Keith Hackett will meet BBC radio and television journalists next week in an attempt to counter what is seen as an increase in official-bashing in Aunties output. Hackett, who is the professional referees’ chief, regularly talks to the LMA (League Managers Association) and PFA representatives before each season, and the decision to address broadcasters is an extension of his efforts to increase understanding of the match officials’ job.
The BBC is seen as a crucial opinion-former by the Premier League, which believes many supporters base their views of a referee’s performance on opinions aired by commentators on BBC Five Live, the 606 phone-in and Match of the Day. In my opinion, that is absolute guff.
If the BBC form any opinion from fans, then it’s this. That most of their pundits are absolute fools and that their commentators are nearly as bad. Motty (bless ‘im) is usually about 20 seconds behind play (I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve screamed ‘about bloody time Motson!’ at the telly). Jonathon Pearce is garbage and tabloid-esque in his approach to any kind of incident on the pitch. The pundits? Well, Gavin Peacock and Mark Lawrenson and both as daft (and as much use) as a bucket of false arms. Looking at the radio, Alan Green is one of the most preposterous people ever employed to do any kind of job anywhere in the world. The man is a moron. So quite why Keith Hackett is lording it up with the people from the BBC is beyond me. Tellingly, Sky won’t be getting a chat with the former referee. This either means that the Sky bods are far less critical of
the game in general or it’s something to do with that Â£2.7bn rights fees that the Premiership will be getting from them for the next three years.
Basically, I’ve got an idea in how to stop match officials to stop getting grief from the crowds. Do your job better and be more accountable for your actions. To my knowledge, referees are still not professionals in their sporting field, and thus, any terrible decision they made (be it booking a player three times, letting a dodgy goal stand or failing to spot a career threatening tackle) is only ever met with a swift boot down the leagues… and all that generally means is that they’re getting decisions wrong somewhere else. Get better officials who understand the game more, and I’m almost certain that fans will give them a bit more respect (unless they’re refereeing your team in which case they’ll never be able to do the right thing). [Mof Gimmers]