Sports Letters: Blow whistle on amateurs

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The Independent Online
Sir: As more and more money enters the Premier League, what has improved? Grounds, in line with the Taylor report; Premier League games, as foreign players offer something different; English players, as foreign players teach our players how to play; Refereeing standards, as, err...

Managers such as Ferguson, Wenger, Strachan and Gullit, and pundits like Brooking and Hansen voice doubt on refereeing decisions. Everything has turned professional, except the referee.

Is the Football Association so arrogant to believe that unprofessional part-timers, no different from 30 years ago, are adequate to cope with the modern game?

With four referees (assistants and substitute) per game, and 10 games per week, and even allowing for a modest annual salary of pounds 20,000, the outlay would be only pounds 800,000 per year. Surely, a small price to pay in a very professional game.

GARY JACOB

St Catherine's College, Oxford

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