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Are referees declining in quality?

Friday 26th May 2017
We've all sat in the stands hurling abuse at the officials during a football match; it's almost integral to the game these days. However, it isn't this relentless tirade that is causing a decline in the quality of refereeing in the modern game - there are some much bigger factors impacting on their performances .

Implementing New Rules

If you ask anyone who supports a club outside of the Premier League; they will tell you it's been a lottery as to how their matches have kicked off this season. The FA insisted, at the start of the 2016/17 season, that kick off would be handled by one player rather than the traditional two and enforced forward movement of the ball - the EFL officials weren't all told it seems.

As we've covered many times on IRAIW; the FA's decision to revise rules on an annual basis isn't always a brilliant idea as the officials need time to digest the changes and understand how to implement them - something they aren't being afforded.

Statistics Rule the Roost

Some might say this is a myth but, trust me, it isn't.

The top ranking English officials are judged based on their overall performance which includes assessments of their decision making, mediation skills and the number of cards they show per game.

With this in mind; we all remember the Premier League referees showing yellow cards to players who repeatedly laid hands on one another in the box during set pieces - as the season progressed; these bookings dwindled away and players continued to squabble in the box without punishment.

The more cards a referee shows; the less likely they are to achieve Elite status and officiate internationally - simple.

The Offensive Nature of Football

As fans, rather than professionals, we can wax lyrical about how we'd referee a football match as often as we like. Personally, I would caution any player who is seen to spit during the game and dismiss those who swear - I can't stand either in football.

However, the officials may have the right to show a card to any player who directly offends them but how often do they exercise the right? Almost never!

Instead, we're stuck with a mixed bag of those who can tolerate a bit of player abuse and Mike Dean, who can't.

Lack of Reward

The Elite English referees can be assured of around £100,000 per year based on a retaining wage of £38,500 and £1,100 per EPL game they officiate - plus domestic cup matches. Add in UEFA and FIFA matches, should they qualify, and you're looking at a healthy salary.

However, as you move down the EFL, referees are paid considerably less per game and many don't have any kind of retainer in place - this means a lot of them are part-time referees and probably have full-time jobs to supplement their income.

It's a long way to the top and, realistically speaking, the Premier League only needs ten referees to function on a weekly basis. Chances are scant.

Stuart Attwell

Easily the worst referee any of us have seen in years (in this writers opinion) and yet he's treated like the Sunday League Coach's son - guaranteed a starting place in the biggest games.

If that's not enough to put you off, nothing is.

Here's a reminder of one of Attwell's infamous clangers.
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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