Howard Webb said he wanted more openness about the decision to enter as head of communications for the Premier League.
Webb, a former Premier League official who was in charge of the 2010 World Cup final, left the same role at the Distributor Organization for Major League Soccer to return to England, assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer of PGMOL as of 1 Dec. .
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“My main task is to study on board to take from my time from the English game, apply something from it in terms of direction and coaching, and try to change the perception a little bit and be more transparent, more open.” Webb said. “Not everything we did in the Major League Soccer will work here, but it’s a different thing, but it will be a certain thing.
“We want to engage with people, and I think we can manage expectations a little better than before, and respond to feedback.”
Webb added: “As it stands in the minute things, there is clearly a sense that the sense can be better, and the level of transparency better.”
A hearing between the VAR and the referee is released every week in MLS, which while it won’t happen immediately in the Premier League, is something Webb is working towards.
“I hope we get to the point where we can share some audio,” Webb said. “Even if people don’t necessarily agree with the final decision, people can understand the process and the rationale and are much more accepting of the decision.
“We are not to satisfy and please everyone, some decisions to split opinion. You have clearly right decisions and completely wrong opinions, and then sing this subjective zone where people think.”
Mike Leo Webb replaces the party in the revamp of PGMOL, the organization that regulates refereeing in England. He is part of a new leadership group that also includes Danielle Omnis (Chief Operating Officer), Dr. Steve McNally (chief operating officer) and former Bristol City, Swindon Town and Tranmere Rovers striker Dr. Wayne Allison (coaching director) who will implement the Elite Learner Development Plan to improve standards.
Former rugby league referee and video referee Phil Bentham has also been appointed as VAR coach for the Premier League.
Webb hopes that the amendments he will give instead of relying on the referee to adhere to the decision in the VAR review, when necessary. The Premier League said that out of 48 VAR interventions this season, six were incorrect; which could have been prevented if the referee had refused to monitor the review.
“I’ve seen the benefits of Phil coming in to really work on their communication,” Webb said. “We’re probably going to be in the world at some point where that communication will be readily available, we have no problem with nothing to hide. And the level of professionalism, and the way we communicate, is already really good.
“My job is to both input and ensure that we get greater consistency around the question that the VARs are being asked to ask themselves: is it completely wrong. More often than not they give that opinion wrong, but sometimes they learn. And so the referee must have the right when to screen I come to say ‘thank you, I will try the opportunity, but in my opinion I did not make a clear and obvious mistake.’ So this is where we need to do a lot of management.
Webb also said that PGMOL is trying to create a better way for former players to report the fact; two current Premier League officials entered as professional players before the transfer of referees, Simon Hooper (Swindon) and Darren England (Barnsley).
“It’s a big way to stay in the game and we need to look at how to attract people to the referee,” explained Webb. “We’ve always struggled to get players involved. I’m sure one of them wants to be a trailblazer, someone who played in the League.
“I don’t expect players who have played at the highest level and have other opportunities to come into it. But someone who has had an honest life and has a good knowledge of the game. Maybe late-20s, working hard. I think there is an opportunity for someone really blaze a trail and let’s welcome them from the heart with the skills they have from their playing career.
“You can’t get past the main experience, but you believe that they’ve already had experience in the game, playing or whatever their role is, and build on that as quickly as you can and get up there as quickly as possible, and it will attract people to it.”