PAY REFS DECENT WAGES – AND NO EXCUSES
I HAVE to agree with Neil Lennon when he said the standard of officials in the Championship needs to be improved. The Bolton boss was livid after three of his players suffered injuries in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Reading, calling referee Mark Haywood’s performance “appalling”. This comes just a month after mistakes by postman and part-time ref Andy Woolmer during the Trotters’ match against Leeds prompted Lennon to say all second-tier refs should be paid to go fulltime.
He’s got a point. Officials need help and, right now, it doesn’t look like that’s going to come from video technology.
That’s a shame, but one thing we can do is allow them to train more and study more in order to get better at their jobs.
With the Premier League’s new £5.1bn TV contract, there’s never been so much at stake for Championship clubs.
The division is so tight this year that one mistake in a top-of-the-table game could cost somebody tens of millions in revenue.
Is it really fair to ask a parttime referee to shoulder that burden? Whether the money comes from the Premier League or the Football League, I think it’s time to pay referees a wage that reflects the huge responsibility they face – and demand a performance to match.