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Chambers: Ex-Players Should Be Fast-Tracked into Refereeing
Friday, 1st Feb 2019 12:26

Blues skipper Luke Chambers believes ex-players should be fast-tracked into refereeing at the end of their careers.

Town have been on the wrong end of a number of poor refereeing decisions this season, the penalty decisions made by Keith Stroud at Aston Villa last week among them, and Chambers believes former players becoming officials would be beneficial.

“Look, it’s a hard job referees have,” Chambers told the club site. “Some of the rules we have in the game now, they don’t understand - and the players don’t understand either.
“There doesn’t seem to be any accountability for performances though. If I played like some of the refs we’ve had, I’d be dropped.

“I’d like to see a lot more players take up refereeing when they have finished. There should be a clear pathway for that to happen, so they can be fast-tracked.

“Players who have played the game at professional level for 15 years or so will have a real understanding of the game and that can only help when you are a referee.

“There might be an argument that they have an affinity with one or two clubs because they have played for them. Well, make sure they don’t referee those clubs.

“More players going into refereeing is the answer. There needs to be a big initiative to try and make that happen.”

In the 1990s former Nottingham Forest, Huddersfield, Bradford, Walsall, Scunthorpe and Chesterfield defender Steve Baines became one of a handful of former players to take up the whistle, officiating in a number of Town games.

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Pecker added 12:28 - Feb 1
No they shouldn't.

boroughblue added 12:40 - Feb 1
Sorry Chambo, I absolutely love you, but I couldn't disagree more with this.

As a young referee myself, working at a fairly high level, I can tell you that this will not work. or solve any problems that people think that there is with refereeing. It is an extremely hard job, and being a player at a high level will not help you in anyway to referee at high levels.

Don't get me wrong, I'd advise retired players to take on refereeing, but the idea of them being 'fast tracked' is wrong. It would be unfair to all the referees who have worked for years to make their way up the ladder, only to be overtaken by a player because the apparently 'know the game better'. Knowing the game as a player, and knowing the game as a referee are two very different things...

Wickets added 12:44 - Feb 1
So should we stick with the Keith Strouds of this world ?

deliasplums added 12:45 - Feb 1
I for the life of me can’t understand why referee qualifications aren’t part of every young player’s education.

Saxonblue74 added 12:49 - Feb 1
Agree with your sentiments Chambo. Doubt this will happen though, mainly due to the hugely over inflated wages players recieve. Those who don't retire from the game tend to go for managerial and coaching roles. Why would they want the thankless job if refereeing?

Saxonblue74 added 12:50 - Feb 1
.....OF refereeing!

MattinLondon added 12:51 - Feb 1
I ageee that there should be more accountability but not sure if ex-players should be fast tracked

Refs aren’t there to get every single decision right but simply to be impartial. Dare I say that players diving or cheating in one form or another are a major factor in why it’s so hard for refs.

Personally I’d introduce VAR but not as it is now. Allow managers to have three appeals per game. I honestly feel that if this was a case then not only will the game be free flowing but controversial decisions will decrease.

pennblue added 12:58 - Feb 1
“There doesn’t seem to be any accountability for performances though. If I played like some of the refs we’ve had, I’d be dropped.


hampstead_blue added 12:59 - Feb 1
Makes sense.
Many players who haven't earned loads would probably like a steady income in football.
I know cricket has mainly ex-pros as umpires which works.

Guthrum added 13:16 - Feb 1
Not sure about fast-tracking, but I think getting former players into refereeing would not be a bad thing. They are fit, know the game and, with suitable training and qualification could be a useful pool of talent to draw from.

Guthrum added 13:16 - Feb 1
Meant to add: There's nothing stopping them from doing it now.

BlueBlood90 added 13:26 - Feb 1
Think that's a bit of a stupid idea Chambo. Surely players will have a certain feeling towards certain clubs and players which may cloud their judgement and influence their decision making.

Sundayleaguewarrior added 13:27 - Feb 1
"More players going into refereeing is the answer" - sorry Chambo but the answer to what? There are no rules - only laws - and they're mostly all quote 'in the opinion of the referee' which we will all know will be different to a number of the opinions of players/supporters depending on the way a decision goes. Take a local Saturday league players who argues with a ref and gets a yellow to that of a pro who can argue in the face of a referee and only get waived away?! Referee's understand the law - its the direction and application that needs to be addressed.
Town have had some shocking decisions (Keith Stroud penalty) but refs can get it wrong and having a ex pro donning the whistle isn't the answer to these errors - the FA taking a firm stance and doing much more to enforce consistency across officials to me makes more sense.

Dissboyitfc added 13:34 - Feb 1
Really , you have had bad games but you have never been dropped! Players refereeing games with teams involved that they once played for, really can’t see it working. But do agree with the accountability argument.

SamWhiteUK added 13:38 - Feb 1
Dissboy, I mean if you'd read the article you'd see that Chambers addressed that. I'd wager I could guess exactly which line you made it up to.

Not agreeing or disagreeing, but let's just at least try before jumping to our keyboards.


mib added 13:48 - Feb 1
Borough blue, So when you get to the top of the tree, after working so hard ,you are likely to become another Stroud or even a Clive Thomas, of course ex players should become referees , they know all the tricks. Well said Chambo

Bergholtblue added 14:00 - Feb 1
I totally agree Chambers! Off you go and be a trail blazer.

Suffolkboy added 14:24 - Feb 1
Chambers has exactly the right intentions : and I doubt there’s any sound argument can be made against ex- players becoming referees .They are likely to be quite fit , have a mature and professional understanding of the game,and most importantly would bring fresh insight and energy to a group who , by their own admissions , are lacking in numbers and bemoaning the general lack of quality .
The ‘ strange ‘ arguments put forward by Refs and the FA about not wanting to expose Referees to public criticism ( and ridicule ?) simply do not stand close examination .Already it is obvious that VAR is being utilised very inconsistently even at the top level,and we seriously should be asking , and being properly informed ,of the guidance issued , the inside professional opinions ( NOT from Managers) and discussions .What is there to lose !
We are all involved in the game , each at our own level and aspect , but IF we are seeking integrity and consistency ( not necessarily perfection ) then the PGMO need to be much more open and courageous !
In principle Luke Chambers makes a very valid point !

Dissboyitfc added 15:01 - Feb 1
Sam white I did read the article, and if a player has played for 6 clubs, they may only be available on a limited basis, not enough good refs as it is! My point is very relevant! Heck some have played for even more clubs!

Fatboy added 15:11 - Feb 1
I think maybe professional footballers should be made to referee as part of their apprenticeships. Then they might have more respect for the officials and spend less time trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

rickw added 15:12 - Feb 1
It's a good idea getting ex players to ref and if they get good reviews they would be fast tracked, however it's unlikely to happen as the players don't need the money and know how much abuse they'd get!!

I would make all YTS players complete refereeing courses and take turns to ref their club's junior games. Then for all of those who don't make it through injury or whatever reason would have it as a reasonable career option.

BobbyBell added 15:49 - Feb 1
For me a second ref watching a tv monitor is a must for such awful decisions as we saw last week. It works in rugby union where a word in the refs ear saying "you need to look at this" or "hold that decision, you may want to review it" can save such incredibly unjust and blatantly wrong calls being made by the on field ref. The first call last week on review would have been a free kick to us and a booking for a blatant dive. The second would have been a penalty to us and a sending off. Both could so easily have been corrected as they were both so obvious. Every game is on camera now so what's stopping it?

heathen66 added 16:05 - Feb 1
An interesting article with some relevant points apart from the bit “There doesn’t seem to be any accountability for performances though. If I played like some of the refs we’ve had, I’d be dropped.
Oh how I laughed !!!
You would make an ideal referee...select game after game despite awful performances.

The accountability part is 100% correct and if anyone says anything they are charged with bringing the game into disrepute.
Referees must watch their performances back and think I got that wrong,... that same player has conned me again.
Or surely the FA or the FL should analyse each performance and be accountable in house.
Unfortunately this is not the case, and all professionals are happy to con the referee and referees are happy to be conned...it seems, as it happens week in week out.
Even retired refs now plying their trade on the TV platforms will never go against one of their own...with the excuse...I can see why he gave it / didn't give it.

Why are they not accountable...I did not give that penalty because of x y and z. I have that decision because i saw No6 do this...
If that is what you saw then I have no problem, but they just seem to be above it all !!!

Pecker added 16:55 - Feb 1
Ex players as refs is a terrible idea anyway and the fact that they should be fast tracked is just stupidity. Have you watched match of the day at all. DM, AS, JJ, IW and others can't make their minds up 5 hours after the events and watching 10 replays. It is a very difficult job and ex players are not up to it. Ridiculous idea, just ridiculous.

Pecker added 16:58 - Feb 1
As for Chambers saying refs don't understand the rule, plonker.

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