Howard Webber has said he wants to be more open in decision-making after taking over as Premier League chief referee.
Webb, the former Premier League official who was in charge of the 2010 World Cup final, left the same post at Major League Soccer’s professional refereeing organization to return to England to take up the role of PGMOL chief referee from 1 December.
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“My biggest role is to take some lessons from my time away from the English game, apply some of them in terms of coaching and coaching, and try to change perspective a little bit, be more transparent, be more open,” Webb said. “Not everything we do in MLS will work here, it’s a different environment, but some things will.
“We want to engage with people, manage expectations better than I ever thought possible, and be open to feedback.”
“For now, obviously, the feeling can be better, the transparency can be more,” Weber added.
MLS releases audio between VAR and referees on a weekly basis, and while that won’t be immediately available in the Premier League, Webb is working towards it.
“I wish we could share some audio,” Weber said. “Even if people don’t necessarily agree with the final decision, people can understand the process and rationale and be more accepting of the decision.
“We’re not going to please and please everyone, and there are decisions that divide opinion. You have decisions that are clearly right and decisions that are clearly wrong, and then there’s a subjective gray area where people form opinions.”
Webb replaced Mike Riley as part of an overhaul of the PGMOL, the organization that controls refereeing in England. It is part of a new leadership team that also includes Danielle Every (Chief Operating Officer), Dr Steve McNally (Director of Performance Support) and former Bristol City, Swindon Town and Tranmere Rovers striker Dr Wayne Allison (Director of Coaching) ), they will implement an elite referee development program to improve their level.
Former rugby union referee and video referee Phil Bentham has also been appointed as the Premier League’s VAR coach.
Webber hopes the changes he has made will give referees the confidence to uphold their decisions on VAR review if necessary. The Premier League says six of 48 VAR interventions this season have been incorrect; these could have been avoided had referees declined the review on monitors.
“I’ve seen the benefits in Phil, he’s really committed to their communication,” Webb said. “We’ll probably at some point go into a world where we can communicate and that’s fine because we have nothing to hide. And the level of professionalism and the way they communicate is already very good.
“My job is to put as much input as possible into making sure we get greater consistency on the question VARs are being asked to ask themselves: which is plainly wrong. More often than not, the opinion they get is right rather than wrong, But occasionally they can be misplaced and that’s why the referee on the screen must have the right to say “Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity, but in my opinion I didn’t make an obvious mistake. ’ So that’s where we have to do a lot of management work.”
Webb also said PGMOL was eager to create better pathways for former players to become referees; two current Premier League officials were professional players before turning referees, Simon Hooper (Swindon) and Darren England (Barnes). profit).
“It’s a great way to get involved in the game, and we need to look at how to get people involved in refereeing,” Weber explained. “We’ve been trying to get former players involved. I’m sure there are people who want to be a trailblazer, people who have played in the Football League.
“I don’t expect players who have played at the highest level and had other opportunities to get into it. But guys who have had a decent career and have a good understanding of the game. Maybe in their 20s, with an injury or whatever. , I think there is an opportunity for someone to really blaze a trail, and we welcome them wholeheartedly, along with the skills they gain from their career. As long as they have the other skills they need to be successful.
“You can’t get around the base experience you need, but you can trust the experience they’ve already got in the game, by playing or what their character is, and building up and getting them there as quickly as possible, that’s going to draw people in Come in.”