Beesotted regular, and seasoned football journalist, Jim Levack, is hacked off at the performance of another biased referee… this time at The Riverside where the official also refused to shake Dean Smith’s hand. #Manners
Another game, another draw, another atrocious referee deciding the outcome.
Okay, sloppy defending and a lack of quality in the final third played their parts again too, but critical decisions at key points change the course of matches.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the FA’s Respect Programme but to my mind respect is earned, and from what I’ve seen of the referees who’ve taken Brentford games this season, they don’t deserve any.
Officious, pompous, arrogant, eager to yield to the bigger clubs and above all unaccountable, around 80% aren’t fit to referee a professional sport played by finely tuned athletes.
The penalty shout in the sixth minute at Middlesbrough, one of a handful the official bottled, was as clear cut as you’re likely to see – although I’m sure the Boro fans will feel similarly annoyed by one that was waved away near the end of the Riverside encounter.
To have a bad day is one thing, but to compound it by refusing to shake Dean Smith’s hand at the end is downright childish, churlish and that word again, arrogant.
People often tell me to lay off referees. It’s a tough job, they say, they’re only doing their best. Well clearly the best that the professional referees body, the self proclaimed Professional Game Match Officials Limited, can do isn’t good enough.
Refereeing isn’t difficult. I’ve done it. You use your common sense, you talk to players, you use your cards sensibly because you want to keep 22 on the pitch, you let the game flow.
It’s easy if you’ve played the game but frankly a lot of the clowns we see at Griffin Park look like they’ve just squeezed into their kit after taking a blacked out limo – because they are very important people – straight from an all you can eat buffet at a Heathrow hotel.
There is no talking to referees these days, the fourth official is merely a buffer and as for the assessors, well I’m honestly not sure what they do.
In recent weeks we’ve seen nailed on free kicks given the opposite way, usually against Brentford, leaving the crowd utterly baffled. It happened against Derby and again at Boro.
People far calmer than I say that luck evens itself out over the course of a season and I’m sure Smith and his side’s fortunes will change soon, but it shouldn’t be down to luck where such obvious refereeing decisions are concerned.
Linesmen and women, referees assistants if you want, are equally culpable. How many times have we seen them holding their flag towards the ground in abject terror until the referee tells them which way the decision should go? If they haven’t got the guts to make a decision then what is the point of them being there?
I thought refereeing standards were poor in League One and I honestly believe the standard is better in the Championship, but what isn’t is the level of protection afforded to footballing sides like us. And I bet you’ll hear a similar story from fans at Burton and Barnsley when they visit places like Boro.
I hope that PGMOL or whatever they call themselves – how can they be a limited company anyway? – take a long hard look at their officials and relegate or rest them if their standards drop below that expected by the assessors… if there are any.
But they won’t and the bizarre decisions will continue to ensure the big clubs stay big, the old pals act continues and clubs like Brentford have to fight for every decision they get.
Certainly in the short term I hope Dean Smith does report the match official for his petulance and trust that won’t lead to even more barmy decisions as his colleagues wreak their petty revenge.
Great point though and four league games unbeaten. Not even appalling, myopic referees can stop the revival.
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