🚨Controversial Claim: Ex-Premier League Referee Suggests Poor Officiating May Have Cost Leeds United Promotion


Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has hinted that poor refereeing decisions could cost Leeds United promotion to the Premier League next season, in the exclusive Real EFL.

Halsey had a stellar career as an official, being part of the match-day squad for the 2002 FA Cup Final and officiating international matches and the UEFA Cup. He officiated the League Cup final between Spurs and Chelsea in 2008 and is a respected authority on match officials.

He suggested that Leeds United may have been robbed of a Premier League place because of poor refereeing.  Daniel Farke has complained that his side received six apologies last season for decisions by the PGMOL, the refereeing body. His claim came after he said he expected two more after a 0-0 draw at Sunderland gave rivals Ipswich the upper hand in the fight for promotion to League One.

In the end, Leeds missed out on automatic promotion by six points, but with six letters possibly apologizing for a red card or penalty, Halsey suggested that could be a factor in their failure to progress.

“You can argue that those six letters probably cost Leeds a lot of points which could have given them automatic promotion,” said Halsey, speaking exclusively to The Real EFL’s Charlie Beeston.

“That’s the argument. Do we want VAR in the EFL? I’d say no, regardless of its current implementation in the Premier League because it’s so inconsistent.”

WHERE in the championship has been the subject of much debate, but Halsey believes the problem is not the technology, but the officials making the decisions.

“Howard Webb is a good friend of mine but as head of PGMOL I would be very unhappy if Leeds United received six complaints about my referees. If Howard sends these six letters of apology for wrong decisions then there is a huge problem with the standards of service at this level , right?

“We have a problem. I’ve seen some good umpires in the championship. There are some good umpires everywhere, some good up-and-coming umpires. But getting those umpires comes down to training, education, leadership and direction, I think Hal needs to look at his team behind the scenes.”

Halsey even suggested that PGMOL could benefit from being run more like a football club.

“When a new manager comes into a football club, he changes the whole backstage. He brings his people; Howard hasn’t done that yet. I think that has to happen. I don’t think the people working under him are good enough to present to the referees what kind of we were a few years ago.”

It is worth noting that Farke’s claim increased during the season. In April he claimed to have received six letters but the PGMOL printer may have run out of ink as six more were sent in May and Farke said he has now received 12 letters. After his side’s play-off semi-final draw against Norwich (0-0), he made a claim that resonates with Halsey’s.

“I have 12 letters of apology at home already this season with offside goals and no penalties,” he said. “If we had used VAR this season we wouldn’t have been in the play-offs – we would have automatically been promoted.”

Author’s view

Halsey’s opinion may be controversial, not least in Suffolk, but he is right. If Farke got six letters, or indeed 12, chances are they’ll be worth some serious points. The decisions in the Sunderland game, for example, really went against Leeds.

WHERE is not the answer. The Premier League has been a disaster, and as we saw at the Euros, only the English referees seem to be struggling with it. Proper operation of VAR makes the game flow well, otherwise it is a clumsy opponent of a beautiful game.

However, VAR in the Championship could see Leeds rather than Ipswich start against Liverpool on August 12.

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