Tuesday 28 January 2020

Former Premier League refs in book feud

Chris Bascombe

A bitter dispute has broken out between former Premier League referees Mark Halsey and Graham Poll, with the latter accusing his former colleague of "betraying" the profession.

Halsey's recently published autobiography revealed numerous secrets of the job and he has also suggested that many top-flight referees are not up to standard.

Poll, another of the most high-profile officials of the Premier League era, said Halsey's conduct was appalling. "The sensible thing would be to ignore him," Poll said. "It is what people did at the referees' camp for a long time when he used to turn up with his Bolton kit to train rather than the kit that we all had on.

"He is 100pc betraying what paid him a living, which he would never have earned as the warehouse manager he was or the taxi driver he was. The refereeing fraternity is absolutely appalled at what he is doing. He hasn't thought it through.

"Mark has got to take a long, hard look at himself. He won't. I know the guy. He is that type of character. I would never buy the book and I hope lots of people don't as well."

Halsey suggested that Poll's claims were due to the fact the pair didn't like each other.

"We don't get on and I don't like the way he's done things over the years," Halsey said. "I've not let the profession down. If anybody is letting the profession down, some of his comments over the years have been atrocious."

Halsey (52) had suggested earlier that there was an "atmosphere of fear and paranoia" gripping refereeing. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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