Thursday 16 November 2017

Can a Referee's Name Influence His Appointment?

Ben Toner. Say the name again. Ben Toner.

Some people may hear the term "bent owner". In English slang the meaning of "bent" is to be dishonest. A dishonest owner.

This is not a reflection on the referee himself. Mr Toner merely has an unfortunate name that can be used to imply that a club owner is dishonest or corrupt. Recently, the owners of Blackpool were found guilty in the high court of "illegally stripping" the club of assets, and people have noticed this funny association.

Interestingly, the PGMOL decided to remove Ben Toner from the Blackpool vs Portmouth League One match and replace him with EPL referee Jon Moss. They cited that the reason for this was NOT because of the referee's name at the match, but because the match itself had become higher profile due to the high court's verdict. In the end, the third-tier match had an attendance of 5,032 and very little media coverage.

Perhaps Ben Toner should amend his name to Benjamin Toner or Benny Toner? Would that help?

Take home message: If you are a referee and you also have a funny name, you may need to think about changing your name. Does anyone know any funny referee names?

There is a player in Hong Kong who is called "Linesman". Imagine the reaction of the match officials, when Lineman's teammates call his name!!


Referee Ben Toner loses Blackpool game after Oystons court verdict

Jon Moss takes over at Bloomfield Road due to ‘increased attention’
Ben Toner’s name caused amusement following ruling against Oystons

The referee Ben Toner has been taken off Blackpool’s League One match against Portsmouth, days after the majority owner, the Oystons, were found by a high court judge to have operated an “illegitimate stripping” of the Lancashire club.

Given the findings against the Oystons, Toner’s name had caused some amusement on social media. However the EFL said he had been replaced by a more senior official only because of the “increased scrutiny” on the match at Blackpool.
On Monday Owen Oyston and his son Karl were ordered by Justice Marcus Smith to pay £31m to buy out the minority shareholder Valeri Belokon because of “fundamental breaches” of their duties as directors. Yesterday they put the club up for sale.

After discussions between the EFL and PGMOL, the referees’ association, it was decided Toner should be replaced by Jon Moss, one of the elite Premier League officials. As the body that appoints all match officials it was the PGMOL rather than the EFL which made the choice.

An EFL spokesman said: “As a result of the increased attention surrounding this weekend’s League One fixture between Blackpool and Portsmouth, PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials Limited] has determined it would be appropriate for a select group 1 referee to take charge of proceedings at Bloomfield Road.