The Referees or The Twelfth Man

The only thing I would disagree with is “VAR has given them a get-out clause”.

It’s actually quite the opposite. Before VAR it was perfectly reasonable for a referee to say that they hadn’t seen an incident properly on the pitch. You can argue that it is their job to watch the game properly but, with the best will in the world, they can only see one incident, from one angle, once.

With VAR introduced, they can see exactly the same thing that we can, but with the ability to go over and review it from every angle. They have lost their get-out clause. It’s not that they didn’t see an incident but that they chose to see what they wanted to.


On a different, but related note, can anyone explain to me the economics of Reach Media making their websites completely unloadable?

I get the need to saturate the pages with ads - local journalism isn’t cheap - but surely there is a point where this becomes counter-productive.

I’d love to know what Robbie thinks about Howard Webb, but it just isn’t happening.


For anything in the Echo, replace the word “echo” in the URL with “gecko”.

Took a while

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Looks like the numpty’s running the game are not going to stop until they have squeezed every ounce of enjoyment and excitement from the matches being played… Just a thought, but will the referees book a player if they collect the ball from elsewhere, other than one of the designated cones…!! - It really is getting beyond silliness now

Why PL rule change could make goals like Origi’s a thing of the past


Premier League ball boys and girls will no longer be able to hand the match ball directly back to players following a change to the multi-ball protocol guidelines.

From this weekend’s matches, members of the ball crews will be under instruction to place match balls on cones surrounding the pitch instead of handing them to players, who will then have to retrieve the ball for themselves.

The move has been made to remove the potential for home teams gaining any competitive advantage with their instructions to the ball boys and girls, as well as any possibility of flashpoints connected to the returning of the ball.

League officials insist the recent clash between Coventry manager Mark Robins and a Wolves ball boy in their FA Cup quarter-final was not a trigger for the change.

Instead, it is understood general feedback from clubs - as well as the Premier League officials who oversee the competition rules - has led to the update, which is in keeping with the desire for the ball to be in play for longer during matches.

It follows a Premier League clampdown on time-wasting at the start of the season which has led to significantly increased injury time.

Premier League captains, managers and officials were informed of the coming changes this week and they were officially confirmed on Thursday with the amended guidance.

There will now be five ball stations on each side of the pitch and two at each end plus the match ball in circulation on a given match day, up from the previous total of 10.

Rule L.35 now states: "When the match ball goes out of play and is not quickly retrievable, players must go to the nearest cone to collect a replacement ball themselves to restart play.

"Ball assistants are not permitted to return a ball to a player. Ball assistants are required to return a ball to a vacant cone each time a replacement ball is used.

“Ball assistants should not be positioned next to cones so that it is clear they will not return balls to players (and be behind LED boards where possible).”

That is where ball assistants were moved after a clash between Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno and a ball boy in the Cottagers’ 3-0 defeat at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day.

Fulham manager Marco Silva claimed the ball boys were acting under instruction to delay the return of the ball once the Cherries were ahead.

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola denied that any such order had been given.

When have ball boys and girls made headlines?

There have been a number of notable incidents relating to the speed at which assistants returned the ball into play, both good and bad.

Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard was sent off and forced to apologise after kicking a Swansea ball boy as he attempted to retrieve a ball during a 2013 League Cup tie.

But Tottenham, under Jose Mourinho, and Liverpool have both scored memorable Champions League goals following the quick intervention of ball boys.

Mourinho high-fived and hugged a ball boy whose quick throw eventually led to a Harry Kane goal against Olympiacos in 2020 - which helped Spurs reach the last 16.

Liverpool reached the Champions League final in 2019 following a 4-0 second-leg win over Barcelona, with the tie-winning goal that sealed their incredible fightback coming after a quick-thinking youngster rolled a spare ball to Trent Alexander-Arnold, allowing him to take a corner which caught out the Spanish side’s defence and was finished by Divock Origi.


If we’re being pedantic, since it’s Premier League only, that Origi goal would still have stood…


So, it will slow down the game I suppose? Exactly what we need… :sleeping:



was just saying the other day to my mates…

…‘now that theyve perfected VAR, you know what would REALLY improve football?, stopping the ball kids from returning the ball quickly’


It’s how I see it.

Done a few games and I don’t think I could hack it away from our club where at least I have the protection of the club officials.

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David Coote is a grade A cheating cunt.
NO-ONE will convince me otherwise



quite telling really now hes on the other side of the fence

direct translation…i didnt realise how many decisions went our way when i was at Citeh!


just thought id link this here for …reasons…

Vincent Kompany says tackle on Mohamed Salah was a ‘great challenge’ despite incurring Jurgen Klopp’s wrath | The Independent | The Independent

picture of great officiating back in the day when football was football and refs were better eh Vinny?

Kompany tackle on Salah image - Search (


I meant to ask about this last night, but why wasn’t this a straight red card?

Is it now perfectly acceptable to assault players in the box? (there’s no question of going for the ball)

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Certainly a yellow, seems to be ruling out a penalty :melting_face:


Liverpool won…so its all ok. Refs and VAR behave like incompetent biased cunts and its brushed over.

We are being shafted on a constant basis. That tackle on Rodri or Rice or Saliba is a red card and condemnation from the pundits.
With Liverpool, no…get on with it.


Fuckin Hell… We got Chris Kavanagh as referee, and Oliver on VAR for the upcoming Crystal Palace match :0(

Coming back to this, as I always intended to respond but needed some distance.

I don’t disagree with your point. I recognize that covering controversies around our games has commercial value and can even understanding entities thinking there is value in covering them from a “Liverpool get all the breaks” perspective. I just dont see how it is a response to anything I have said.

My point is that if you look outside of our games, or even those of our competitors that might have impact on our prospects, and you will see exactly the same confluence of issues - decisions that are inconsistent with what we’ve seen elsewhere, explanations from the refs/PGMOL that do not clarify anything, and pundits all over the shop in arguing why it was and was not a correct decision. If someone’s only explanation for why that happens around our games is anti-liverpool bias it requires you to ignore the same shit happening all over football everyweek in ways that dont remotely relate to us.

The rules themselves are a framework not a clear set of directions for what is or is not a foul (define what the following means in practice - Reckless is when a player acts with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent and must be cautioned), and the guidance refs are given for this are a mess. The refs then essentially wing it and use point 1 and 2 to be able to justify pretty much any decision they want to make. Pundits (even if ignore the Shearers of the world and only consider the ones who genuinely try) have no clear history to use to understand what is or is not a foul and so themselves are all the shop in their opinions.

This doesnt mean that anti-liverpool bias doesnt exist. In fact it makes it worse. When you can point to the rules and guidance to justify pretty much anything you want to do you it gives you free rein to follow your bias and have people defend you.

See this piece her by Marcotti defending the ref and criticising Tuchel for wanting a pen

It was in the spirit of the laws so good refereeing. He is more adament over this than he was over the ref being wrong to not stop the goal and award the Diaz goal…so common sense is only inconsistently praised.

The bigger issue is he misunderstands what Raya and Saliba were doing. This was not a one off where they just got in a silly inconsequential mix up. This is a tactic they use on all their goal kicks. Sometimes Raya starts as he did in this incident, but sometimes he rolls it to Saliba to restart who then immediately passes it back to Raya. They do this to keep the press unbalanced, not knowing where the focus point will be, thinking it gives them a better chance of playing out from the back. You dont get to use a tactic like this and then claim it petty to punish them when they fuck it up.


Dortmund were awarded a penalty today and after scoring it the ref was called to the monitor by the VAR. Presumably it had to be about some issue with the penalty itself, right. Because as we all know, if the game stops and then restarts, nothing from before the stoppage can now be reviewed (re-reviewed).

Turns out the VAR didnt think it was a penalty and the ref agreed to revoke it even thought the penalty had already been scored. I expect the ref in this game will be publicly executed given how grave a violation of the VAR protocol that was and everyone will reconvince themselves the right process was followed in response to the Diaz fuck up.


Absolutely ZERO coverage of this anywhere. I dont understand why the PGMOL and/or PL is not being asked to comment on their perspective on this outcome given their own issues with the scenario earlier in the season. Have they learned anything? Are they still convinced the best outcome was reached in our game?