The Manchester United versus Newcastle game last Saturday, was a classic demonstration of the lawless PGMOL, a refereeing body that blatantly refuses to implement the laws of the game, and simply not fit for purpose.
As I will detail, the referee did everything to prevent Newcastle taking a critical 3-goal advantage after they shocked United with 2 in the first 10 minutes. The partiality of Anthony Taylor was nakedly on show for the world to see, but, as if suffering from “Stockholm syndrome”, the mainstream media, the Newcastle management and the fans were mute, silently complicit as United were allowed to recover their footing and with their superior resources take full advantage of favorable refereeing.
The Guardian, arguably the leading mainstream source of football news from England, had as their headline that Sánchez seals dramatic Manchester United comeback against Newcastle. Nothing about the refereeing. The best they come up with is some crumbs of consolation for the away team:
It was only possible in the end to feel sorry for Newcastle, who were a major part of this game’s entertainment factor and were worth at least a share of the points, but the home side inexorably wore them down in the second half, when all three Manchester United goals were scored.
Poor old Rafa Benitez. When did becoming sacrificial lambs for PL entertainment ever help in a relegation scrap? I see the quote as just another example of cynicism by the “hoity-toity” at The Guardian treating Newcastle like one of those doomed slaves up against a lion in the Roman Coliseum, i.e. good entertainment for the citizens.
As for the BBC, Britain’s public broadcaster, it was a “stunning comeback.” I found the sub-titles in the body of the article interesting for the absolute failure to highlight the role of Taylor’s indulgent refereeing that benefited United:
- Manchester United’s calamitous start
- Mourinho finally finds solution
- Newcastle shortcomings exposed
As in the fairy tale by Han’s Christian Andersen, despite the pretensions of professionalism and fairness by the PGMOL, which apparently has the mainstream media bedazzled, we at UniteForVAR, like the child seeing the Emperor in the flesh, have no fear in calling a spade a spade. The PGMOL has no credibility as a refereeing body.
In the first place Anthony Taylor had no business refereeing this game. He was born in Wythenshawe in Greater Manchester. Up to two years ago he was living in Altrincham – just six miles away from Old Trafford. How in god’s name can the PGMOL pretend he can be unbiased when refereeing a game involving a club that is a part of the fabric of the City of Manchester as one of the most historic in England and literally one of the biggest clubs in the world? How can Taylor be unmoved when the club that is embedded in the culture of Manchester is on the verge of embarrassment by a traditional northern rival?
The Liverpool Echo reported that the PGMOL told the BBC sometime in 2016 that the process behind referee selection is all about avoiding “unnecessary extra external pressure and scrutiny on referees” in what is an “already a high pressure and demanding job”. Crucially, they also stated that where a referee lives is not a factor when appointments are considered. (What could be more pressurizing than seeing your hometown team under the cosh in a game they were supposed to win easily?)
However, there have been some glaring inconsistencies. In April 2016, Kevin Friend was removed from Tottenham’s clash with Stoke because of his perceived support for Spurs’ title rivals Leicester City. Friend, a Bristol City fan, was living in Leicestershire at the time and had previously attended Foxes matches with friends.
Also in April 2016 Michael Oliver, a Newcastle fan, was allowed to take charge of a game involving the Magpies’ fellow relegation candidates Norwich City and Crystal Palace. Mike Dean, a Tranmere fan, was removed from refereeing the 2006 FA Cup final between Liverpool and West Ham because he lived in Wirral.
But Taylor, as was evident this past Saturday, is allowed to officiate matches involving both Manchester City and Manchester United.
Apparently only the Liverpudlians, via a regional newspaper, see anything wrong with this picture. The national newspapers are so far up the Emperor’s rear-end, they fail to see him butt-naked.
Taylor Ignores The Laws of The Game
Unto the game itself. As we at UniteForVAR have factually demonstrated in previous posts, the M.O. of the PGMOL is to ignore the laws of the game and to not punish teams for dangerous play as stipulated by FIFA. Two weeks ago we did a piece titled The Disappearing Red Card, documenting that the PGMOL fails to punish teams for cautionable offences. Red cards was an amazing 2.9% of yellow cards in 2016-17 vs a 17-year historic average of 5.2%. In 18-19 it was 3.2% reds as a fraction of yellows. Yet the average number of yellow cards issued year-in, year-out remain stable.
It is obvious that the reason for holding back on yellow cards, especially in the 1st half of games, is to reduce the likelihood of having to issue the 2nd yellow, especially against a favored team. Can you imagine a police officer not willing to cite someone for a 1st driving offence because the next will cost them their license or add to their points and increasing their insurance premiums? It would be lawless police behavior. So is the conduct of the PGMOL.
That was exactly what Taylor did last Saturday. He issued no yellow cards in the first half despite a number of tackles by United that were dangerous by any definition. I recall on or about the 20th minute a Manchester defender came through studs up on a Newcastle player, caught him on the ankle. FIFA rules clearly specifies this is a cautionable offence. Just a foul for Taylor.
In the 40th minute, Ashley Young clearly (even with my low resolution tv) handles the ball in the penalty area , from a free kick by Jonjo Shelvey. No call. In fact, to make matters worse, the ball clearly deflects for a corner, but Taylor ignores the laws of physics and decides Shelvey must have kicked the ball outside. Goal kick.
No Red Cards Against United
Another in the PGMOL bag of tricks is to never find Manchester United guilty of red cards in proportion to the number of yellow cards they incur. Last week I provided the data that despite United having the highest number of yellow cards, according to the PGMOL, Chelsea And Arsenal Are The Dirtiest Clubs in The Top-7. On Saturday United committed 16 fouls vs 8 by Newcastle, a 100% excess. But both clubs ended up with two yellow cards each. What an amazing equity despite the disparity in fouling.
At the end of the day, without an even-handed referee, how was Newcastle going to withstand the pressure of United trying to kick and foul their way back into the game? Apparently it is not enough for United to have an enormous financial advantage over Newcastle in acquiring talent. They also need the PGMOL in their pocket.
It goes without saying the abuse of power by Taylor would have been tempered by a robust, effective, transparent VAR which, going by the FIFA model, would have awarded a clear penalty to Newcastle at the 40th minute mark.
While a lawless PGMOL is certainly good for United, the status quo is at the expense of the rest of the league. Yet it persists. Why?
Also published at the Unite_For_VAR free speech channel at https://www.minds.com/uniteforvar