Respect for Referees you must be joking!

Every time I turn the television on the commentators, Managers and Professional Players are always saying that the players and spectators etc, should have and must have respect for the Referees and I do agree with this in the professional game.

However my views on this have changed over the years at grassroots level of Football. My views are that respect is and always has to be a two way thing, the players must at all times respect the Referees and the referees must always have respect for the players and officials etc.

I feel that the above is not always the case and money is the route to the evil. Over the years I have personally witnessed some very good Referees however sadly they seem to be a minority at grass root level.

Just last weekend I went along and watched a under 15 boy’s game, I never knew the players or officials from either side it was just a Sunday morning game and an opportunity to watch a good game of Football, but this was not the case due to the Referee on this occasion.

The fact is! On this Sunday morning this Referee ruined this game of football and I suspect that he would be ruining all games that he ref in.

Let me explain my thoughts on respect for the Referees, as I said earlier respect must be two way at this grassroots game of football. Each team had a manager and a coach/first aid person both volunteers. Each team also had 14 players in each all paying subs to play football. The tea hut at the ground was manned voluntarily to raise funds for the Club so all these people giving up their Sunday free of charge for the interest of grassroots football.

Football is the number one sport in the UK because of VOLUNTEERS!

Then the Referee comes along and charges a fee to officiate the laws of the game. This is where I sometimes struggle to come to terms with the words respect the Referee. These volunteers who give their time up to help free some are good people/managers or coaches some are poor however the teams need helpers and if they didn’t volunteer maybe the team or club would fold and all the kids miss out on our wonderful game.

How can anyone have respect for a Referee who is charging a fee for his services and is clearly not fit enough to officiate? No wonder both sets of Players and officials thought he was a joke and that affected the game for both teams. When I got home I looked up online at www.footballreferee.org website where to my surprise it states that “Fitness is an important part of any Referee’s game”.

My thought and question about Referees is quite simple, If they want respect from layers and supporters alike please when charging a fee make sure you are fit enough to move outside the centre circle and then maybe the respect would be coming from all.

Please note I am not moaning about decisions made by the ref or any ref as we can always debate about those as about 50% will always be for the opposition and disagree so that’s life and part of football.

So my view is, if the referee association want Referees to gain more respect from all maybe they should get their house in order at the lower levels of the game and ensure that they are fit enough for the job especially when they are charging for their services. Thirty pounds was a joke.

What do you think?

I know I am right people can’t charge for a service if they can’t do the job?

Wayne.