Betting and the referees (part 1) – Cyril’s betting advice (part 21)

Football Leagues and Stats

Betting and the referees

I’d like to have a good look at the Referees Panel for this season and for a few previous seasons. However I think it would be a good idea to have a little look at the history of the whistle blowers first. In the early part of the 1800’s games were played without any kind of decision maker.

October 1863 saw the birth of the Football Association and two months later they published their Laws of Football. It was by now obvious that an arbiter of some kind was needed and it became normal practise to have two umpires. (Official records first mention them in 1874). One in each half of the field. Now they worked very much as cricket umpires. The players would have to make an appeal to try to get a free kick. How they appealed would be nice to know. I just can’t see eleven hulking brutes throwing their arms up and shouting "Howzat?" plus here was always the chance that the umpire might be a little bit biased, as each team would normally select one each. Like they used to choose linesmen in my younger days. As you can imagine, as the game grew in popularity, matches became more intense.

The referee

He gradually assumed more and more authority and in 1891 he took ultimate control, (complete with whistle) and was given the power to AWARD free kicks. Appealing was no longer necessary. (I wonder if we could convince today’s players to abide by this ruling?).

The umpires were banished to the touchline and became …….. Linesmen. At this point many officials were appointed by the partcipating clubs. Not an ideal situation, until 1908 when officials who didn’t have any club allegience set up the Referees’ Union. The rest, really is history.

Today’s version of the Union is the Professional Games Match Officials Limited. (PGMO). They are a very professional body with a management team of Keith Hackett, Neale Barry and Dave Allison. They are very scientific in their approach to the fitness of the referees, especially the Premier League Panel of 20 Hand chosen whistlers. They even have an optician. Called a Vision Scientist. A rose by any other name? The present day match team all have a heart monitering system attached to their bodies during the game. They have an excellent back-up team, who will find an answer to any problems that they need to receive advise about. The Referees in the Panel are paid an annual retainer and also receive a generous match fee. They in turn must commit to the fitness and other training programmes laid down by the management team.
A little light relief, I "lifted" this from the web.
You love football, but cannot understand the rules.
You have a strange desire to run around aimlessly in the wind, rain and snow.
You love the sound of verbal abuse.
You find it hard to make decisions and when you do, you’re always wrong.
Sound familiar? Who’d be a referee?  
This seasons Premier League Panel contains a couple of new names but also some old "friends".  Some have been on the panel for quite some time and include M.L. Dean, C.J. Foy, S.Bennett  and card happy M. Riley. We’ll have a look at their stats next time.