The Thundercliffe Files: Where are they dredging up these referees?

Cod Almighty | Article

by Paul Thundercliffe

11 October 2019

Paul is still seething from last week's refereeing performance. And sadly that was pretty typical

Thundercliffe Files masthead

The issue of VAR in football has already been raised in this column (update: still shit) but here is an added reason to hate it.

Because the fuckwits in the top league have to have about eight referees on each game, it has meant that more officials are being used. Which in turn means that more have to be employed. Which in turn means that refs and linos that would have just been peddling their wares in the Conference - and we know how awful they were – are now being promoted.

In short, the standard of refereeing is now at an all time low.

Of course there will be those who remember Brian Hill and Clattenburg and Joyce. Memories of Kettle and Boyeson still loom large. But those examples of pure inadequacy were fairly scant. These days it's a miracle if the ref is merely competent, such is the debacle we are witnessing week in, week out.

Last Saturday was a nadir. That arseclown systematically ruined a game of football. I would argue his antics upset Town’s rhythm and thought-processes, and ultimately cost them the game. Certainly I’ve never seen Jolley quite as animated during and indeed after a match.

What is most exasperating is that 4,000 people can’t be wrong. Yes, we fans are partisan but if we thought Matt Green was pulling his own shirt we'd say so. Mistakes can be made but a grown adult has to listen to the evidence. Fans do not seethe because a free-kick is awarded against them: fans seethe if the rules of the game are not followed. And I’m not talking about obvious ones like drop balls.

Players reaction is another facet the refs should consider. Jake Hessenthaler is hardly the most combative of players, so when he's remonstrating with you, you have to consider that he may have a point.

The angrier we get the more determined the refs are not to give into us, even if it flies in the face of the truth or even the laws of physics.

The people running the lines are no better. The ones we've had at the Lower Findus seem unable to know when the ball's in play, who kicked it out, and whether a foul is made in front of them or not. We are patient and humorous souls over there and I'm all for reassuring the lino they are doing OK, but just recently we've been apoplectic.

Also, is it just me or are there only three linesmen (always men) that just rotate? Always look familiar. And are all familiarly shit.

Thing is, I reckon the angrier we get the more determined the refs (often short fellows it must be noted) are not to give into us, even if it flies in the face of the truth or even the laws of physics. They are the refs that really wind me up, the smug little bastards who think it is all about them. Posturing and pointing and whistling, enjoying being the centre of attention and "bollocks" if I make a mistake.

They must know that what with the dearth of refereeing, they're probably safe from whatever assessment might be done. When it costs points and ruins game, something has to change. It's so bad I'd even consider us using VAR.