Neville: We Need Elite Referee's

Football - Manchester United v Aston Villa Barclays Premier League

Man United captain Gary Neville has said that only the most experienced and ‘elite’ referee’s should take charge of the biggest games. I think it is fair to say that there have been some high profile decision’s that have gone against United but should ‘elite’ referee’s really take charge of high profile games?

"Referees are having a tough time at the moment, but I must say that their decision making doesn't seem to be great in the big moments," Neville said.

"No one can deny it is very difficult to be a referee but they are supposed to be professionals.
"The big matches should be refereed by the best referees. [The former] Italian referee Pierluigi Collina always used to get the big Champions League matches because he rarely made mistakes.
"They should make it like that in England and use a few elite officials in the big games instead of trying to give all referees experience.

"These big games shouldn't be about giving refs experience. They should have to earn it. The best players play for the big clubs and the best commentators commentate on the big games. That's how it should be with refs."

Neville went on to talk about the controversial free-kick which Chelsea were awarded.

"I don't think it was a foul by Darren Fletcher which led to the free-kick," he added. "I don't want to say we have been hard done by this season because every team has their complaints and I don't want to jump on referees' backs because they are under a lot of pressure.

"Not only that, but the game is so fast that you can't eliminate all mistakes. Nevertheless, I expect the big decisions in the big matches to be correct, which is not happening at the moment."

I can understand where Neville is coming from but at what point do you say that a referee is experienced enough to take charge of a big match? What happens if you do say that he is experienced enough and he makes a massive mistake?

At some point a referee, if he is good enough, will have to take charge of a high profile match. Referees are human and they will make mistakes, no fan or player wants that to be against their team but it does happen.

How can you judge a referee on the mistakes he makes? It is very rare for everyone to agree that it was a mistake. For example, the free-kick that Chelsea scored from against United. Some say it was a free-kick, other’s say it wasn’t. Is it a mistake?

What about the clubs who could be relegated? They will say that their games are just as important so why can’t they get the ‘elite’ referee’s? What if a less experienced referee makes a mistake and that mistake relegates the club?

A team will win the title over a season and teams will be relegated because of the points they have got over a season. Some games are high profile but every game is important. I can’t see how it will work. Like I said, I understand why Neville is saying what he is, I would prefer the ‘top referees’ to do the United games but that’s because I am a United fan.

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