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Is the Prem bent ?

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There's a number of threads that are mentioning poor refereeing. Some folk are saying it's never been so obvious that refs are bent; others are saying it's just honest mistakes.


What is beyond question is that the Mancs have found this favoring them time and again, this term,


For the first time ever a manager came out and suggested it - Rafas infamous 'rant'. It's gone below the radar of every journo, but two recently retired, top referees came out in support of Rafa and agreed with him.




Winters said : the credibility and integrity of the game is being questioned, not only by biased fans but by the participants.


He and Poll also says that Ferguson can get away with whatever he wants. That if the refs don't make the 'right decisions' and 'toe the party line' they will be punished.


If biased fans say something suspicious then you can probably ignore it. But when two top referees say the game is bent then its time to pay attention.






Poll said this :


Former Premier League referee Graham Poll agrees that Sir Alex Ferguson receives lenient treatment from the Football Association.


Benitez claimed Ferguson does not get punished sufficiently for his sometimes outspoken criticism of match officials.


Poll enjoyed a good relationship with Ferguson during his time as a referee but believes the Scot does get preferential treatment from FA disciplinary chiefs.


"Rafa Benitez has articulated what referees have been thinking for years - that Sir Alex Ferguson can say what he wants about them and the FA will allow him to get away with it."





Jeff Winters said this :





The latest round of managerial mind games was played out by Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on Friday.


I am sure that there was an element of tactics in the timing and content of his interview but the fact remains that no-one could argue with the truth of what he said.


Regular readers of my articles will know that I often refer back to the game between Manchester United and Portsmouth in last season's FA Cup. After this game, Fergie publically castigated both referee Martin Atkinson and refs' chief Keith Hackett after United lost 1-0 and Ronaldo had not won a penalty after he was fouled in the penalty area.


United fans would feel aggrieved but the rest of the football world probably thought of the many times that the "winker" had won penalties when perhaps he was not entitled to have done.


Some may say "Live by the sword, die by the sword", but as we know, managers have selective eyesight and memories over certain incidents. I actually agreed with Fergie's comments about Hackett but that did not make his castigation of both Hackett and Atkinson any more acceptable.


What happened next was typical of the authorities. Fergie and his assistant were charged and then everything went quiet, except that Atkinson was kept away from United for the rest of the season. This meant that he was effectively debarred from officiating the top games that his ability and status warranted.


I have often wondered whether this castigation of certain officials - as done by Mourinho, Wenger and Fergie over recent seasons - was actually more pre-meditated than just a post match rant due to the weakness of the authorities and the knowledge that any ref who may be involved in any FA case would be kept away from the side who had complained about them.


In effect, the big clubs were virtually selecting who would or would not ref their games.


After the outburst, unbelievably Fergie and Quirez both got off scot-free.


This season, Fergie has made a similar outburst against Mike Dean. Let's see how long he is kept away from United.


In local football, when I started off, if a club slagged off a ref and marked him as poor, the local authorities would send the ref back to the team asap, just to let clubs know who was running the game.


Is there any chance of that happening today - not a cat in hell!!



Is it any wonder that some refs are clearly afraid of upsetting the biggest clubs? It is their careers that are on the line.



Only the most senior officials are somewhat bullet proof as there is an obvious shortage of senior officials who can be given the games between the biggest sides.


Other refs who get the likes of United, Chelsea and Arsenal usually get them against lesser sides and I believe that on some occasions, they are subconsciously not making decisions against them as those decisions could cost them dearly.


This situation is not acceptable. We need stronger refs but that will only happen if they get support from the authorities.


The PGMOL that controls the professional refs is basically run by the clubs and their representatives. Many people - myself included - have found out that if you don't toe the party line, then you will face consequences.


I hope that Benitez's words hit a nerve and someone takes note and starts to realise that the credibility and integrity of the game is being questioned, not only by biased fans but by the participants as well. I am not holding my breath!!

Edited by Flight
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