The quality of officiating is declining, an issue as old as time that is still voiced frequently by fans worldwide. Howard Webb tries to enhance Premier League refereeing. Voicing displeasure with the officials is hardly novel. What makes this time different is that people in power now appear to acknowledge that the complaining may have some basis in reality.
Howard Webb tries to enhance Premier League refereeing
It might be exaggerated to say that the officiating in the Premier League is in crisis. Of course, the Professional Game Match Officials Board wouldn’t have appointed its first chief refereeing officer if things were already ideal. On December 1, Howard Webb assumed his position as PGMOL’s leader, giving him broad authority to reorganize the organization and introduce innovative new procedures.
In 2010, Webb officiated at the pinnacle of officiating, both the World Cup final and the Champions League final. The 51-year-old has returned to try to mend things in the Premier League and Football League. Thus, it was after having served as the head of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation and worked for six years in comparable jobs in the United States and Canada.
PGMOL managing director Mike Riley called his hiring a “huge coup.” Construction continued after Webb’s arrival. Drs. Steve McNally (performance support director) and Wayne Allison (coaching director) have joined the team to help with the PGMOL’s makeover. The current season will be Riley’s last as managing director; he’s held the role since 2009. Like veteran referees Mike Dean, Jon Moss, Martin Atkinson, and Kevin Friend, he will retire in the coming months.
Webb now has Atkinson and Moss working under him as referee coaches. The Premier League, the Football League, and the Football Association all contribute financially to and jointly own the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL). Now is the time for it to straighten out its affairs.