Monday, 8 December 2008

How The SAS Can Help Improve Refereeing - The New Voice Of Football Campaign

The New Voice Of Football Column At

Well it’s the end of another weekend of football and referees everywhere have burning ears through 1,000’s of fans unhappy with decisions made concerning the team that they love, support and more importantly pay good money to watch every week.

I’m sure all of you reading this are just like me and would love to see an improvement in the standard of refereeing in the modern game. So how can we do this?

Well rather than just criticise the man in the middle for decisions made that cost your team points and might even see them relegated come the end of the season, cost them promotion or even European football. For it is the criticism and lack of respect from alleged, professional footballers that is stopping the younger generations at grass roots from wanting to become referees. Well would you be a ref?

Didn’t think so, well not in this day and age, who needs the hassle. So if we could fully understand how a referee came to a certain decision, without the ref having to appear on television to explain why he made the decision, which they never seem to do. Would that appeal to you?

How about if we could see exactly what the ref sees?

Now if there is a single football fan in the world that wouldn’t like to see that on certain occasions, well them I’m afraid we have a liar in our midst. I for one, would love to have exactly the same view as the ref.

But before I go on let me make this clear. This is not a campaign to ridicule referees. This is about improving the standards of refereeing and ensuring that more young people are encouraged to take it up. As long as there is football there is a need for referees at all levels of the beautiful game and I like you would prefer them to be good at it.

So with the technology available today, why not have what will become the Ref-Cam?

Now I’m all in favour of video-technology being introduced to football, for tight offside decisions and goal-line incidents, but it wont make the standard of refereeing any better, in fact it’s more than likely to make it worse. You see with the refs we have at the top of the game at the moment. I can see them referring every other decision to the video-ref, rather than take any responsibility for improving their own skills as a referee. We would get the right result, but not better referees. Sure the majority of you would agree?

So how would Ref-Cam work?

Well the SAS use something that works on muscular-reflex technology, and in a nutshell what this does is let a camera see exactly what their eyes see, wherever they point as well as lots of fancy other stuff. Are you starting to see where I’m coming from? Yes that’s it! Exactly what the ref saw, which will in turn allow the people that assess referees to see exactly what the ref sees and then decide if they are a good or bad ref as well as giving insight to the average fan as to why or why not a decision was taken.

This will then hopefully enable them to weed out the bad ones that for example bottle giving a major decision, despite having a clear view of what actually happened and when I say weed out I don’t mean a two-week jolly in League 2, I mean sacked. For if I can’t do my job properly then I face the sack, as I’m sure you do to. Why should they be different?

How would this be paid for?

This would be a drop in the ocean for someone of Rupert Murdoch’s wealth to introduce into football. After all how much does he spend on the television rights alone and I’m sure he would see what a great feature it would make for the viewers, while improving the game.

So there would have to be rules for this like no slow-mo Ref-Cam, after all, the poor guy in the middle doesn’t have the benefit of seeing tight incidents in slow motion. So that simply wouldn’t be fair, even refs are human, yes human.

But what about football at grass roots? They can’t afford military hardware.

Well this is a campaign to improve refereeing at the highest-level, which in turn will filter down to grass roots level, with hopefully more people encouraged to take up refereeing in the knowledge that if they can do the job properly it might be a worthwhile career path to take. Besides any major changes don’t get tested on the Hackney Marshes.

Now I’m sure some of you are on the phone right now to have me certified, but believe it or not this is an idea that is actually being kicked around within certain referees associations after my dad, who became a ref after finally hanging up his boots in his 50’s brought it up at one of their meetings, when I came up with the idea a few years ago. The referees at grass roots level like it because it will demonstrate that being a referee is not easy and therefore make people empathise with the tough decisions they have to make every week.

However, if we wait for the FA, Premier League, UEFA, FIFA or the Referees Association to make this happen our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be lucky to see it introduced.

So lets make this happen and get the idea out into the public domain so that it becomes a talking point and the powers that be realise that you and I the average fan are tired of less than average refereeing.

So vote on the poll Ref-Cam Good Or Bad Idea?

No comments:

Post a Comment