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Referee Watch: The refs football regrets losing

Sunday 19th February 2017
With Mark Clattenburg set to leave the Premier League for a lucrative career in Saudi Arabia; English football is losing it's number one FIFA recognised official. Losing referees doesn't sound like a bad thing but, when you consider who's no longer blowing their whistle, you do start to miss them a little bit.

Anders Frisk

Chelsea fans will remember this name more than anyone else I should think as Frisk was responsible for sending Didier Drogba off in the game against Barcelona in 2004/05. Then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made claims that Frisk had invited Frank Rijkaard into his room at half time which turned out to be false and the Swedish referee received death threats against him and his family. Nice…

A strict official but easily one of the best to ever blow a whistle and highly regarded in the refereeing community – a shame he retired so early.

Uriah Rennie

Aside of his footballing life, Rennie is actually a Magistrate and has a keen sense of justice that he never really brought onto the pitch, unfortunately. Once described as the ‘fittest referee' the world had ever seen by the Match Officials Board; Rennie quickly became a fan favourite despite some very dodgy decisions in his career.

A ten-year career as a Premier League referee isn't too shabby but Rennie was most recently seen as the ref for an utterly awful ITV game show entitled Freeze Out – I think we all miss him in our own way.

Howard Webb

Manchester United fans will be very familiar with the fake news stories citing Webb's repeated contract extensions with the club given his apparent favouritism for the Red Devils but the South Yorkshire Police Officer refuted these claims throughout his career.

Now appearing as the refereeing analyst for BT Sport and set to become PRO Manager of Video Refs for the MLS – Webb has actually left the role Clattenburg is set to take and set this whole saga in motion.

Thanks Howard…

Pierluigi Collina

Referees come and go but when Collina retired from refereeing it felt as though football would never be the same again. No one can ever forget his piercing eyes or impeccable decision making and we'll never see players respecting a ref anywhere near as much as they admired Collina.

Annoyingly, his decision to retire came off the back of his appearance in an Opel (Vauxhall) advert at a time when AC Milan were sponsored by the car manufacturers and the Italian FA saw this as potential favouritism and barred Collina from officiating top flight matches.

Without a doubt the best referee of all time, Collina was approached by just about every top division in the world to officiate in their league but he opted to retire and pursue a career in financial advising (his original trade), charity match officiating and has earned an incredible degree of celebrity.
He still has involvement with many footballing bodies: Consultant to the Italian Football Referees Association, Head of Referees for the Ukrainian Football Federation and a member of the UEFA Referees Committee.

We all miss Collina but he is 57 now; pushing it slightly to still be refereeing but that's not where the story ends. His autobiography is easily one of the best footballing books of all time and you MUST read it - the chapters regarding the 1999 Champions League Final and England 5 – 1 Germany match offer a whole new slant on the games you can't miss out on.
Kristian Webb
A Manchester United fan who actually knows where Manchester is; I'm the chief writer for AccumulatorTips, ForzaSwansea and a contributor to WhatCulture's video game section. I'm a professional proofreader, content author and SEO Expert but that doesn't mean there won't be the odd grammatical error!

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