Alan Biggs at Large: It’s a reffing disgrace that seemingly anyone can air their views on men in the middle - unless, of course, they are a referee themselves

Mark Halsey
Mark Halsey

I’m wondering if Alan Shearer will ever again be allowed to conduct an FA Cup draw, as he did for the third round this season. The FA will surely excommunicate him.

Not with me? Well, check out Shearer’s recent column in a national newspaper in which he ventured the view that this was the worst season ever for refereeing mistakes in the Premier League (it probably is).

Still don’t follow? Well, perhaps you didn’t see the recent snippet in a daily newspaper revealing that ex-ref Mark Halsey had been stopped from making a scheduled (free) motivational address to Sheffield referees. The reason given by the national Referees Association (affiliated to the FA), for pressuring Sheffield to drop the event, was that Halsey had been “negative” in his comments about officiating this season.

So why is it that a former top player can criticise and a former top ref (far better qualified) can’t. This, of course, is utter nonsense and indicative of the freedom of speech issues that have suffocated refereeing for so long. Time to speak out in every sense.