Blimey – Slimy Riley wants ‘respect’

‘Cut off the head of the snake’ is an idiom in which you remove the most dangerous opponent first, thereby nullifying the leader so other enemies are more easily defeated.

I wonder if it applies to more maggot-like creatures such as Mike Riley, the ‘leader’ of the ‘referees association’ the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL).

Mike Riley needs to be removed from PGMOL to help referees earn respect from managers, players and fans.

Mike Riley needs to be removed from PGMOL to help referees earn respect from managers, players and fans.

As Sky Sports News takes it upon itself to run a ‘Support The Ref’ campaign, perhaps PGMOL should recognise that Riley is widely viewed as incompetent, or even worse.

The standard of refereeing in the Premier League has arguably hit an all-time low this season.

Support The Ref - Sky Sports News has taken it upon itself to give Riley and his cohorts air time this week.

Support The Ref – Sky Sports News has taken it upon itself to give Riley and his cohorts air time this week.

Manchester City have suffered more than – or at least as much as – any team when it comes down to outrageous refereeing decisions in 2016/17.

Stonewall Sterling penalty - Raheem is denied a nailed on penalty appeal after being fouled by Spurs' Kyle Walker.

Stonewall Sterling penalty – Raheem is denied a nailed on penalty appeal after being fouled by Spurs’ Kyle Walker.

When you see ‘stonewall’, ‘nailed on’ and ‘dead cert’ – the clichés come thick and fast – penalties not awarded, a club could be forgiven for thinking there was an agenda in play.

Raheem Sterling has been the focus for many a dubious decision from referees, who are totally unaccountable for their actions.

Nobody, other than Andre Marriner and his linesman, could deny Sterling’s penalty claim against Spurs, when Kyle Walker clearly shoved him in the 18-yard box. The Tottenham full back even admitted the offence after the match.

Who, other than Michael Oliver and his hapless assistant, didn’t see James Milner take Sterling’s legs from beneath him in Liverpool’s six-yard box on Sunday?

Sterling devalued - Raheem had a nailed on penalty not given when Milner fouled him in Liverpool's 6-yard box.

Sterling devalued – Raheem had a nailed on penalty not given when Milner fouled him in Liverpool’s 6-yard box.

Oliver’s mistake was compounded by the fact Sergio Aguero was manhandled to the ground, literally a second beforehand, as the ball flashed across the Liverpool goal…making it two certain penalties in the blink of an eye. Neither was given.

The arrogant and obnoxious Mike Dean added insult to injury when Sterling was fouled by Swansea keeper, Lukasz Fabianski in City’s 2-1 win in February.

City’s number 7 hadn’t even appealed for the penalty and yet Dean made a point of booking him for diving – it beggared belief!

Persecuted - Referee Mike Dean books Raheem for God knows what against Swansea!

Persecuted – Referee Mike Dean books Raheem for God knows what against Swansea!

Contemptible ‘Altrincham fan’ Anthony Taylor engineered a ‘six point swing’ to Chelsea when the Londoners beat City 3-1 in December. Taylor declined to send off David Luiz for a red card offence on Sergio Aguero in the first half – a potential game changing decision.

Instead he ended up dismissing Aguero and Fernandinho in the latter stages while allowing Cesc Fabregas and Nathaniel Chalobah to escape similar punishments.

Perhaps the piece de la resistance so far this season, was Andre Marriner’s curious failure to see the infamous elbowing incident involving Aguero and West Ham’s Winston Reid last August.

Blinding performance - apparently Andre Marriner didn't see the Aguero-Reid incident...right in front of him!

Blinding performance – apparently Andre Marriner didn’t see the Aguero-Reid incident…right in front of him!

Standing just 10 feet way, with a clear line of sight, Marriner claimed he hadn’t seen the clash, leaving the way clear for the FA to impose a three-match ban on Sergio, ruling him out of the Manchester derby.

Strange that!

Five months later and Marriner still hadn’t found his way to Specsavers, hence Sterling’s non-penalty against Spurs.

Pep Talk - Guardiola was, once again, left perplexed by sub-standard refereeing decisions, this time by Michael Oliver in the Liverpool game.

Pep Talk – Guardiola was, once again, left perplexed by sub-standard refereeing decisions, this time by Michael Oliver in the Liverpool game.

General Secretary of the Manchester City Supporters Club, Kevin Parker – a man who is highly respected – has written to Mike Riley on three separate occasions this season, querying the poor quality of referees and their assistants – and not only in relation to decisions that have gone against City.

Not once has Riley responded to Kevin. Is that in itself a measure of Riley’s arrogance, or maybe he’s too busy ensuring his Select Group Referees remain unaccountable for their wayward performances?

Pep Guardiola has requested answers from Riley on refereeing standards, but to no avail.

Pep Guardiola has requested answers from Riley on refereeing standards, but to no avail.

If a high profile organisation is hugely underperforming you’d normally expect heads to roll – so why is Riley still in post?

He oversees sub-standard individuals such as Taylor, Mason, Marriner, Dean – blimey the list goes on and on – so surely PGMOL needs to have a shake up and new leaders put in place?

Pep remonstrates with 'Bolton fan' Lee Mason during his woeful mishandling of City's 2-1 victory over Burnley.

Pep remonstrates with ‘Bolton fan’ Lee Mason during his woeful mishandling of City’s 2-1 victory over Burnley.

Of course it’s desirable that referees are respected. They’re a quintessential ingredient in football – you can’t have a game without the officials – BUT PGMOL make it so difficult for managers, players and fans alike, to respect referees and their assistants!

'Altrincham fan' screws City - Anthony Taylor sent off Sergio Aguero against Chelsea.

‘Altrincham fan’ screws City – Anthony Taylor sent off Sergio Aguero against Chelsea.

Week after week, game after game these full time, well paid, officials are getting major decisions wrong!

The job of a referee and, to a lesser degree linesmen, isn’t easy but the levels of ineptitude are totally unacceptable.

Speculation about the integrity of big name officials is rife. Are some biased, even corrupt?

It’s high time for technology to be applied to ensure critical, game-defining, decisions are called correctly.

Oliver's Twist - Referee Michael Oliver and his hapless assistant didn't see Milner's foul on Sterling from any angles!

Oliver’s Twist – Referee Michael Oliver and his hapless assistant didn’t see Milner’s foul on Sterling from any angles!

There’s too much at stake nowadays for so much trust and responsibility to ride on the shoulders of men who aren’t up to the job.

You only have to look at international rugby union – the TMO video review processes and the respect accorded to referees – to see to what PGMOL should aspire.

In life respect has to be earned – it’s not a given – and the rules apply to PGMOL as much as anyone else.

It's alleged referee Michael Oliver was 'mentally fatigued' as he made numerous mistakes in the City and Liverpool clash.

It’s alleged referee Michael Oliver was ‘mentally fatigued’ as he made numerous mistakes in the City and Liverpool clash.

Former General Manager of PGMOL, Keith Hackett, even went so far as to say Michael Oliver’s ‘calamitous mistake-ridden performance’ in City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool was down to ‘mental fatigue.’ The poor ref was tired – God give us strength!

It’s those at the top of the ‘profession’ who set the standards and lead by example.

With Riley as the head of referees and assistant referees, it’s increasingly difficult to take PGMOL seriously.

Get your coat on Riley...and keep walking. Respect - are you having a laugh?

Get your coat on Riley…and keep walking. Respect – are you having a laugh?

Never mind respect, it doesn’t even have credibility.

Riley does a disservice to referees from grassroots up to the top flight – it’s time for change, it’s time for him to go.

 

 By David Walker

  

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

14 Comments

  1. March 21, 2017  5:41 pm by Anthony Nolan Reply

    Brilliant. Love the article. You reminded me just how much we have been stuff this season. And of course last season we were royally stuffed too a lot of times. It does appear as though Chelsea are coming out on the "right side" of a lot of referee mistakes this season too. Very odd. And as for Ibrahimovic and Rojo.. they should both be facing 12 game bans at this stage for filth.

    Anyway, top article. Sharing it now.

    • March 21, 2017  6:58 pm by David Walker Reply

      Much appreciated. They say City fans are paranoid and always seeking out conspiracy theories, so obviously it's sheer coincidence when the blindingly obvious to us is never seen by certain referees ;-)

  2. March 21, 2017  6:09 pm by Philip Entiwistle Reply

    The problem is Dave is that we need a voice but infortunately the 3 institutions, the BBC, SKY and BT refuse to take up the fight on our behalf because there are no journalists capable of discovering the truth.

    • March 21, 2017  6:54 pm by David Walker Reply

      Possibly not so much a lack of capability, but perhaps a lack of willingness to do so? Thanks for the feedback my friend - see you soon - but only after you've been entertained by City Royalty ;-)

  3. March 21, 2017  6:22 pm by Will Reply

    mark Halsey knows the truth but has been gagged! I still like to believe it is purely incompetence but perhaps that is rose tinted specs. Those decisions could easily see us 8-10 points better off with 3 off Chels, 1 off Spuds & Scousers. In other words refs have single handedly ruined the title race. Now I am getting angry!

    • March 21, 2017  6:59 pm by David Walker Reply

      I cannot believe it's all down to incompetence. Cheers Will.

  4. March 21, 2017  8:57 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Nice one Dave, yet again another costly decision goes against us. I have a friend who Refs in the lower divisions & we both looked at the Spurs & the Liverpool decisions. He agrees both were wrong but stated that ref's only have a split second to make a decision. But says the game is so frantic now that Refs are struggling & believes technology will come in. The sooner the better for me.

    • March 21, 2017  11:48 pm by David Walker Reply

      Agreed. I'm big advocate of video technology - as Delia Smith would say 'Let's be 'avin you.' I can understand the sentiment about split second decision making and the frenetic pace of the game BUT, I cannot and will not let go of some sort of bias or corrupt elements at play. I have at least anecdotal evidence from individuals who have no reason to invent such stories.

  5. March 21, 2017  10:04 pm by COLIN Reply

    https://youtu.be/4TI0RDLbypE

    • March 21, 2017  11:50 pm by David Walker Reply

      Good old Fergie, he had the red b@st@rds well trained didn't he? They used to get away with all sorts didn't they? While we're on the topic - Mike Riley was the match referee as United beat Arsenal 2-0 in 2004 (Battle of the Buffet/Pizzagate) ending the Gunner's record 49-game unbeaten run. If you've ever seen footage from the game, you'll see one of the most lopsided refereeing displays in Premier League history. Riley was an absolute disgrace.

  6. March 22, 2017  2:45 pm by Pete lynch Reply

    Brilliant!!! Wonderful piece.

    • March 22, 2017  3:09 pm by David Walker Reply

      You liked it then ;-) Will you take a cheque or BACS? Cheers fella, much appreciated.

  7. March 22, 2017  11:21 pm by Phill Reply

    The Life Of Riley......

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