This past week many a conversation raged online, in offices, pubs and clubs in regards to one topic – the standard of refereeing in Scotland.
On Monday night in Inverness, our alleged “top” referee Willie Colum made, not for the first time I hastened to add, mistake after mistake to the point his performance in the eyes of this columnist became almost laughable.
Upon the final whistle and after a few cushions had been thrown I was able to take stock of what I had just watched. After calming down, I actually started to feel sorry for our officials!
So this got me thinking, what an earth can we do to help them?
I think we are all in agreement that they have an almost impossible task but that does not excuse some of the decisions that are being made across the board. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a referee so to try and gain their trust and understanding should all professional players be made to attend a referee course?
By doing such an exercise, I believe the gulf in relationship will become tighter. Players must respect the officials and likewise officials must respect players and management.
From what I understand all referee courses are as hard as they come. But with all that said and done, I believe referees should listen to players more. In the modern-era referees attend clubs pre-season to talk over the rules with managers and captains. That’s all fine but why don’t refs sit down with all players and listen to what they have to say?
Most players after attending said meetings with refs have on occasions been left more confused and disagreeing with certain topics. Here’s a thought, if referees are allowed to come to clubs and lecture players, why can’t players offer a lecture to a ref?
In this day and age with social media and sports broadcasters examining every move, there is no hiding place. Everybody has become an expert so with this in mind I do have a degree of sympathy with those with the whistle but something must be done.
Working in the television industry, I would like to think I can write this next paragraph with an element of authority.
For me, television replays are a must. Thats why I use the best iptv provider so that I am able to rewind it as much as I want. Many argue that using this type of technology will slow up the game, it will not. Click to discover about trained and skilled video operators working in an outside broadcasting truck, they are able to rewind and get an incident ready to look at again within seconds.
To show the clip to a TV replay adjudicator sitting in a private box will take less than 30 seconds depending on the incident. The official can watch the clip as many times as they wish to help determine the outcome of their final decision.
I also believe we should adopt the same system as that in Rugby League, having the final decision cast openly on a big screen inside the stadium. Dare I say it, could this add extra excitement to our game?
What I would say is that not all decisions require video replays, the referee must ultimately decide which incident needs looking at again. It is up to their discretion. Why not use the technology in the group stage of the newly formatted League Cup? If it works the administrators of our game have a big decision to make.
Recently the Europa League introduced officials who command the bye line. Personally, I think this has been a complete waste of time and resources. How many of these officials have actually made any worthwhile contribution to the officiating of our game? None!
So how about this for an idea which comes from Ten Sports pundit, professional coach and author Stevie Grieve. Stevie believes like I do that we could introduce two refs, one for each half. Stevie told me recently that players get subbed for either tactical reasons or due to fatigue. Referees surely must also suffer from fatigue be it physically or physiologically. If they only had to make decisions in a relatively smaller area of the pitch, could this enhance their skills and thinking? I believe it will.
I would also like to know why referees are protected, nobody else in the game is!
Why can’t a ref come out post-match and explain certain decisions? I’m not talking about the third degree here but enough to satisfy the appetite. I do though believe this should be done once a ref has spoken to the managers of both clubs as they take priority in my opinion.
I also can’t help but think that over the years the game has become more complicated. For reasons only known to those in charge, why change the game that we all love and know. There was nothing wrong with football until people started messing with it.
First up, the off-side rule, why oh why did they change that? Keep it simple, if you’re in an off-side position be it interfering with play or not you are off-side – simple!
Players can’t make any sort of challenge these days without “endangering their immediate opponent” – if you can’t handle a good old 50/50 challenge then you shouldn’t be playing the game!
Booking players for taking off their shirts, booking players for over elaborate celebrations – give me peace! We might as well all applaud politely run back to the halfway line and kick-off without fuss!
Have we forgotten what football is all about, let’s bring back the entertainment without players thinking twice about their celebrations.
Trust me it’s been a very long time since I scored a meaningful goal but I still remember exactly how it felt!
Let the players celebrate how they wish. If we went back to the way the game was played I honestly believe the officiating of our games will be so much better.
Let me leave you with a wee thought, is it too late to turn back the clock for the better good?
Ally Begg’s column is sponsored by Dolly Digital, a freelance Graphic and New Media Design Studio based in Aberdeen. Check out their Aberdeen FC-related products now.