by .

We’ve said for a long time that PGMOL isn’t fit for purpose and referees in our country, for a variety of reasons, are not up to the standard.

Some basics have had my alarm bells ringing for a long time.

  • They are predominantly from the North of England (37%) with 0% from London
  • They are all English – I flag this because football teams have a diverse range of nationalities – why? Because they are picking from the best.
  • Up until last week, they were all white
  • The only severe accountability for poor performance has been one firing. For perspective, 17 Premier League managers were sacked last year.

If you were to build out an approach to creating a system of accountable refereeing that put a priority on performance and fairness – they way we have it right now would not cut muster.

Certain teams seem to be on the end of worse decisions, consistently

Certain referees have very disturbing patterns against certain teams

There is no consideration of regional bias when mapping referees to games

Certain managers have the ability to move refs off their games

The only consistency is the inconsistent application of the rules

So when Mike Dean goes on a podcast 3 months after giving up football and brazenly talks about not giving a decision…

“because he is a mate”

“I think I didn’t want to send him up because I didn’t want any more grief than he already had”

… questions will be asked.

There is a segment of people in media who think fans are absolutely mad for creating theories around how refs officiate – now they can all stand down, because one of the most notorious refs of the past decade just gave up the goods and told the world what we already knew – decisions aren’t based on the facts of the game, they’re wrapped in emotion.

If you can fudge a decision because you empathise with a mate, you are not a serious official. You are not above bias, you are not above partisanship, you are not above revenge, you are not mature enough to look beyond your own personal feelings of disdain towards characters you simply don’t like. That is a problem when your decisions impact lives.

One of the most famous referees in PGMOL history just admitted he took one for the team to protect a mate from grief. This gives an incredible amount of weight to the ‘not fit for purpose’ crowd. I’ve seen headlines that say ‘this will feed conspiracies’ which is amusing, because it’s not feeding anything bar the truth we all knew about.

The framing of this headline is so disappointing – it’s like the writer thinks this is a gaff that shouldn’t have happened. I disagree, I’m glad he said it, because now we have something to fix. This sort of honesty around the problem is much needed – especially as so many of the football intelligentsia have been telling normal fans they are stupid for believing that the only thing going on with refs is a touch of ‘whoopsie.’

The moment merits an external investigation. It needs a reaction. There has to be a longterm plan for how this sort of behavior is fixed. This isn’t a one-off – it’s part of a rotten culture. It is a corruption of the game, it is a sledgehammer through the window of fairness, and it’s a look inside the mindset of a group that has almost no accountability. If a Judge made decisions like this in court, they’d be removed. If an auditor made decisions based on likeability, they’d be sued. People lose their livelihoods based on these decisions and we’ve just found out they are tainted.

This cannot go unaddressed. The first action should be to hire an independent consultancy. There needs to be a root cause analysis of what the problem is and why it is getting worse.

  • Understand the data
  • Interview the refs
  • Interview managers
  • Look at the training
  • Look at the processes around improvement
  • Look at how discipline is dished out
  • Spend time with refs in realtime
  • Come back with recommendations that haven’t been influenced

Mike Dean’s comment has rocked the belief that there is fairness in the game, the severity means the investigations findings should be made public so we can see how PGMOL plan to fix them.

Will anything like that happen? No. Because Howard Webb is one of the boys. His job is to protect referees at all costs – not the integrity of the game. Until we put someone in charge who knows how to be a change agent in a rotten organization, we’ll keep seeing the decline of standards, and we’ll occasionally get snippets like this that confirm our worst fears.

Right, get on the latest podcast.

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Ernest Reed

Nothing will change. Referees should officiate objectively, but Mike Dean confirmed the worst outcome possible, severe bias. Yet another black eye for the EPL, but again who has the balls to stand up and do something?

Pathetic but made worse because it’s never been hidden that Mike Dean is the biggest weasel in a den of them.

Ernest Reed

And I’ll take first whilst I’m at it too!

Ernest Reed


Ernest Reed





The PGMOL is no different than a lot of police departments. They’ll protect their own above the greater good. We know the fans don’t have any power to change this situation but surely the clubs do.


The former referee said the VAR role left him “dreading” matchdays.

“I used to get in the car on a Friday and was dreading Saturday. I was thinking, ‘I hope nothing happens,'” he added. “I used to be petrified sitting in the chair.”

Jesus, just do your job ffs. What’s there to be afraid of? Why be a VAR official or a referee if you’re afraid of laying down the law? No one’s asking you to shoot another person.
I’m really struggling to understand this mentality.


“If a Judge made decisions like this in court, they’d be removed. If an auditor made decisions based on likeability, they’d be sued. ”

welp you can look up the case of Steven Donziger if you think the courts fuunction differently and you can look at the work of firms like Arthur Andersen for Enron – technocratic solutions only make political problems worse


If referees were paid commensurately with their role in football and were performance reviewed like anyone else in the world, it would be a start……


17 Premier League managers were sacked last year.

That can’t be accurate. Can it?


Thanks for the post, Pedro. This is an utterly scandalous revelation but one that I am glad has been made as it clearly shows that PGMOL is utterly incapable of independent critical thinking. It’s all if you scatch my back, I’ll scratch yours. What I find incredible is that the FA say absolutely nothing. The EPL is supposed to be a multi-million £ most watched league in the world yet it is run by incompetents who are only interested in protecting each other and having their favourite team somehow win with dubious decisions to prop them over the course of… Read more »

Luteo Guenreira

List of sacked managers:

Scott Parker, Bournemouth
Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea
Bruno Lage, Wolves
Steven Gerrard, Aston Villa
Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton
Frank Lampard, Everton
Jesse Marsch, Leeds United
Nathan Jones, Southampton
Patrick Vieira, Crystal Palace
Antonio Conte, Tottenham
Brendan Rodgers, Leicester City
Graham Potter, Chelsea
Cristian Stellini, Tottenham
Javi Gracia, Leeds United
Ruben Selles, Southampton
Gary O’Neil, Bournemouth
Julen Lopetegui, Wolves


“What I find incredible is that the FA say absolutely nothing.”

Why would they?
The money’s rolling in, the spectacle is as popular as it’s ever been, and clubs finish mostly where they would’ve regardless an obvious bad call here and there.

Nigel Tufnel

Rich, That choice of deBruyne of Bruno is classic psychology. Consciously or not,, he will not want to give more props to Ødegaard, who will no doubt take his place going forward as the best creative midfielder in the premier league. He will withhold any praise of Ødegaard more than someone like Bruno. He knows that Bruno is not a serious player in temperament or all around contribution like himself or Ødegaard, so feels no threat to his legacy. Also he knows Artetas Arsenal is going to be taking over from Peps City as the team to beat. He knows… Read more »


So Bilbo……give them a big payrise and see if they improve. Tell them off if they don’t.

Yep that’ll sort it.


Referees need to take IQ and EQ tests.


Eddie interview in the Telegraph: Listening to Eddie Nketiah speak is at times like reading a self-help book. The Arsenal striker preaches about working hard, sacrificing and believing in one day getting the fruits of your labour. That should not come as much of a surprise given the obstacles he has had to overcome. When he was released by Chelsea as a teenager in 2015, Nketiah’s dream of becoming a professional footballer was in serious doubt. But he was spotted by scouts at Arsenal and handed a lifeline at their famed Hale End academy. Eight years on, the beaming smile… Read more »


PGMOL is a union, and guilds exist to protect midwits and incompetents, so it will continue to operate this way until teams collectively decide change is needed.


Luteo that’s insane


Crazy how the game got rid of no 10s and yet we are wondering why the game seem to lack flair .


Number 10s were the first victims.
Regular fullbacks are next( gonna miss you Tierney).

Whats next end of Centerbacks ?


Nothing will change with the refs, they’ll come out with a few new rules at the start of each season and give each other high fives, whilst ignoring the more important issues, all while the rampant incompetence continues. Same old brand new PGMOL.


Fuck PGMOL, its disgrace for whole PL.
ofc manure and looserpool fans will not complain…


Before this season I had never seen any team have 75 or more possession in games except for maybe that Messi Barca team .
Yet this season I ve already seen 4 teams in Man City, Chelsea, Brighton and Arsenal have 75 or more possessions.


The problem is that only English or resident status English can ref PL games,

Best way to stop all this is to change the rules and let top European or International refs/officials in and pay them top dollar.

It should be the best officials not the best English officials officiating PL games.


Luton are gonna struggle obviously but I actually think that it might be Sheff Utd who record less points than that terrible Derby team all those years ago. Their squad is not PL worthy, they are going to get absolutely thrashed every other week.

Josip Skoblar

[Arsenal have made a £42.5m bid for Wolfsburg winger Julian Draxler. [ESPN] 1]
I hope it is not true. Draxler is a football has been. He was on the PSG payroll for donkey years , and never played!


I wouldn’t read too much into that Draxler rumour. We have been linked with him since 1982


This is the biggest headline in UK Football, actually, World Football, for years! Part of the issue with the refs, and Mike Deans revelations in particular, is that I suspect that the media, especially Sky Sports, won’t touch it with a bargepole. Why? Sky are using the banner ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ for their football subscription package and they’ve also hired Dean to sit on their Saturday Football panel. You think they are going to be horrified by this? Have programmes debating it? Headlines all over Sky Sports News and their website? Not when it’s their Greatest Show on… Read more »

Josip Skoblar

In 2018…

🗣 Arsène Wenger: “You’re not honest.”

🗣Mike Dean: “So you’re calling me a cheat?”

🗣Wenger: “I maintain what I say, you’re not honest, you’re a disgrace. You’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional.”

Later Arsène Wenger was banned 3 games and fined £40k. 🤔


When I saw the interview from this despicable imbecile and pathetic excuse for a human, I was numb. Interviews like this are literally direct, blatant, brazen, arrogant, daring admission of being directly involved in match fixing and also deliberately ignoring the rules and regulations of the game. This piece of shit has just come out and basically said: I fucked them over because I wanted to do what entire English football has been doing for decades, continue with the good ole boys mentality and instead of applying the laws of the game in the situation where it would have been… Read more »

Topside Northbank

Balogun 30m euro plus 10m add on’s total 40m euro package.

Arsrnal with a good sized % sell on clause agreement with Monaco.

Topside Northbank

Mike Dean has let the cat out of the bag, it’s confirmation of what most of us knew there is an old pals network and they will cover for each other.

Could give loads of examples but this season the Wolves pen denied and VAR not telling the ref to go to the screen backs it up. Not a single person I have talked to about it MU fans included didn’t think it was not an obvious penalty.


Apparently there’s a decent sell on clause in the Balogun deal and that’s fantastic news

Luteo Guenreira


I’m pretty sure black people invented gangbanging your mum.


Not a great deal for selling Balogun considering some of sums flying around this window.


Luteo lol


You need to sort out your blog before it becomes everything that you’re not.


Watching Luton Town for the first time thinking they’re a bit shit, but then I looked them up on transfermarkt and the whole club is worth half the Caicedo transfer fee, €70m.


Dissenter, what do you mean sort out?


VasilyAugust 25, 2023 21:29:34 You are totally correct. Let’s get rid of all white, who invented everything you’ve ever seen or known (except for a COUPLE of MAJOR inventions from our Caucasian brothers in Iraq). Let’s just get rid of all whites completely in football. Let’s replace them with Africans who at 13% USA and 4.7% UK top all murder, violent crime and rape stats. Let’s put them in charge. Why don’t we list all their many inventions in technology, science, physics, healthcare and sport. Why don’t we chat on agriculture and weaponry too. Hear the list you ready? …… Read more »


Ironically not all PL referees are English.


Imagine it’s Liverpool selling Balogun


I mean, this idiot forgot a black man notably south african just cured a certain form of deafness via a series of complex operations. Ben Carson? Is he an alien to you? Vasily need to be banned for such a bigoted view.

Josip Skoblar

Well said, Martin Keown!
Mike Dean is a disgrace to the game of football.


Yes man, Alexei Lalas > Pele.

I’ll repeat what I said yesterday: If you find yourself discussing politics/conspiracies/racial supperiority on a football blog, your life is not going the way you think it’s going.


This place is a horrendously reactionary place at the best of times but that post above really takes the biscuit. Jesus H fucking Christ


I also have to say, what’s the point of white man inventing all these things when other white man refuses to use them? For instance condoms. Amd Vasily’s parents.


Saka in the Guardian: It means everything because these are records that go down in history,” Bukayo Saka says intently as he prepares to play his 83rd consecutive Premier League game for Arsenal against Fulham on Saturday afternoon. A seemingly random number took on fresh meaning for Saka earlier this week when, after a difficult victory over Crystal Palace, he was told that he had just equalled a record set by Paul Merson. The Saka and Merson eras could hardly be more different. Merson, who played 82 successive matches for Arsenal between February 1995 and February 1997, once told me… Read more »

Josip Skoblar

Spanish football has really a big racism and sexism problem.


What a blog. You write somethinhg along the lines of “I’m not sure about Arteta” and you instantly get diagnosed (by Le Grove’s psychological unit) with depression, loneliness, lack of friends and deep hatred of life and human race in general. At the same time you get accused (by Le Grove’s MA8 squad) of being suppoerter of some other team. Yet, you can spout all kinds of crypto-fascist nonsense and in recent case above deeply offending open racism, and psychological unit and MA8 squad are nowhere to be seen. I know Pedro doesn’t have a time for this bullshit, but… Read more »


Vasily’s post refers.

I ‘m an Arsenal fan and I read you and the comments religiously even if I don’t post a lot.
If this is what Le grove has turned to, am out of here.
I tolerate descent. I won’t tolerate bigotry.
Good day.


Jude Bellingham is balling son. Like a fish to water that’s him at Madrid


What? I’m stunned. I read articles confirming that they have that sort of relationship with them just being friends, heck, it said after their world cup win, one of the players jokingly purported the both of them getting married and everybody laughed. Why are they changed tune?


We all – or most of us – knew that there is bias – conscious or not – by referees. Now Mike Dean tells us it’s deliberate. And statistics indicate Arsenal as a victim. Time for refs to come from all parts of the country, or hired from abroad. Time for Clubs to have the power to reject officials not fit for purpose.


Dude took the gloves off 🙈


I’d take 20 from the Congo if it meant better refereeing if I’m honest.


Not so keen on every European national side putting out a team of non European players though.


Tikpo I’m stunned very few people are replying or bashing his degradation of Black people. Everybody’s going on their Merry way. If somebody spoke about COVID being a lie, you’d get 600+ comments.


This is a very disappointing thing to see on a blog I’m supposed to like.


I said yesterday that this place is outta control. It has literally been getting worse by the day.

Vasily, and Un should both be binned. How can you laugh about that post UN?? How??


This place is really in the gutter nowadays..

The state of that comment


This PGMOL look after each other revaluation helps explain why VAR did not intervene on Tomi’s sending off against Palace which on watching today was barely even a foul. That’s assuming they would have been allowed to.

Josip Skoblar

VasilyAugust 25, 2023 21:29:34

Pedro – The above-mentioned comment is crassly racist and has nothing to do on your blog.

Left Testicle

Oh blimey!

Left Testicle

You pop over for some good old footy chat ghe night before a game only to discover that it’s all kicking off!


That Arsene Wenger description of Dean that Skoblar posted earlier should be framed and hung in PGMOL’s office to remind them everyday what they are.

Now there is not even a doubt.

Left Testicle

Partey at right back for tomorrow?


And that Vasily fellow above – if he says IRL what he said hiding behind an anonymous handle, he would be in jail.

Pedro – find his IP address and block it and make it a tad more difficult for him to create another alias and come here again.


Habesha Gooner

Luton are a fantastic story. They are here for vibes. Theywill enjoy just being in the PL. I will be suprised if they get more than 5 wins all season. cant blame them with their resources though.




I think if the premier league team owners have any plans of making the match day officiating better there’s no better opportunity than the one Dean just presented to them, at the end of every match there should be a post match interview for them to explain every key decisions they took, i.e bookings, penalties etc, so there can be clarity and accountability with that the fans will have an insight of what’s going on in their mind and have good knowledge of the rules. There will not be any need for ref chief to come out every now and… Read more »


Hardly the first racist or racist comment that pops up around here


Maybe I misinterpreted Un’s reaction to that post but I still stand by my statement that Vasily should be binned for that.

Crazy shit.


3) Any sort of racism, homophobia, or general denigration of people will not be tolerated. Accounts will be suspended, in the event of repeat offences, we will issue banning orders.

Pedro, handle this Vasily matter. It needs to be done as soon as possible.


Just saw Vasily’s comment. Horribly racist and uncalled for. The lad needs to go in the bin


Well said.

Mr Serge

Vasily you despicable piece of crap

Mike Dean ditto PGMOL needs to be scrapped and brought back u dear new management


Lol, as a black person in 2023 that comment has to be a hoax?

Surely naming himself silly was a clue…


What with all these loans without obligation to buy? What’s the point of Tierney coming back?

Guns of SF

Izzo agreed. Just read that myself


It’s so sad that Pedro is yet to take down that racist post above, it’s beyond embarrassing! Been reading this blog for over 8 years now and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t drop in to glance through the comments. Unfortunately would have to stop coming here, if rotten people like Vasily are allowed to fester


This is a great blog but the non-football bs comments that arise does spoil it. Even the crap that flies around just on the basis of a difference of Arsenal opinions becomes becomes nauseous. Many on here who contribute with football content have at times come out with their agenda prejudiced, xenophobic and racist crap. İt’s not hard to see reading between the lines of their posts. Some far more than others and often change their names. Some that jumped in immediately after the main culprit comment were also out of order. Whilst I appreciate some may ‘ignore’ bs when… Read more »

Guns of SF

Racists posts on LG happen sadly
I think Pedro tries to ban them but they come back with different aliases


If we are really trying to replace Timbre like for like, someone that can cover both right back and central defence, shouldn’t we be looking in the direction of Benjamin Pavard? Not as physical as Timber but just as good, maybe even more technical, and available for circa 20 million.


I think whatever happens in the final week of the window a LB and a CB is a must. Without considering Timber just imagine that he’s not even here to go into the season with the same set of defenders minus Tierney and Holding is crazy especially considering how much Zinchenko and Tomi missed last season as well as Saliba and his back injury.

Nigel Tufnel

I have no insider knowledge, but maybe Pedro doesn’t come around as often because when he writes a fairly positive, constructive post like this current one, the cynical doomers and BW’s all attack with their misery. He’s probably getting much better interaction on Twitter, as am I. You can easily avoid or block stupid, negative elements on Twitter. (X) One of les miserables on legrove was actually denying accurate stats about Havertz this week, just because the stats were taken from twitter. Actual valid numbers. Literally denying the numbers, whinging “but I don’t see what he does!” lol. …. another… Read more »



Freddie Ljungberg

You’re right Nigel, the only times Pedro stops by nowadays is to tell you to pipe down and stop being a giant douche, clearly a futile endeavour…

I’m sure he’ll ban that ignorant cunt Vasily when he sees the comment.


6 days left haven’t a clue what the club are up to. Pavard makes too much sense so it won’t happen. Can we even sign more than one player in that much time? Guess Saka will be playing all the games then which des not bode well for the season. All well and good breaking record appearances but why tempt fate with him getting a serious injury. Would be disappointed if we bring in nobody. Even City bought that Goku Dutch player and trying to sign that Wolves player. Why is there no concrete news about who we’re bringing in.… Read more »


You know it’s not even the silly cards/game tilting that gets me about refs though it is very irritating. It’s the open season on our players that has been allowed for years.
We all can remember the trauma like it was yesterday, the broken legs and being thrown in hoardings whilst in mid air.
Wasn’t that long ago Saka was getting his legs kicked from under him from behind and he didn’t even have the ball.

The only constant is change they said…


Nigel seems to have developed an unhealthy obsession with Havertz like Pierre with Eddie.


That was just a shocking post and you feel for any black individual that will be unfortunate to ever come across that imbecile. That’s a very disturbing hatred for black to harbor. Goodness me


Kai will go on and surprise a lot of people when he’s finally settled I reckon, such a lovely player.

Guns of SF

A brotha would whoop his ass, idiots like that dont speak that way IRL
Fool is scared shitless of black folks I bet

Nigel Tufnel


Of course Pedro will take care of it when he comes around. It’s not even a question. I love how you make such a confident prediction. Don’t wanna go out on a limb there, huh?
As if theres a chance that he might let that slide.
Thanks for assuring everybody. What would we do without you?

Freddie Ljungberg


Thanks for another condescending post, seems to be your only setting.

I wasn’t addressing you with that statement, more the people above that complained that nothing was being done by Pedro, and that said they’re not coming back to the comments because of it.

What would we do without you? Probable enjoy this site a million times more…

Nigel Tufnel


I love Nketiah too. Lots of respect to him for dealing with ignorant “fans”.
Not naming anybody.

Eddie has mental strength, he’s determined, with a great work ethic and no unhealthy ego. Happy to see him succeed.
Good player to have in the squad.

Meanwhile les miserables are busy attacking our new player after 2 games, even though many stats support the player.
…. then they say the stats are fake news.


Y’all know that Pedro doesn’t monitor the comment section in real time, right? he has a job and a family. If you want him to remove a clearly horrible comment you have to e-mail him as he has said numerous times. And he will take it down. The link is at the top .. actually several ways to contact Pedro. Hit the red box with the mail symbol or one of the others. And As I have said before this is why y’all should refrain from certain topics as inevitably some idiot will come along and cross the line. In… Read more »

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