaud Stuart Attwell's appointment for a huge game in Brighton v Sheffield Wednesday.

              "No-one should get the idea either has been dropped or demoted.

              "When that happens they are usually a fourth official somewhere - certainly not refereeing games of this magnitude."

                Mike Foster is the new chairman of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd. I know Mike and wish him well.

                He has served on the board of the PGMOL and has in the opinion of many football people witnessed a drop in the standards of officiating at the elite level. His appointment comes at the time when changes need to take place to halt the decline.

                Mike is a football man and a supporter of referees. He is a terrific administrator and I welcome his appointment.

                When I was asked at a meeting of Premier League chairmen and owners what I would like to introduce to make officiating better, I responded with goal line technology. It was Mike who worked closely with Hawkeye and myself to steer it through the minefield of the IFAB and FIFA. We were also helped behind the scenes by David Dein, the former director of Arsenal. This took six years to achieve and I had left the organisation when IFAB gave the system its approval.

                I do hope that, for the good of officiating in England, Mike conducts a root and branch review of the PGMOL and that this leads to more accountability to see how wisely the organisation uses its funding and ensures complete independence from the competitions.

                By the way Mike, you really do need a minimum 20 referees in SG1 and more than seven referees out of the group to be able to officiate any game in the Premier League.

                Good luck, I look forward to your appointment improving the standards of officiating at the top level of the English game.

                Join Keith on Monday's The Ref Show where this appointment will be discussed in more detail.

                Source: EFL

                  It's been an enthralling festive period of action and the panel have lots to dissect from the previous few days of football. Joining Alan Biggs on the show this week is former Premier League referee Roger Dilkes, and the scorer of the very first Premier League goal, Brian Deane.

                    Peter Bankes

                    Officiating a local derby game is always a real test for a referee, an opportunity to gain further valuable experience and measure his ability.

                    I watched very closely the performance of Select Group 2 referee Peter Bankes in the Sheffield Wednesday v Barnsley game this midweek. This official demonstrated a very good standard of fitness and covered a lot of ground ensuring that he was in close proximity to play when making decisions.

                    I was impressed with his work-rate to cover those clearances when play broke down and quickly switched to the other half of the field. He used the full array of his communication and management skills, and was prepared to have an off the ball quiet word with a player out of the gaze of the vast majority of spectators.

                    On one occasion a Barnsley player lost a little composure and faced the referee in a pictorial show of dissent, publicly waving his arms. To his credit, the referee did not make a big scene of what clearly was an act of dissent. However, when the player continued to have a go the referee took the player to one side and issued an appropriate caution (yellow card).

                    Britain Football Soccer - Sheffield Wednesday v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship - Hillsborough - 13/12/16 Barnsley's Adam Hammill is shown a red card by referee Peter Bankes for a foul on Sheffield Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Lee Smith Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.

                    He made it clear to the players around that this player had overstepped the mark and that is why a yellow card was issued. He managed free kicks very well and his estimation of 10 yards was good.

                    In the first half the home team manager appeared to visibly show his unhappiness with a decision. The referee did not overreact and took his time to walk to the technical area and have a quiet word.

                    I was impressed by his detection of holding, pulling offences which he correctly penalised.

                    Yes, there was confusion over which team had a player sent off late in the game. But correctly, this was Barnsley's Adam Hammill for going two-footed in a challenge with Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson. One team's manager and the other's assistant manager were dismissed from the technical area after the intervention of the fourth official.

                    Where I would criticise is that the referee needed to isolate the offending player rather than leave many under the impression he had shown the red card to his opponent, as clearly looked to be the case. That is a learning point. But Mr Bankes, overall you performed well. I do hope that you can demonstrate this quality of performance in future games.


                      On this week's show Alan Biggs is joined by regular panelist David Hirst and former Premier League referee Roger Dilkes to discuss all the action from the weekend's Premier League and EFL action. Diving isn't a topic that the team want to discuss, but two recent incidents have brought the issue back into the limelight, with one incident at Hull City up for deliberation. There's also praise for plenty of referees, in particular Mark Clattenburg who put on a masterclass at Anfield. Tune in for the YATR view on him and more....

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