Early Doors

Scudamore launches scathing attack on BT Sport’s Halsey

The Premier League’s chief executive Richard Scudamore has accused former referee Mark Halsey of 'lacking in decency'.

Halsey, BT Sport’s referee expert and co-commentator, released a book in the wake of his retirement at the end of last season, and some of the revelations within 'Added Time' have prompted Scudamore to accuse him of "doing the dirty" on some of his former colleagues.

In particular, Scudamore took exception to Halsey's naming and shaming of six referees that he doesn’t think are "up to the job" and need "urgent help".

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Scudamore, a qualified level five referee, 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. I personally expect better behaviour from those that we appoint to be match officials. I want more decent people than that."

Halsey had previously claimed that the Premier League had sought to prevent the publication of his book and Scudamore went on to confirm that his former colleagues were far from happy with the book and its contents.

"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," Scudamore added.

"It is unnecessary. It is not good for his colleagues."

Halsey did not lay the blame squarely at the feet of the officials though, stating that the body that oversees referees - Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) – share a sizeable portion of the blame.

"[PGMOL] are running the whole show on an apparent power trip while creating an atmosphere of fear and paranoia," Halsey said.

"That is not helping the weaker officials improve and the system often confuses and frequently frustrates the best referees who get mixed messages about what is expected of them."