The evidence is gathering and I would strongly recommend that anyone interested have a look at Untold Arsenal's recent stuff on Mike Riley's PGMOL and the referee selection process, the excellent 'football is fixed' is also well worth a glance. Untold Arsenal's recent work on the hidden process of referee selection is particularly interesting, the PGMOL's process is incredibly open to bias and subjectivity, meaning that even if there is no conscious manipulation of influence at work, then subconscious bias is going to be massive exaggerated and increased by such a weak system:
- - The current form of the official
- - The referee’s position in the merit table
- - Overall experience
- - How often they have refereed the Clubs involved
- - Proximity to the ground or city in which they were born or live
- - The team the referee supports
- - International appointments (For example if referees have UEFA matches on Thursdays they will only be available for matches on Sundays or Mondays)
The above 'factors' essentially leave officials to be hand picked behind closed doors in a completely non-transparent manner. Recently we have seen Howard Webb selected for 3 Manchester United games in a row at a crucial time of the season, what are the chances of that? There are many other hugely suspicious coincidences, the Walton coincidence and the Mike Dean coincidences.
Ignore the coincidences, ignore the strange runs, but one thing that simply has to be noticed is the way in which referees are allocated so very subjectively. I wholeheartedly agree with Untold Arsenal on this one, there simply is no good argument against having a random allocation of referees that spreads the games evenly between all the 19 elite Premier League referees. One could easily allocated all the games to referees at the beginning of the season when the fixtures are announced, this process should be as random as possible to remove all types of bias from the process.
We need video technology badly, there is no good argument against it, the same is true for having a decent transparent and objective system by which referees are selected for games. The best case scenario at the moment is that the undeniable variable subconscious bias of referees that skews results is being exaggerated by a biased subjective process of referee selection, the worst case does not even bear thinking about.
Sadly it is rather obvious that football is about as corrupt as any business out there; FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League has given us many great examples of of this. Football is now a largely unregulated business, the government aren't regulating it, the FA aren't and the Premier League certainly aren't. There is also no democratic process by which the stakeholders, us - the fans, can hold any of these private institutions to account and force them to reform. We have seen what a joke reform is at FIFA, it is like asking the tobacco industry to self regulate. The mainstream media appear to largely have their head in the sand on many of these issues, they are often scared of biting the hand that feeds, the momentum is gathering though......