Like many fans, I followed up the derby fiasco by complaining to the FA over the woeful perfomance of Mr Clattenberg. The attached response says it all because it says nothing. I've now taken their advice and forwarded the complaint to Keith Hackett ? don't hold your breath Blues.
Dear Mr Keating,
I write in reference to your e-mail concerning the Everton vs Liverpool fixture on Saturday 20 October 2007.
The Football Association receives frequent correspondence on individual refereeing decisions across all levels of football as well as on the performance of referees in general. Every supporter will have an opinion on the game?s major talking points and we?re always interested to hear them.
Tony Hibbert?s red card
Some supporters have suggested that Liverpool?s Steven Gerrard influenced the decision to send Everton?s Tony Hibbert from the field of play. All decisions on the field of play are made by the referee and regardless of the context it is not for players to influence or advise the referee on a decision.
Select Group referees? performances are assessed by the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) and appointments made accordingly (see below).
Dirk Kuyt?s challenge on Phil Neville As supporters will be aware Liverpool?s Dirk Kuyt was booked for the challenge in question. FIFA guidelines aimed at avoiding the ?re-refereeing? of matches generally prevent The FA from taking disciplinary action on incidents which are seen and dealt with at the time by the match officials (this includes taking no action). As a general rule, if the match officials see an incident and have jurisdiction to take action, The FA cannot act retrospectively. These guidelines prevent The FA from upgrading/downgrading yellow and red cards based on retrospective advice provided by the match referee.
Everton FC penalty appeals Whether a penalty is awarded or not is a decision of the referee guided by assistance from the assistant referee. They are required to make a split second decisions based on what they see. This is subsequently analysed repeatedly by slow motion cameras and panels of football experts. Ultimately, football is a tremendously popular and successful game played worldwide under the fundamental principle that ?the referee?s decision is final?.
Refereeing has been restructured with the aim of continued improvement of the overall standard of refereeing in the professional game. This sees match officials categorised into two groups with the Select Group officiating in the Premier League.
The Select Group is the responsibility of Keith Hackett, General Manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).
There is a system in place for monitoring the performance of referees and referee's assistants. This involves referees assessors and reports from club managers. All assessors come from a footballing background and the majority are fully qualified referees themselves. The performances of referees over a season are then taken into consideration when the leagues appoint their referees for the following season.
Whilst we can understand the frustration that comes with decisions going against your team The FA are confident that the disciplinary procedures off the pitch as well as the referees on the pitch uphold the Laws of the Game without bias to player or club.
We do appreciate all of the feedback we receive from supporters. This feedback is collated and used to build a picture of public opinion and is subsequently fed back internally within the organisation. Please rest assured your comments will form part of this feedback process.
Alex Howells | Customer Relations Officer The Football Association
Mike Keating, Posted 01/11/2007 at 19:02:03
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1 Posted 01/11/2007 at 22:22:46
Hackett basically kept repeating though the same bureacuractic flannel about ’procedures’. But he did agree that Kuyt should have got a red; and that Lescott "may" have been denied a legitimate pen. And he did explicitly say that he "refuted" any claim that Clattenburg was biased, and that there was any favouritism towards the Big Four. I sense that I had touched a raw nerve on these points! He did not reply to my repeated question of why Clattenburg had been treated differently to Rob Styles (i.e. no apology, no suspension).
So as far as I am concerned Hackett is convicted out of his own mouth. He agrees that Clattenburg performed badly, but comes up with no reason why he was not disciplined, and why he has been treated differently from Styles. It also strikes me as strange that Moyes has apparently got away with such an explicit and repeated attack on the referee. As if the authorities just want to shut this matter down and forget it. As I said to Hackett - something stinks about this whole affair.
2 Posted 01/11/2007 at 23:23:05
3 Posted 02/11/2007 at 01:00:43
4 Posted 02/11/2007 at 09:54:31
My understanding is that if the ref misses an incident there is provision for retrospective action from the FA. Everyone agrees that it was a pen (even Hackett) therefore shouldn’t a panel be conviened and Carragher be given a red card? - Don’t hold your breath though.
5 Posted 02/11/2007 at 10:15:17
I know this is about everyone getting a fair crack of the whip, and that alot of people feel that the big teams are favoured over the so called lesser teams - but to say that this is anything new is beyond me. Sport always has its top teams, top players, big guns, whatever you want to call them, always has always will; and to some degree they’ll always be favoured. I don’t think that this debate should be pushed under the carpet, but I also don’t believe that the FA, Premier League, UEFA, FIFA or whoever you care to mention, is ever going to be able to please all of the people all of the time. Referees and linesmen from pub footy up to the World Cup Finals are berated and slated for bad decisions the world over - if you sanitise the game and make everything clear-cut, I think it loses its soul, and that for me would be the downfall of everything we know and love.
6 Posted 02/11/2007 at 11:15:51
Still rather he didn’t fob us on and gave us a email containing some substance.
7 Posted 02/11/2007 at 11:15:07
However, that does not mean that certain actions should not be taken. Kuyt should be additionally charged with violent conduct and banned for a number of games (there are lots of precedents for this). And Clattenburg should be ’relieved of duties’ for a number of games (again there are precedents here).
There are no reasons not to take these actions - except that the authorities are in the pockets of the Reds. Which is the whole problem in the first place.
8 Posted 02/11/2007 at 11:24:23
Kuyt’s challenge was bad, both feet off the ground etc, but there are bad tackles in every game every week that go unpunished - we as blues are ruled by our hearts rather than our heads to be fair where the RS are concerned at least. If it’d been any other club would we be so bothered? I doubt it. Would Kuyt getting a ban make any difference to the result? Again, no so whats the point? Phil Neville agreed that it was a bad tackle (he missed too by the way!) but also said that in Kuyt’s defence he’s not a dirty player and maybe just had a rush of blood. I’m not defending Kuyt because it WAS a red card offence, but I just don’t think that if it’d been a West Ham or Wigan player we’d be that arsed.
9 Posted 02/11/2007 at 11:39:37
The point is for the authorities to come down hard on what appears to be bias on the part of the referee. Everyone I know in London - whoever they support - was astonished by Clattenburg and believe he was biased in favour of the Reds. Not least because Carragher and Gerrard appeared to be refereeing the game!
If, as seems to be the case, the authorities do nothing (even though, for example, Styles was rested after giving a penalty against Liverpool), then the suspicion of bias is confirmed. Clattenburg by Hackett’s admission made some major errors, but he is not being punished. Kuyt is guilty as everyone agrees of very dangerous play, but he is not being punished. The authorities could easily act. They are not doing so. This is damaging the game. So why don’t they act?
To put your question another way: if Clattenburg had been refereeing Wigan and Kuyt was a Wigan player (let’s say against Liverpool, tackling the Reds’ capatain), do you think the authorities would have acted? I know what I think.
10 Posted 02/11/2007 at 11:48:20
Clettenburg missed a game last week, and we were told it was because of a re-planned holiday - really? I did love Davey’s comments on all this, the thing about Battenburg going on tour with the RS was genius!
Your final point about the Wigan player I totally agree with, there is certainly bias towards the top teams, but this isn’t new, its always been there and always will. I dont think we can eradicate that, we just have to live with it like we always have - the only reason this is becoming so much more of an issue these days is because of technology and coverage. Back in the day, we only had match reports, eyewitness accounts and radio commentary - now we have endless replays, and endless debate so it ’appears’ to be worse than ever - I dont believe thats a fair reflection.
11 Posted 02/11/2007 at 13:01:24
You’d be better off in the park on a Sunday morning watching a rabble of ageing thugs and fairies playing with coats for goalposts.
12 Posted 02/11/2007 at 13:11:03
13 Posted 02/11/2007 at 13:25:32
14 Posted 02/11/2007 at 13:48:19
A bit of espionage is always fun; maybe the bigwigs at the FA have a team of gimps logging on to all the PL teams message boards, official and otherwise to keep tabs on all of us. I expect we’re being followed too - I’m calling my lawyer!
Fair point you make Dave re them not answering your question - thing is, why would they listen to A.N. Other (you) in the first place? We’re just serfs mate, nobody cares what we think!
15 Posted 02/11/2007 at 13:43:30
Where I disagree with Allen is when he suggests referee’s cockups enliven and animate the proceedings. He is right about that and that is why we live with them in normal circumstances. But what happened in the Derby were not cock-ups as far as I was concerned because every single error put Liverpool in a winning situation. I do not remember any significant error on Clattenburg’s part that favoured Everton at all or in any way. And that is why I remain very suspicious indeed.
16 Posted 02/11/2007 at 14:31:57
Did any of you honestly think that an email or letter to the FA would do anything, change the decision, ban the ref?
Get real, this was just another game in the premier league, the ref got some decisions wrong, just get on with it !!!!
17 Posted 02/11/2007 at 14:56:32
Had that referring performance gone against Liverpool, or the other 3 money soaked clubs, then it would have rumbled on in the media for months. As it is the rest of football has forgotten it, except us.
Hence, we’d have more fun on a Sunday morning in Sefton Park with a dodgy plastic ball, coats for goalposts and no referee at all. The reference to thugs and fairies is a bit more clouded. Just a happier time in a different league.
18 Posted 02/11/2007 at 15:29:26
I’m betting you used to love the X-Files!?
19 Posted 02/11/2007 at 15:38:45
20 Posted 02/11/2007 at 20:06:38
So the referee got a few decisions wrong? Fuck me was that all it was? And here I was thinking a referee made a stream of ’errors’ every one of which was in favour of one team! Here was I thinking how strange it was that the referee walked over to Gerrard and shook his hand when he was substituted and how ungentlemanly it was of the referee to change the colour of Hibbert’s card after Gerrard said something to him. And to top it off, here was I thinking how unusual it was for a referee to give Liverpool 2 penalties while refusing Everton a stonewaller! I am more than ready to move on mate but it is difficult when injustice and possibly corruption are not even acknowledged by the game’s regulators. Why should Hackett tell a referee to apologize to Liverpool for giving a dodgy penalty against them that cost them a point while refusing to tell Clattenburg to apologize to Everton for denying a penalty which could have saved us a point, especially after he has already agreed it should have been a penalty?
It is these little injustices that tend to keep the wound from healing. And no I am not barking mad. The barking mad are those who cannot see, or who can ignore, injustice. Like you.