Howard Webb and Dermot Gallagher will use a studio in the BBC centre in Salford as their base for monitoring every Premier League game. This new location will position them at the heart of where Match of the Day will be recorded every weekend. Although match officials are still gagged by the Premier League, the pair will provide explanation to the BBC, Sky and BT Sport as to why referees make decisions during a game. As part of his new role as the Professional Game Match Officials technical director Webb will work alongside former referee Gallagher to watch every single top-flight match to review particularly contentious decisions.
Referee chief Mike Riley explained: ‘Howard knows refereeing inside out, can put himself in the mind of the referee that day and can explain what goes on. ‘We don’t want that for every decision but when it is important to get the message across, we will. This season we have a dedicated centre at the BBC on each match-day, so Dermot and Howard will be sat in a studio in Salford, watching the games.’ Their role is not specifically to provide reaction to every single incident of controversy, but on Monday the idea was not ruled out that Webb and Gallagher could appear on screen to give a voice to referees. It is also another step on the long road to the possibility of video replays assisting referees in games. The PGMOL are watching trials of video technology in Holland closely, but are still far from considering it in England. Webb said: ‘We are aware of the development in Holland. We are keeping an open mind to anything really. If we’re not careful it will end up opening more questions than answers. We really need to make sure not to change the basis of the way the game is played. The high intensity and fast flowing that makes it such a good spectacle that people enjoy to watch. We will see which way that goes’.
Source: Daily Mail