Premier League - Referee fraternity 'absolutely appalled' by Mark Halsey

Former referee Graham Poll has blasted his ex-colleague Mark Halsey for "naming and shaming" underperforming referees.

PA Sport
Premier League - Referee fraternity 'absolutely appalled' by Mark Halsey
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Graham Poll and Mark Halsey

Halsey singled out six referees who were "not good enough for the job" in Tuesday's edition of the Sun, an action that Poll believes is a "betrayal."

Halsey has also taken up a position with BT Sport as a co-commentator where he judges the referee performance live during Premier League fixtures.

"He (Halsey) is 100 per cent betraying what paid him a living he would never have earned as the warehouse manager he was or the taxi driver he was," Poll told TalkSport.

"The refereeing fraternity are absolutely appalled at what he is doing. He hasn't thought it through. Mark has got to take a long, hard look at himself. He won't. I know the guy. I have known him for years. He is that type of character, I'm afraid."

Halsey quickly responded to Poll's comments by saying: "I've not let the profession down. If anybody is letting the profession down, some of his comments over the years have been atrocious.

"I found that 'unfitting' from him what he's come out with. But that's Graham. We don't get on and I don't like the way he's done things over the years."

In his Sun article Halsey hit out at the standard of refereeing in the Premier League, blaming an "atmosphere of fear and paranoia" created by the body in charge of match officials.

The 52-year-old, who hung up his whistle at the end of last season, reckons only eight of the current crop are good enough.

The Sun's newspaper led its back page with Halsey's revelations with the headline 'Named N' Shamed' before listing the "six Premier League referees that are not good enough for the job."

The six referees that were singled out by Halsey and the newspaper as needing "urgent help" were Mike Jones, Jon Moss, Kevin Friend, Lee Mason, Roger East and Neil Swarbrick.

Halsey says that Jones is "poor and lacks authority," comments that East "does not look up to it" and describes Friend as "middle order."

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Picture: The 'middle order' Kevin Friend (PA)

Halsey believes much of the blame lies with the body that oversees referees - Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) - as well as their general manager Riley and select group manager Barratt.

"[PGMOL] are running the whole show on an apparent power trip while creating an atmosphere of fear and paranoia," Halsey said.

"That is not helping the weaker officials improve and the system often confuses and frequently frustrates the best referees who get mixed messages about what is expected of them."

Halsey believes the wrong officials are often picked for big games and blames that on Riley and Barratt.

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