Former Premier League referee warns pressure on officials could lead to suicide
Mark Halsey fears the increasing pressure could have devastating affect
Monday 16 September 2013
Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes the pressure on top-flight officials could lead to one of them committing suicide.
Referees are under coming increasing scrutiny as a result of greater media focus as well as social media outlets, such as Twitter.
And Halsey, who retired from officiating at the end of the last Barclays Premier League season, believes more needs to be done to support his former colleagues.
"There is no hiding place on the field and you have to be mentally tough. But it also follows you off the field more and more now and it can destroy you," Halsey said in his autobiography which is being serialised in The Sun.
"I do feel that referees should get more help to cope with the increasing level of mental strain.
"In my view, given some of the episodes of recent seasons, it will not be long before a referee has a nervous breakdown.
"I also believe that if we do not do something to help referees with mental health and stress issues, then we could see a suicide."
Halsey was the victim of two abusive tweets 12 months ago after officiating in Manchester United's 2-1 victory over Liverpool, sending off Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey before awarding United a penalty, which was scored by Robin van Persie.
The tweets, both of which referred to his throat cancer diagnosis in 2009, were widely condemned by other Twitter users and while Halsey received support from Premier League managers and friends, his former bosses were a lot less forthcoming.
"I got little from my bosses apart from a call from Mike Riley, the head of the PGMOL, and one from the Select Group manager Keren Barratt asking if I wanted to come off my next game at Southampton."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech blasts Chelsea supporters who sent him death threats after £11m Arsenal transfer: 'They are not true fans'
Nathaniel Clyne joins Liverpool: Transfer news live - Arda Turan decision, Petr Cech reaction, Sergio Ramos to Manchester United
Christian Benteke to Liverpool: Aston Villa striker ready to reject Tottenham
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arda Turan announcement expected on Friday: Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United possible destinations
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS