Referee errors deciding the fate of EPL teams
Referee errors deciding the fate of EPL teams avatar

It’s been a bad few days for the men in black in the English Premier League. Some very bad calls could cost a few clubs a lot of money – about $40 million.

That’s what a club loses the first year when relegated from the Premier League to the Championship (the next league down). That figure increases to $52 million per year in the second year if the club fails to get promoted immediately, and then as much as $65 million in the third year. That’s a staggering $157 million in just three years! (Here’s the link I pulled the info from)

So imagine how the owners of Wigan must have felt when the linesman in their game against Chelsea failed to flag not one but two blatant offside goals in their 2-1 loss over the last weekend. So bad were the calls that the head of the referee association wrote a letter of apology to Wigan after the game. But how exactly do you apologize for costing a company $157 million?

Ashley Young tumbles against QPR

But that was only one game in a busy weekend. ¬†Manchester United’s Ashley Young not only got a penalty for tumbling when not being touched by QPR’s Shaun Derry, the midfielder got his marching orders leaving the West London team playing a man short the rest of the game. Both QPR and Wigan ended the weekend in the drop zone, their manager’s crying foul.

And there’s more – in North London the referee failed to punish Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli when the out-of-control striker committed a leg breaker against Arsenal’s Alex Song, and across town Chelsea were again the recipient of a friendly call against Fulham.

So, it it time to finally turn to technical assistance? QPR is definitely in favor after this weekend. And a couple of weeks ago they had the ball in the net against fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers but both the linesman and the referee missed the fact the ball was two feet over the line. Needless to say, QPR lost.

I’m not one for slowing the game down to appeals based on video replays, but these days with players seeking to go down at the slightest touch and the increase in the speed of play, the referee errors really can cost a lot more then a game – they cost millions of dollars ¬†and loss of jobs as teams get relegated.


About Gavin Owen-Thomas

Gavin's a former journalist who worked in both newspapers and television media while also coaching at both youth and professional level. Born in Namibia, he grew up in South Africa before moving to England and then on to the United States, arriving in 1978. Gavin started playing as soon as he was old enough to kick a ball, and like every youngster he dreamed of playing, fame and glory. Oh, well.... But he does have a USSF A Coaching license, and took his UEFA A License in Wales. GotSoccer is a play on his initials. He launched the website in 1996, and for the first few years it was well-known for its soccer forum. In 2003 Gavin commissioned programmer Aaron Wilmoth to build a scheduling program based on a design he drew on the back of a restaurant napkin, and GotSoccer as we know it today was born.
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2 Responses to Referee errors deciding the fate of EPL teams
Referee errors deciding the fate of EPL teams avatar

  1. Steve says:

    Yes, there were some horrendous calls by the refs, and yes, some technical assistance in some cases may be warranted and is open for discussion, but if your team is at the bottom of the table, they have no one to blame but themselves. In this case, Wigan has crawled out from the bottom three and is now back in control of their own destiny. However, WA has won only 7 games, drawn 10, and has 16 losses. They also have a -26 goal differential. That’s not a team that should be crying foul to the refs more than their play over the past season. There’s likely dozens more examples that do not include the refs as the cause for their loss. In the Chelsea game, the calls were bad; but who’s to say the result would be different if they had called off-sides; you simply cannot change the score since the entire dynamics of the game shifts. I too hate games not fully decided by the players; but until goals are subject to replay, those at the bottom, and those who write about them, will continue to point the finger elsewhere at their ultimate fate.

  2. Bruce Gustin says:

    Just put a chip in the ball as Adidas once proposed. That takes care of goals/non-goals and then allow coaches (with some penalty to the team like loss of a sub) to make one challege per game for: red cards, pks, or goals made from off-sides.

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