Let's Go Back to School to Find Referees of the Future; EXCLUSIVE Could Earmark a Career Job, If Life, Then a Long with a Salary

The Evening Standard (London, England), December 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

Let's Go Back to School to Find Referees of the Future; EXCLUSIVE Could Earmark a Career Job, If Life, Then a Long with a Salary


Byline: Sam Allardyce West Ham manager

[bar] EFEREES have been under the spotlight again over the last week, after making some inexplicably poor decisions in high-profile matches. I've been on the wrong end of a few over the years so I know how it feels. You're trying to do your job properly and feel like you're being let down by the officials.

But I don't tend to rant and rave at referees after a match. What's the point? They won't change their minds.

Let's try and take the emotion out of the problem and look for a solution because referees need help.

We need to look at the development and recruitment of officials but that's a long-term thing.

What can be done now is to start using technology. That would release the pressure off everybody and all the refs I have talked to would agree to it.

It wouldn't be that expensive Students and we managers could be given say, four challenges a game, similar to the way tennis players are able to question decisions in a match.

When referees became professional, more than a decade ago, the League Managers' Association discussed things at great length in an effort to try and get it to work in our favour in conjunction with the Professional Footballers' Association.

We always wanted to change the format for finding referees. We thought that, at the advent of the refs becoming professional, there was a massive opportunity to find a new breed of match officials.

Back then if you wanted to become a referee, you started in the parks and moved yourself up through the leagues until you finally reached the top.

We saw there was a big chance to change that method of recruitment but guess what -- more than 10 years have passed and although there has been progression, it's nowhere near enough.

Refereeing at the top level now is a full-time career. …

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