Richard Scudamore, the Premier League’s chief executive, has lambasted renegade referee Mark Halsey for “doing the dirty” on his fellow officials and accused him of lacking “decency”.
In his recent book Halsey made a series of criticisms of other referees, identifying half a dozen he felt were good enough, and of the league.
Scudamore, himself a qualified level five referee (senior county level), said: “It is disappointing when the game has given somebody so many years of matches and enjoyment and he chooses to go out and basically do the dirty on his colleagues. I just found that poor form for someone who you trusted to be arbitrator. I personally expect better behaviour from those that we appoint to be match officials. I want more decent people than that.”
Scudamore added Halsey’s former colleagues were unhappy at his book. My understanding through the group is that they are not happy. Why would you be? These are perfectly competent good people who are effectively being openly criticised. It is unnecessary. It is not good for his colleagues.”
Halsey has claimed the Premier League sought to prevent publication of his autobiography, Added Time, which was eventually self-published using Lithuanian printers.
Scudamore also rejected criticism of refereeing standards by Alex Ferguson in his autobiography. “I don’t that,” he said. “We are at the leading edge of referee development. We are at the leading edge of referee fitness. We are at the leading edge around Europe in terms of what we are doing with our referees. Are they perfect? No. Do they make mistakes? Yes.
Are those mistakes reducing in frequency? Yes. Would we swap them for another group in Europe? No.”