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Messages - Referee99

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General Discussion / Re: Darren Drysdale
« on: Thu 11 Mar 2021 18:07 »
Statement on a backdated suspension for Drysdale

An independent Regulatory Commission has given Darren Drysdale a back-dated suspension and warning as to his future conduct for a breach of FA Rule E3.
The match official admitted that his behaviour during the 90th minute of an EFL League One tie between Ipswich Town FC and Northampton Town FC on Tuesday 16 February 2021 amounted to improper conduct.
The suspension, which ran from 19 February 2021 to 10 March 2021, and warning were imposed by the independent Regulatory Commission during a subsequent hearing and its written reasons are available below.

Written Reasons: Here’s the link as it’s a 10 page document https://www.thefa.com/-/media/files/thefaportal/governance-docs/discipline-cases/2021/the-fa-v-darren-drysdale---8-march-2021.ashx

from:  https://www.thefa.com/news/2021/mar/11/darren-drysdale-written-reasons-published-110321

Jon Moss has replaced Mason on Wednesday at Burnley

General Discussion / Re: Darren Drysdale
« on: Wed 17 Feb 2021 17:35 »
He’s now been charged by the FA

Rob jones involved in every leicester game - surely they could’ve mixed it up?

General Discussion / Re: Andy Newbold R.I.P
« on: Sat 28 Nov 2020 22:05 »
47 I believe - died of cancer after battling it for 7 months

General Discussion / New Referee kit
« on: Fri 17 Jul 2020 11:33 »
Are we due to have a new kit released this summer?

General Discussion / Re: Bobby Madley returns!
« on: Thu 20 Feb 2020 08:45 »
An interview with bobbly Madley from the Athletic

Bobby Madley has never spoken about this side of his life in public and, now he feels ready to tell his story in full, he wants to make the point that he is not looking for sympathy. He makes that point several times, in fact, when plainly, it isn’t easy for him to be starting a discussion about the mental health of referees and how, on a personal level, depression brought him to the darkest moments of his life.

There were times, he says, when he found himself wondering whether it was worth carrying on and, though he avoids using the specific word, he is talking about contemplating suicide. “I haven’t gone into detail before about how deep it got for me and how dark it became,” he says. “I didn’t want to do that because I was worried I might be accused of over-dramatising or sensationalising it.”

Ultimately, though, he knows it is important for him to speak out when, until now, there has never really been any emphasis on how referees cope with the considerable pressures of their working lives and the culture in football that makes it the norm for members of their profession to be demonised.

“It got as low as it could,” he says. “I was hiding something inside. You know you’re having a tough time but you’re smiling with people and telling yourself you must be all right. Then, the moment the lights go out at night, your head comes alive. I’d be sitting up at three in the morning, in tears, thinking about everything, wondering what I could have done differently.

“I’d find myself going on Twitter to look through every post that was about me. I was searching for that one positive line, just one person to say, ‘Leave him alone, he’s a really nice guy’ or ‘He doesn’t deserve this’. I was tormenting myself and, of course, what you get on Twitter are people criticising you, and worse.

“It just didn’t get better. It was pretty much every night that I’d be up, crying, unable to sleep. It got to the stage where I wasn’t feeling well. I was tired all the time. I did a fitness test. I got halfway round and that’s the last I remember of it. I woke up in an ambulance.

“I’d collapsed. I spent the night in hospital. They did lumbar puncture, blood tests, everything. They thought I might have had a bleed on the brain or a mini-stroke. In the end, they put it down to stress. My body had shut down. Something inside my head went, ‘You can’t do this any more’. That was probably the point for me when it got really serious, when I thought, ‘I have to do something and I can’t keep living this way’.”

Until then, Madley had always tried to convince himself that it would pass. “Maybe it was a macho thing,” he says. “I was trying to be a ‘man’ because there is that awful thing where you think it is a sign of weakness to see a professional. In my head, I was still telling myself I was a strong character because, on a football pitch, you have to be strong. It took a long time — 14 months — for me to realise that I needed to do something about it.”

Madley had been removed — sacked, to put it another way — from the list of referees at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) in August 2018. He moved to Oslo where his partner, Jenny, is a nurse and started refereeing lower-league games. He learned the language. People congratulated him for starting a new life. Inside, however, he was in turmoil. “I was destroying myself,” he says.

It was Jenny who booked the appointment with a therapist. “It changed my life,” he says. “I sat with him, I cried, and I talked about the darkest thoughts I’d had.

“Did it [suicide] cross my mind? A few times, yes. ‘Would you ever do you it?’ he asked me. And I said, ‘No, I’ve got two kids. I would never do it.’ Yes, it was something that had gone through my head but would I have ever done it? I know I wouldn’t, 100 per cent. I told him that and he was pretty ruthless. ‘Forget about it then,’ he said, ‘It’s off the table, so move on’.

“I needed someone to be as brutal and frank about it. I needed to hear those words — ‘Move on, it’s not an option, you’re not going to do it’ — because there were times when it did feel like the easiest option.

“That’s quite scary to look back on now. I’d never had experience of anybody I knew being in that position and, maybe being naive, I always used to think, ‘How could anyone do that when they have kids and families?’ but I get it now. I can understand. I was that low. The only thing keeping me going was Jenny, who has been brilliant, and having a fantastic family.”

As you may have read recently, Madley will shortly be picking up his career as a professional referee in England, starting initially in the lower leagues, after being informed by the PGMOL that it is willing to offer him a way back.

Madley is not proud of the story but it is one he will always have to confront because of the way it has shaped his life. He had been “fat-shamed”, to use his description, in a newspaper article written by the former referee Mark Halsey. The headline referred to him as “Blobby Bobby” and had left him feeling self-conscious.

A man with a walking disability walked past his car and this is the part that Madley will never be able to take back. He took a six-second video on his phone and sent it to a friend with the message, “**** me, I have a chance of winning the parents’ race this year.”

The context is important (Madley had a running joke about whether he was going to take part in the race) and it was intended, he says, as self-deprecating humour. But he has never hidden from the fact it was not a pleasant thing to do.

A while later, he had an argument with his friend and a memory stick containing the video clip, along with an anonymous letter, was sent to his bosses. Madley, who had been refereeing since the age of 16, was called in for a disciplinary hearing and told he was being let go.  He was 32. As he says, he is not after sympathy here — he knows he screwed up. He has always blamed himself because of “my own regrettable, naive and stupid actions”.

This is fundamentally the reason why he sank into depression rather than anything to do with the usual stresses of the job or the way a football referee, perhaps like no other job in sport, is expected to endure abuse as part of their routine. Yet the past 16 months have not just given him time to analyse his own life but also the way referees, as a whole, are treated and the culture that allows it to be their way.

Madley, like many of us, has been reading about Caroline Flack, the English TV presenter who took her own life last weekend, and what it tells us about today’s society. “It’s an absolute tragedy,” he says. “It has been all over the news in Norway, too, but it frustrates me because I see people writing all these messages that ‘the press have to stop this’ and ‘social media has to change’ but then I look back two weeks and the same people think it’s absolutely fine to do this to a professional referee.

“The mentality is: it’s not a human being, it’s a job, and it’s OK to abuse someone in that job. But it’s not OK and it is a human being. We’ve got to create some kind of society in football where people think this is unacceptable.”

Earlier in his career, Madley’s old mates from Wakefield used to play a game called “beat the Tweet” where they would search his name on Twitter and email him some of the more vicious messages. They found it amusing and strange that their friend, someone they regarded as a normal, down-to-earth guy who loved football and was good for the occasional pint, could be held up as a figure of hate. Madley could laugh along most of the time — “I had some really cruel mates”  — but some of the messages were so sinister, so incredibly malicious and over the top, that he has kept them as examples of what referees have to endure.

One was from a Liverpool fan during an FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace in 2015. “I hope the next time Robert Madley goes for a shower, gas comes out instead of water,” it read.

Madley’s list of controversies — let’s face it, every referee has a list — includes the sending-off of Fabricio Coloccini in a Newcastle-Sunderland fixture. For that, there was another barrage of hate. “Hope Bobby Madley goes home to find his whole family dead,” read one message.

Sending off Coloccini during the Wear-Tyne derby brought further abuse (Photo: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Another came from a 15-year-old who found an account for @robertmadley, assumed it was the referee, and sent a message telling him to “have a bath in acid”.

Madley has been in touch with the recipient. “This poor guy lives in Vermont. I spoke to him and he said he used to get abuse every single weekend. I said, ‘Mate, you’ve got to get a profile picture so people know it’s not me. You can’t just have a Twitter egg’. He was getting the most horrific abuse and he could never understand why.”

Ironically, Twitter has also been very good to Madley. The blog he released on New Year’s Eve to explain the reasons why he had lost his job, in the form of a long and cathartic mea culpa, was seen by 600,000 people and “liked” almost 39,000 times. There have been nearly 2,500 private messages and he has tried to reply to each one. Some have criticised him and, again, he has accepted that is justified. Others have shared stories about how their own lives have been ruined by one silly, momentary error. Some have left him in tears.

There is no doubt, however, that Madley has seen how social media can work the other way. The wild rumours, for example, when he was initially removed from the referees’ list. “I’m a Huddersfield fan, Huddersfield being the Terriers, and I think it was a Leeds fan who put out a comment that I was a ‘dog botherer’. Then it just snowballed online.

“People were putting up pictures, quite inventive stuff, and some of them were funny. But then people started tagging in the police and the RSPCA and it started to get out of hand. All of a sudden, it was ‘trending’ number nine worldwide. Suddenly, people were saying they had seen a video and that I should be arrested. Then, there were animal rights campaigners saying, ‘I know where he lives’. I ended up needing police protection, all from a nonsense rumour.”

At one stage, Madley was in the crowd to watch Yorkshire take on Nottinghamshire in a T20 cricket match. He is a proud Yorkshireman who still holds the record for Ossett Town juniors (91 goals in a season) and was once an up-and-coming player in the youth systems at Barnsley and Leeds United. But that day at Headingley, he found out, the hard way, what it had done to his reputation.

“I was in my Yorkshire shirt. It was a packed crowd and two other Yorkshire fans started making these comments. I don’t think they were drunk — they just thought they were being big and clever,” he says.

“I lost my head that day and it nearly ended in a physical encounter. I’m normally very composed but I just thought, ‘No, I’m not coming to watch a cricket game to be verbally abused. I’m not willing to let these people try to embarrass me.’ It was actually some Nottinghamshire fans who came over and told these boys ‘enough’s enough’. It was a crazy moment but that’s the power of social media. It can be brilliant but, as we have seen recently, it can destroy people.”

The message he would like to convey is a simple one: be kinder, remember that referees are human, too. He is not asking for an amnesty and he understands there will be times when players and fans are so caught up in the sport they will lose their temper.

“People will shout at you during the game but then you go into the bar after the game and they are the first people to buy you a pint,” he says. “Football creates that emotion and, in a strange way, it’s one of the things I like. But there is a line. People have to know when to stop because what’s worse is that this is happening to 15 and 16-year-olds. It filters down.”

Earlier this week, he met a 15-year-old referee, Rhiannon Stevens, who was verbally abused by two adults during a game and took the case to the Football Association, leading to the offenders being banned. Madley presented her with a shirt — #lovethewhistle — on behalf of Ref Support, a charity which does a lot of fine work to help protect match officials. He had flown in from Oslo to give a talk at Paulton Rovers, from the Southern League, and there was a lot of warmth towards him from an audience comprising many current and former referees.

One game in particular is ingrained in Madley’s mind: Bournemouth versus West Ham from Boxing Day, 2017. It was a 3-3 draw but Bournemouth’s last goal, scored by Callum Wilson in the fourth minute of stoppage time, should never have been allowed and another of their players, Simon Francis, ought to have been sent off for a high kick on Cheikhou Kouyate. Madley saw it at the time as a yellow-card offence, for reasons he cannot fully explain, and there was no VAR at the time to correct his mistake.

“It’s strange as a referee because you don’t remember your good games,” Madley says. “You remember the bad ones, though. It was hard. You don’t need Match of the Day to tell you. There are no excuses. I didn’t referee well that day and the drive home… well, it was tough. You drive on your own because the rules state you have to. It was five hours back to where I lived in the north. It was snowing. I was talking to my mates and my brother [Andrew is another PGMOL referee]. I always listen to the radio, the phone-ins, and I was getting crucified.

“I was being destroyed on national radio and trying to concentrate on a five-hour drive. It puts you in a difficult position to keep your head straight and get home safely. I sulk for three days and I’m probably a nightmare to live with. Just because you referee a Premier League game, it doesn’t mean your skin is that thick you can shut it out. But then you have to move on because you have another game.”

It is easy to understand why some referees might not be able to take this level of scrutiny. The PGMOL has two psychologists and, though Madley did not take up the offer, he will always be grateful that he was told he could speak to them even after losing his job.

He, in turn, has tried to use his Twitter account to show that referees are real people with real feelings and perhaps dissuade supporters from thinking that abusing them is accepted as the norm. “I’ve made a point that I will never throw an ex-colleague under the bus,” he says. “I’ll never come out and start saying, ‘Rhat’s a terrible decision’. But there’s always a reason for a decision, even a mistake, so I’ve tried to use Twitter to help educate and bring football fans and referees closer together.”

For the record, he doesn’t look blobby close-up. He is fit, athletic and raring to go, and perhaps there is a lesson for Halsey here, too. “I have no issue with referees stepping away and taking roles in the media,” Madley says. “But talk about people’s decisions. As soon as you start getting personal about people’s body image, saying they don’t look fit enough and they are not preparing properly, that hurts because the guys writing it know how hard, physically, you have to train. That’s when ex-referees lose a bit of respect among current referees.”

He will have to come off Twitter soon because PGMOL contracts prohibit referees from having social media accounts. Initially, he will fly in and out for matches but the plan is to move back later in the year. At that point, we will not be hearing too much from Bobby Madley and, after so many headlines, he says he is looking forward to being anonymous again. Until he makes a mistake, anyway.

More than anything, though, he hopes his words might resonate if there are any other referees who are struggling to cope. “If I can give any advice to anyone, it would be simple,” he says. “Just talk — don’t bottle it up.” It is good advice. And perhaps it might also persuade the rest of us to be a little kinder, too.

General Discussion / That Peter Crouch Podcast with Mike Dean
« on: Wed 19 Feb 2020 16:12 »
If you have a spare 45 mins then listen to this. Absolute fantastic listen and fair play to Mike Dean for being himself and being honest. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p083tjn0

General Discussion / Bobby Madley interview
« on: Tue 31 Dec 2019 17:09 »
Mr Madley has opened up on why he left the

So to the end of the decade. A decade that saw the wonderful birth of a child and the sad loss of a father. One with personal highs and lows, just like everyone else I guess.

Professionally it’s been a decade of unimaginable highs and the lowest lows I could ever have imagined. Promotion to the Premier League following 3 red cards on debut at Southampton seems so long ago now. Progression to the FIFA International list followed and the opportunity to represent my country on the international stage, the highest achievement any referee can receive. A Community Shield between Arsenal and Chelsea at a full Wembley, a Championship Play Off Final with the added spice of a Yorkshire derby between Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City, 4th Official on the FA Cup Final, refereed the FA Youth Cup Final...in fact on the pitch it was a pretty successful decade on the whole. Today I sit and look at the medals and the footballs from those games in my living room and ask myself “where did it all go wrong?” The dream of not just being Fourth Official on the FA Cup Final, to lead my own team out at Wembley and achieve a lifetime ambition is one that was so close but will now only ever be a what could have been. It’s hard to accept and it has been a struggle to come to terms with that and many other things for 18 months now.

As the decade ends, I feel it’s time to let the past go now. Time to speak about what happened over the last 18 months that led me to reach the darkest places I’ve ever been to and places that I hope I never return to going forward.

I fully understand that there will be parts of what I write here that do not show me in the best light. Parts that I regret, that I should not have done and that I have always accepted responsibility for and apologised for.
When you read this I would like for you to ask yourself honestly just one question before making judgement of me...

‘Have I ever done that!’

I’m sure some may say no. I’m also certain that 95%+ will say actually yes I probably have in some closed WhatsApp group or chat with close trusted friends. Please bear this point in mind. It’s not an attempt to excuse anything I say later, it’s an attempt to explain and hopefully put things into the context I feel they deserve to be in.

It was reported when I left the Premier League in August 2018 that i had relocated for personal reasons. True to a degree. The personal reasons however were never confirmed.
The Guardian wrote a piece saying I had left and then at the end, quite randomly, stated that it may have something to do with a video I had posted on social media. This surprised me somewhat. Premier League referees are not allowed a social media account. No Twitter, no Facebook...so the idea of me posting on social media wasn’t even possible. Even so...Twitter did what Twitter does...at the possibility of a scandal it goes into meltdown and everyone becomes a detective. Rumours began to appear on Twitter that the reason I left is because I had been filmed having sex with a dog. I have to say I found this hilarious to begin with that people would somehow arrive at that conclusion. The fact was somebody posted that I’m a ‘dog botherer’ in relation to me being a Huddersfield Town fan (the Terriers) and so the rumour began. The more the day went on the less funny it became. Suddenly people were taking this seriously and now copying the story to the police on twitter saying I should be investigated. Others stated they had seen the video themselves and that I was disgusting and should be arrested. People have no idea the reputational damage something like that can do, never mind the mental issues it can cause. Even at Headingley while watching Yorkshire v Notts in a T20 I was verbally abused in the stands which very nearly ended in a fight.
Whilst I didn’t have my own social media page at the time, I was reading threats against me, very serious threats, from animal rights people who were trying to find out my address. The evening ended up with police protection for me due to these threats being taken very seriously. The story trended worldwide that evening and since that day I have received abuse regarding what is ultimately a ridiculous story.

Days later a newspaper, The Sun, the bearer of all truths, made claims of an exclusive. They claimed I had been sacked by PGMOL for posting a video on Snapchat of me bullying a disabled person. Whilst I didn’t have a social media account, I do have Snapchat. Snapchat is something I can control and never put things on my story for all to see. I can choose who I send anything to as I’m sure you’re aware and I only had close friends and family on there. This did not constitute a social media account regarding my employment.

For the next few months I was destroyed in the media and on social media. I chose not to comment on the stories which would ultimately give the tabloids what they wanted, the exclusive. What I experienced over the next few months was how devastating the British press can be and just how easily they are prepared to make up lies. For example, it was reported that I had split with my wife for my new Norwegian ‘blonde bombshell’ who was a former singer in a band called the Wizards of Oslo. She had tried to make it big on YouTube but had failed according to the paper. The truth? She was never in a band. She has never posted a single video of herself singing anything on YouTube...she’s a nurse on the infectious medicine ward at Ullevål Hospital in Oslo. I had split with my ex partner around 20 months prior to this story being published. The level of fake news and lies that they were prepared to go to was astounding.

So what is the truth?

The truth is that part of that story produced by the media is true. I’m not proud of myself for this next bit and I have to live with this for the rest of my life. It destroyed my career, my reputation and caused immeasurable damage to my family life that I won’t go into.

I’d like to start by stating that my dad, Harry, who passed away from cancer in 2011, was physically disabled for my whole life. I know more than most the difficulties of living with disability. My mum had to resign from her job as a nurse to care for him at home and as a result we were a family that relied on benefits. We lived in a council house in Ossett, West Yorkshire and lived absolutely on the breadline as my parents struggled but succeeded in giving my brother and myself a very happy upbringing.

The above story is not designed to create sympathy for me. I’m aware that many families have stories that are much worse than my own. However the fact my dad was disabled places the fact that I have been labelled as discriminatory somewhat into context.

I attended a sports day for my daughter. In the years prior to that years event I had joked with parents about not taking part in a parents race...claims back at me that I was scared of losing. All good banter. A few months prior to this a former referee, Mark Halsey, had written a newspaper article saying I was making mistakes because I was too fat. The full page and headline of ‘Blobby Bobby’ may seem funny to some but trust me being fat shamed in a national newspaper is not a nice feeling.

As I sat in my car with my phone in hand a person walked past my car in front of me who had a walking impairment. The next part I am ashamed of. I took a 6 second film, I said nothing. I did this in Snapchat which is where I take all of my films that I intend to save to my phone. On the video I wrote, “F**k me I have a chance of winning the parents race this year.” Out of context I accept this reads shamefully. I accept that. However my intention was that the joke was aimed at myself. Had I have sent this to anyone on Snapchat then I would accept the decision that later came as a result. I didn’t do that though. I saved it to my phone. I sent it as a private text to somebody who I trusted, somebody who had been a huge part of my life for the previous 10 years and who I was on reasonable terms with. Somebody who understood the context of previous sports day comments and was aware of the fat shaming I had received.
I regret taking the video, I regret sending that video and whilst it was a dark humoured joke it was just that. A joke. It was not intended to shame anyone, it was not intended to be seen by anyone other than the person I sent it privately to in a text message on my own personal phone (not a work phone).

A few weeks later I had an argument with the same person regarding a family issue at which point I was threatened for the first time regarding this video with the comment “what would your boss say if it ended up on his desk”.
At the time of this chat I was in Norway. I had driven there in order to collect my partners belongings as she was moving to England with me a few days later. On the way back to England a few days later,around Hamburg in fact, I received a phone call from my manager. An anonymous package had been received regarding me and could I meet with them before I went away on holiday (I was going to Greece for a week the week after). I agreed to meet in London on my way home, a meeting I was absolutely under the impression was a casual informal chat and hadn’t been told what I was actually there to discuss, just that it related to me and that it needed clearing up before I go away. I stayed in Holland that evening and drove straight to London the next morning. On entering the room in was clear that it was not the casual meeting I was led to believe I was going in for. HR were present along with a laptop on the table. My employers had received a USB and an anonymous letter saying I had sent this video. It was turned to face me and I was asked if I sent this. I admitted it immediately. I never once at any stage sought to deny or even to excuse it. I told them who I sent it to and that it was one private text message on my own phone and explained the context.
Two weeks later, I attended a formal disciplinary hearing in which I produced a statement from that person who had received the text message stating that it would not be sent to press and that it was only intended to embarrass me. I felt I would be given a stern warning and some level of written warning maybe even a final written warning. This was echoed by the union representative who felt the case, whilst not showing me in the best light, was clearly a private joke with someone I trusted and given the fact my own dad was disabled and the fact that I produced evidence that I do work for disabled children’s charities in my own time would be taken into account. It wasn’t. I was dismissed with immediate effect for gross misconduct on grounds of discrimination. At that point my world fell apart. I was not offered the opportunity to attend discrimination training and be put on a warning, sonething that whilst I know I am 100% aware of what discrimination is, would show my employer that I would be willing to engage in this. It was denied. Whilst I absolutely understand the importance of an employer taking discrimination seriously as they did,  the decision to this day still stuns me. The same week as that a politician referred to Muslim women as letterboxes and made no apology. That man now leads the country as PM. Whilst my actions were badly misjudged, it was a joke. A private joke. Something that I am certain pretty much everyone reading this has done with friends/partners in the privacy of their relationships and with no expectation that that person would ever allow that to be used to end their professional career.

I started refereeing at 16, my career was over at 32. I had my dream job, a well paid and incredibly enjoyable job that I loved every single minute of. The footballs and medals are now all I have to remember those years of dedication and hard work. I now have Twitter, I try to help young referees where possible, offering advice on their own blossoming refereeing careers. I stand proud on there to support the fight against racism and to support all within the LGBT community both inside and outside of football. I am far from a discriminatory person and yet that is what I am labelled as when you google my name. That hurts. The last 18 months have been mental torture for me and but for those close friends and family around me, as well as a strong partner, I dread to think what could have become.

I feel now is the time to try to move forward. To put the past behind me and to rebuild both my reputation and my life as a whole. I still struggle to sleep, I still suffer mentally day to day to try to find the person I am now rather than clinging to the person I once was.

Hopefully 2020 will be the start of the new me. I am not proud of that video and as I said I have to live with that for the rest of my life. In context, it was a 6 second video, a dark private joke that cost me my career. I will never be able to accept that the decision taken was either necessary nor was it proportionate to the act. I can’t change that now. The irony is that I have spent the last 18 months defending my former colleagues, being supportive of the company regarding the implementation of VAR and have sought to throw nobody under the bus, either the person I sent it to nor my former employer. I am proud that I have kept my dignity and integrity and hopefully I can move forward on and off the pitch and learn from my own mistakes, maybe I can use that to help others and make sure they don’t make the same mistake I did that lost me everything.

Please don’t think bad of me. I’m a human being who made one mistake, one that many many people have done themselves and not lost everything for. Again, I have to pick those pieces up.

General Discussion / Re: M Oliver Liverpool vs Man City
« on: Sun 10 Nov 2019 16:44 »
To be fair, I will hold my hands up... and after seeing it from a different angle I don’t understand how it’s not been given.... VAR screen anywhere?

General Discussion / M Oliver Liverpool vs Man City
« on: Sun 10 Nov 2019 16:38 »
Totally agree with the decision to not award the penalty... but when are officials going to stop allowing players to chase after them?

General Discussion / Lee probert
« on: Mon 23 Sep 2019 18:43 »
Confirmation lee has retired

Lee Probert says he is going to miss refereeing at the highest level after announcing his retirement as a Select Group 1 match official.

A long-standing back injury has forced the 47-year-old to hang up the whistle after two decades in the game and 181 Premier League matches to his name.

"I've loved every one of them," he told premierleague.com. "They're all very memorable. They're all nice stadiums to go to, fantastic atmospheres. I'm going to miss it."

Probert has fond memories of taking charge of the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull City, an honour bestowed upon only those referees at the very top of their game.

Learning curve

But that five-goal thriller was a far cry from the goalless draw 12 years ago that he still regards as his baptism of fire.

"A 0-0 draw between Bolton and Middlesbrough in November 2007 - that was a tough one," he said. "It probably won't last long in the memory of football fans but it sticks in my mind as I was new to the Premier League.

"I had Kevin Davies on one side and David Wheater on the other and they were both managing the game better than I was! It wasn't my best performance but I definitely learnt from it."

New opportunities

Probert now hopes to use his vast experience in his next role.

"The good thing is that while we've been refereeing, the PGMOL have offered us opportunities to further our education at colleges and universities," he said.

"I've done a degree at Gloucester University and my plan now is to work with Par4 Sports, offering training camps in Spain for amateurs and professionals from every sport."

General Discussion / Norwich vs Chelsea M Atkinson
« on: Sat 24 Aug 2019 14:21 »
Very poor day at the office for Atkinson. Some very strange decisions and certain decisions not being made very clear (ie the goal disallowed by VAR)

General Discussion / Lee Probert
« on: Thu 08 Aug 2019 08:24 »
The sun are reporting this morning that Lee Probert has failed his fitness test and is thinking about hanging up his whistle!


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