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Town Approach Authorities Regarding Bell Appointment
Thursday, 13th Apr 2023 11:16

TWTD understands Town have approached the relevant authorities regarding the appointment of referee James Bell for Saturday’s home game against Charlton Athletic.

As reported earlier, Bell has previously stated his support for his hometown club Sheffield Wednesday, one of the Blues’ rivals for automatic promotion from League One.

Having been informed of the appointment by TWTD earlier this morning, we understand the matter is being dealt with by the club at the highest levels ahead of what could prove a vital game in the promotion battle.

Meanwhile, Town fans have been making their feelings on the selection known to the EFL via their Twitter account and email address.


Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

TalkingBlues added 11:24 - Apr 13
Bloody good job too, but you can see how this is going to pan out, the EFL will fob the club off and the ref will have the hump that we've approached the EFL about him and will almost certainly feel obliged to mug us off at some point in the game, I can't wait :-(

Gilesy added 11:32 - Apr 13
I can't see how they could possibly allow this appointment to remain. Even as a Charlton fan I might worry the ref was trying too hard to appear unbiased. It's a no-win situation and just not worth the hassle for anyone.

I'm pretty certain it will be amended.

Gilesy added 11:32 - Apr 13
Even if I was a Charlton fan....that should say. I'm not a Charlton fan.

Bert added 12:17 - Apr 13
It is likely that all referees support a particular team but I would not have raised this. Decision making by refs in league one are often questionable but call me naive I doubt that any referee would allow his support of a particular team to cloud his judgement unless of course they really are of bad character.

mrmorisato added 12:31 - Apr 13
Lets pray that the club is successful in getting this official re-appointed ASAP.

Langdon_Blue added 12:34 - Apr 13
Oh god. If the situation wasn't nerve-racking enough, we may now have a Wednesday supporter as a referee for a game we need to win, in order to overtake Wednesday for Promotion...

RobITFC added 12:35 - Apr 13
Should not be allowed from both parties view. Any genuine mistake he may make will be deemed as being biased . Why would he even want to be put in this position?

Suffolk_n_Proud added 12:38 - Apr 13
Now this has been raised we are almost certain to lose no matter the outcome of the referee decision. It's in the players minds now!

terryf added 12:45 - Apr 13
There's no room for uncertainty and sure to be some contentious moments in the game which will test his professionalism. We've seen some awful referees in this division already.
For the sake of possible conflict surely the powers that be will change the referee.

MickMillsTash added 13:07 - Apr 13
Its hard to think he could be worse than some of the Bells we have had ref us this year
Anyway it seems like an admin Error, lets get a new ref in for Saturday and get on his back for time wasting from minute 1.

blues1 added 13:08 - Apr 13
Bert. Really? Of course he MAY be influenced to give, or not give a decision, if that could affect the team he supports. Not bcse I think he'd deliberately cheat, but bcse he's a human being, and it'd be a natural reaction. Also unfair on him btw, to be put in this position.
Has to be said, that what the efl were thinking when they made the appointment in the 1st place, is beyond me. Had weds been in mid table then it wouldn't really be a major ìssùe, but with the current situation, it's a crazy appointment.

NITFC added 13:15 - Apr 13
My mate is a linesman at Championship level and, as a Town fan, he can't be involved with our games.

But he has been on the line for Norwich a number of times

WalkRules added 13:21 - Apr 13
I'm 100% certain as a pro level referee he would be completely impartial and would make as many good / bad decisions as any other referee. But each referee has to state their allegiances at the start of a season so cannot be involved in those games. But the EFL should see common sense and not let the referee be involved in games that directly impact their team of choice as well as in this case. It's just bad organisation by EFL and not fair to Charlton, Ipswich or the referee himself.

mrmorisato added 13:27 - Apr 13
@NITFC Thats terrible!!!

Being a former referee myself I live 2 roads down from a former Championship referee (very nearly became a Premier League referee himself) who is also a town fan and he told me that he wasn't allowed to ref a Norwich game.

Anyway, now I know what I know thanks to Mr Ham I'm disgusted that this is allowed to happen. The PGMOL likes to court controversy outside the Premier Lesague too

Having ran the line dozens and dozens of times the impact of a rival supporter doesn't have the same impact as the referee as he is the one who controls the game!

Having said that I'm still shocked that even Assistant referees who support rival clubs are given appointments such as those.


Westy added 13:49 - Apr 13
I would have preferred the Club not to have done this. Referees are often critised but would say they all have three things in common - they all support a club (either declared or not), any mistakes they make are honest mistakes and they all love the game. To raise a concern about a referee who is incompetent is one thing, but to question his integrity is quite another. I thought our Club was better than that. He will be trying to referee the game as impartially as possible and not trying to give Sheffield Wednesday some kind of advantage. I doubt he will even think about it during the game. Given the numver of teams and games I think it inevitable that this scenario happens several times every week whether people realise it or not. I doubt if the referee for this match will be changed, nor should it be and the Club have lined themselves up for deserved rebuke from the EFL and now this has been made known the crowd may well get on the referees back on Saturday which is not what we want. Poor from to he Club, if indeed it is the case.

BlueArrow added 14:08 - Apr 13
Whatever happened to Clive Thomas 🤔

EricGatesShinpad added 14:25 - Apr 13
I can just see it now, we get this chap removed and who hoves into view as the replacement...... Alf Buksh.....

Whether he is still alive or someone has to dig him up !!!!

Suffolkboy added 15:19 - Apr 13
One wonders whether the implications of Mr Bell's appointment have been thoroughly thought through .
Even if he has an immaculate game ( depending on who so judged ) there might be totally unnecessary suggestions of error or linked to loyalties elsewhere, and that is not what we ( as ITFC supporters ) or any other footy fan or sports supporter would want to occur .
Now, however , we appear to have the worst of situations which ought to have been avoidable .
If the PGMO are satisfied with Mr Bell's integrity then let's continue and welcome he and his Assistants on the day !

Merthyrblue added 15:27 - Apr 13
Blue Arrow.

Still alive and living in Porthcawl apparently. I often have a bracing walk along the prom there.

Bert added 17:24 - Apr 13
If the club have indeed made overtures to “the authorities” I doubt that our CEO will be chuffed that it's all over social media and probably a lot more soon. All sides need to show integrity before it becomes a running sore and our club is seen in the football fraternity as acting like a winging PL club. Let them sort it out in a professional way, whatever the outcome.

Saxonblue74 added 18:21 - Apr 13
Probably wouldn't have been an issue but now it has come to light it's a no win situation all round. He simply cannot be allowed to officiate in this match, for his own good as much as anyone else's.

Fat_Boy_Tim added 18:42 - Apr 13
The best case scenario now is for him to stay as the ref for Sat because he is going to have to show how not biased he is. It's Ceasar's wife, where he can't just be honest, he has to prove he's honest. That could work in our favour!

ithw888 added 19:01 - Apr 13
This could go several ways.
1. he stays as the official for the game, is annoyed his integrity is compromised and he goes out and either unintentionally is bias against us, or does it on purpose in retaliation to the clubs actions.
2. Stays as an official but takes it on the chin as the club trying to avoid any pressure on him and has a fair game.
3. Is removed as an official and replaced by someone who isn't bothered by the change and has a good game
4. is removed as an official and replaced, more likely, with the usual L1 standard who will make his mind up who he wants to win
as the game goes along.

Which ever it be, as a suffolk boy now living in Wales, I'll be just outside Merthyr streaming the game as the loyal supporter I've been all my life!

Come on the Town!!

Marcus added 20:02 - Apr 13
BlueArrow - at 87 he would struggle with the pace of the game

wingerii added 20:06 - Apr 13
Pls replace with Barry Knight.

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