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Graham Poll Hits Out At FA


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Was Graham Poll Right To Criticise The FA?  

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  1. 1. Was Graham Poll Right To Criticise The FA?

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Referee Graham Poll says the Football Association is undermining officials' authority after they failed to back him in a row with Chelsea last November.

He is angry FA chief executive Brian Barwick did not step in after Chelsea disputed Poll's reasons for sending off John Terry in a match at Tottenham.

Poll, who retires in June, told the BBC's Inside Sport that Barwick ignored his pleas for the FA to support him.

However, Barwick said he was "very disappointed" by Poll's comments.

606: DEBATE

Where do your sympathies lie in this dispute?

Poll, 43, dismissed Chelsea skipper Terry for two yellow cards in the Premiership match against Spurs at White Hart Lane, which the Blues lost 2-1.

Terry was later reported as saying Poll had changed his story over why he had been sent off.

Our standing is gradually being eroded away, so why should managers have respect for us?

Graham Poll

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and manager Jose Mourinho also waded into the row, amid suggestions Poll had sent Terry off to teach the Blues a lesson.

Poll said: "I pleaded 'You must sort this Brian, it's something you must do'. He chose to ignore that."

And the Tring official said he felt that Terry's position as England captain had influenced the FA.

"Unfortunately, in this case, John Terry was - and still is - England captain," he said.

"So they're left with the confrontation of England captain versus English referee.

"It shouldn't be that. It should be that whoever the player is, if he has done something wrong, he should be dealt with properly."

Poll added that he felt the clubs and managers were being shown too much leniency in the way they were allowed to criticise referees.

"What clubs will do is push, see if they get away with it, push harder, push further and see how far they go before the custodians come down and say 'That's too far now'," he stated.

Speaking about managers, Poll said: "Because our standing is gradually being eroded away, why should they have respect for us?

"Because they can say whatever they want about us with no comeback."

I am extremely disappointed that Graham does not feel the system supported him

FA chief executive Brian Barwick

Barwick, who was supportive of Poll after he was criticised for showing Croatia's Josip Simunic three yellow cards in a match during the 2006 World Cup, said he was disappointed with the comments.

"I have always been fully supportive of both Graham Poll and referees in general," Barwick insisted.

"I actually spoke to Graham after the World Cup to offer him my support and my firm belief that he remained one of the best referees around. I also said so publicly and Graham Poll acknowledged this.

"Improving respect towards our match officials has been one of my priority areas ever since I became chief executive.

"I have always said referees do a very difficult job objectively, professionally and very well. Without a referee, there is no game.

"I did speak to Graham Poll at the time of the Tottenham-Chelsea Premier League game.

"I explained how the FA's disciplinary system worked, even though I am not, understandably, directly involved in individual cases and how we could not comment publicly while a case was ongoing to avoid prejudicing the outcome.

"I am extremely disappointed that Graham does not feel the system supported him.

After all, in the case he has highlighted, John Terry was charged with improper conduct and fined by an independent commission who did say, publicly, that they were disappointed that the integrity of a referee had been called into question."

The Euro 2008 qualifier between Finland and Belgium on 6 June will be the last game Poll will referee.

Graham Poll's interview with Inside Sport will be shown on BBC One at 2305 BST on Monday 4 June.

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Regardless of opinions of Graham Poll (i for one didn't think he was a very good ref), it is about time someone stood up to the FA about their corrupt and toothless system and lack of support for referee's. I myself am a referee and the FA are more or less the only people we can turn to, so when we lose their support we have very little.

It is good to see a referee standing up to an organisation that is not fit to run football in this country, and i hope this is the first of many. I know referees are the least popular people in sport but they do have a very hard job and they have to put up with a constant lack of respect from moaning, cheating players whilst putting up with the scrutiny from so called 'experts' that aren't good enough to get a job as a manager. It's so different in rugby.

This is one of the reasons i like MON so much tbh because he has learned to respect everyone on the pitch and if you read Clough's autobiography you will see that MON learned it all from him

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totally right he is.

they allow the likes of Fergie to moan about refs with impunity and no wonder the refs gets stick from players when the managers are not kept in line.

Again don't want to make MON out like a saint, but he will fairly criticse refs without ever getting personal and look at the didsplicne on the pitch you never saw us once confront a ref.

he learnt that from Cloughie who knew that refs were to be respected but not always right

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i wouldn't usually say this, but i would suggest you buy the daily mail. It has got an in-depth interview with Graham Poll about the lack of respect and the amount of abuse we get from players and managers and perhaps it will make some people realise that we may be referees but we are also people

The abuse does hurt alot and sometimes it gets me down from a personal point of view. People think it is ok and that it is "part of the game" but thats bollocks. We are people, it does hurt a lot and it is something that has to be stopped. At the end of the day we are all just trying to do a job and it is not made any easier by cheating players and abusive managers. We are just becoming punch-bags and the FA are doing **** all about it whilst the world of football think it is ok to treat referees like shit

Well it is not on and I am absolutely furious. I honestly think referees should go on strike until the FA get off their fat arses and do something, because referees are a dying breed and if there are no refs, there is no football

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I voted 'no'. Poll is a tosser at the end of the day. He gave 2 different reasons for sending Terry off. I mean, how stupid can you be. That instantly gives the player an argument against your real reasons and certainly adds weight to the claim that it WAS just to teach Chelsea a lesson - whether that be the case or not.

I'm delighted he wont be desecrating the Premiership next season.

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I voted 'no'. Poll is a tosser at the end of the day. He gave 2 different reasons for sending Terry off. I mean, how stupid can you be. That instantly gives the player an argument against your real reasons and certainly adds weight to the claim that it WAS just to teach Chelsea a lesson - whether that be the case or not.

I'm delighted he wont be desecrating the Premiership next season.

well Poll said he never and therefore do you believe Terry who was pissed of at being sent off or Poll ...

Frankly I would never believe any player in this situation

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Actually Spoony the refs don't help themselves

players should be yellow carded and if they are abusive sent off

the refs have a lot of control in this area

and the FA should back them up

The problem referees have is that they are assessed, and new directives are being forced upon them every season. The fact that they are constantly looking over their shoulders leads to errors.

Refs are robots, and until this changes, things will not improve.

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You are right to an extent thetrees. So are you ianrobo but the problem is that if a referee does caution for dissent (e.g. the refs decision to caution Rooney for sarcastic clapping directly after he had been cautioned) we are immediately accused of over-reacting, so we can't win!

BOF, the thread is not really supposed to be about whether Graham Poll is a tosser or not, it is more about Poll's comments on the FA and whether or not there is enough support for officials. I don't think Poll was a particularly good ref but i certainly wouldn't describe him as a tosser

People tend to be a bit narrow-minded when debating issues on referees because of this ref-hate culture in football. It has always existed, but not more than ever and it is time something was done about it because it is ruining the game

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i agree that Howard Webb is the best referee in the Prem. I have met him before now at an FA conference and he certainly knows his stuff and he is a cracking bloke (pretty irrelevant i know)

There is a lot Poll has done wrong but i am hoping this criticism of the FA is the start of a massive backlash, because they are ruining football in so many ways. The lack of support for match officials, there blatant bias towards the top teams, there pathetic punishments etc etc

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You are right to an extent thetrees. So are you ianrobo but the problem is that if a referee does caution for dissent (e.g. the refs decision to caution Rooney for sarcastic clapping directly after he had been cautioned) we are immediately accused of over-reacting, so we can't win!

As a football supporter, watching any game, Villa or not, I want the ref to be two things:

1. The most important man on the pitch

2. Largely unnoticed

It's hard to be both but possible.

If a ref wants to book one of the so-called 'star' players, he should blow his whistle, stand his ground, and let the player come to him for his caution.

Too many 'top' refs run after players who are deliberately walking away, and the moment that they do that, they have lost control.

Drifting slightly off, I know, but this is the part of the modern game that really annoys me!!

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You are right to an extent thetrees. So are you ianrobo but the problem is that if a referee does caution for dissent (e.g. the refs decision to caution Rooney for sarcastic clapping directly after he had been cautioned) we are immediately accused of over-reacting, so we can't win!

BOF, the thread is not really supposed to be about whether Graham Poll is a tosser or not, it is more about Poll's comments on the FA and whether or not there is enough support for officials. I don't think Poll was a particularly good ref but i certainly wouldn't describe him as a tosser

People tend to be a bit narrow-minded when debating issues on referees because of this ref-hate culture in football. It has always existed, but not more than ever and it is time something was done about it because it is ruining the game

I don't hate all refs Spoony, some of them are good at their job and some manage to get respect even if they don't do that good a job. In my opinion Rob Styles and Graham Poll are tossers. As for the FA supporting their referees, I agree that they could be more supportive. The fact that the England captain was the player in question also shows how spineless the FA are - but we knew that already.

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the last part wasn't directed at you BOF it was more a general statement

thetrees, again i agree that star player do get away with too much and granted some referees just let them do it. It is an attitude that needs to be changed for both players and referees. Top players should not get preferential treatment and referees should not let them get away with it

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BOF, the thread is not really supposed to be about whether Graham Poll is a tosser or not, it is more about Poll's comments on the FA and whether or not there is enough support for officials.

I thought it was just so we could have a poll on Poll.

More than reason enough in my book.

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Referees are getting less and less respect.Punishment(cards,free kicks) should be given to those who swear at the ref e.g:Rooney,lampard,scholes......You don't see players swearing at ref and getting away with it in other sports.

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anyone here Kith Hackett on R5 today lambasting Poll (Hackett was his boss), talking about sucking up to the FA.

the way manager and players act towards refs is disgraceful and to hear Hackett defend them made my blood boil ....

it doesn';t happen in any other sports and in football it can easily be stamped on, but for some reason the FA is too scared

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