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Refs need help to get it right; TomRoss THE MIDLANDS' TOP RADIO PERSONALITY MAKES HIS POINT ON ALL THE BIG SPORTING ISSUES.

Byline: Tom Ross

ONCE again referees are in the news because of major mistakes they have made that have affected results.

However, do they get enough help from their bosses, the players, the managers and, most importantly, from their linesmen? I refuse to call them assistant referees until they start assisting the man in the middle and stop causing him problems.

One referee, Mark Clattenberg, has taken a month off to ease the stress after the criticism that followed his failure to send off Wayne Rooney for elbowing Wigan's James McCarthy in a recent game.

He said afterwards that he saw the incident and that it was just a "coming together" of the two men and not a red-card incident, although he gave a free kick to Wigan.

Because he dealt with the incident during the game, it meant the FA could not retrospectively charge the United and England striker with violent conduct so the result was that he got away with it.

This is a stupid "rule" whereby if the referee deals with an incident no action can be taken later.

Why shouldn't the referee still be able to award a free-kick and/or yellow card in these situations, but tell the player he is "on report", which means it will be looked at by a disciplinary panel after the game to see if further punishment is warranted? The referees' chief, Mike Riley, won't speak or allow his referees to comment on any incident. Managers and players are expected to react to the game and so should referees.

In the stand we now have two assessors, first there is an ex-referee who looks at the technical way the referee controls the game, while the second assessor is an ex-manager who examines the way he deals with players.

The reality is that if any referee calls a game that pleases fans, players and managers he will invariably not be pleasing the assessors.

Referees need help not criticism from the likes of the increasingly irksome Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger or any other manager who wants to use the referee as an excuse for not winning.

One change must be implemented by the authorities immediately to help ease the situation.

That is that NO player should be allowed to complain/talk to the referee during the game other than the captain.

Any players surrounding and berating the referee should be yellow-carded.

Refereeing the game is extremely difficult, however they are not beyond criticism.

Referees, managers and players have to get together to sort out and agree a respectful working relationship, that would benefit the game and improve it as a spectacle, by removing the cheating and making it once again a game for men.

But don't hold your breath.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 9, 2011
Words:459
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