Connect with us


PGMOL keen to see ex-players become Premier League referees



| Last Updated:


Howard Webb, PGMOL referees’ chief, has said he hopes that more ex-players start to become Premier League trained referees.

Premier League referees have seen criticism aimed their way throughout the history of the competition, with Manchester United certainly feeling the brunt of poor decisions this season.

There has been an increase in focus on these bad decisions since the introduction of VAR (Video Assistant Referee), with poor decisions being highlighted and the subjectivity of the refereeing rule book being exposed.

Read More: Man United star labelled the “most starved player of all time” under Erik ten Hag by former player

Sam Allison, who is set to referee Sheffield United vs Luton Town on Boxing Day in his first Premier League fixture, has a background in youth football and played for England Schoolboys, and Howard Webb has explained that he hopes more players with football playing experience will make the step.

“You would think if you have played at a good level as Sam has, you have an advantage from the off because of that lived experience,” Webb told the BBC.

“I said when I came into the role, I was keen to entice ex-players into refereeing. We have never had a great deal of success in that respect.

“We are working hard to make that happen and working closely with our friends at the PFA to try to put together a tangible plan that is going to be appealing to players who are either coming to the end of their career naturally in their mid-30s or players who get injured during the course of their careers or get released at a young age and have not quite made the grade that they hoped they would.

“Hopefully, they will see refereeing as an opportunity to stay on the field.”

Manchester United have ex-players involved in almost every capacity in football, from punditry to coaching to club management, but refereeing is one area where this has not happened.

Ex-players becoming referees may complicate matters at times, for example, you cannot have an ex-Manchester United player refereeing a Manchester City fixture, but if referees had previous match experience, this could help them apply more context to decisions in the future.