Mark Halsey regularly referees Premier League matches. When a supposedly top referee shows such arbitrariness and lack of common sense in his decision making, it makes you wonder how much worse it gets at the lower levels of the game.
Referees appear to be under pressure to make grave decisions even when there is no need to do so, and far too often, such decisions determine the outcome of matches. I have no idea where this “pressure” comes from. Perhaps it is from the football authorities. Perhaps it is the referee’s own sense of self-importance – why should the post-match discussions focus on the managers and players, and not on the referee as well? (I trust no one takes me too seriously here).
Football is becoming less and less about the abilities of the 22 players on the pitch (assuming games finish with 22 players at all).
I will not continue to watch a match in which there is a poor decision which is likely to affect the outcome of the game, such as a controversial sending off or penalty. If more of us did that, the TV companies may have no choice but to put pressure on the football authorities to get their act in order. No amount of complaining by managers, players and fans seems to work.
I will be coming back to this theme frequently this year.