Third Yellow – PRO at What!?!


While the #ThirdYellow is an avenue to bemoan referee selections, the PRO (Professional Referees Organization) and PGMOL should be the opposite in support of referees. While I despise a lot of what we get from the PGMOL – standards, lack of transparency, complacency – the PRO used to seem like a beacon of hope. The beacon has dimmed in the wake of the Toronto FC v Manchester City North America match last weekend.

PRO Passes the Blame?

David Villa should not be playing for New York City this weekend. He should be suspended for kicking out at Armando Cooper. It is essentially the same thing that landed Cooper a match ban several weeks ago. So why was he not suspended? Apparently Silvie Petrescu, an experienced PRO official, saw the incident and deemed that he would not have banned Villa. Interesting stance that was communicated by an MLS Spokesperson.

In England this situation would be done and dusted. We would all hate the referee for his standard for a red. He was a wuss in the match and a sissy after the match for failing to deal some justice. With the MLS the officiating panel in the PRO could issue a suspension provided two clauses were met:

  1. The committee unanimously agrees that it was a red. Confirmed;
  2. The actions of the offending player require a suspension in the name of player safety. Not Found.

What this means is that the follow-up foul by Cooper, which he got a yellow card for, was deemed irrelevant to the prior foul by Villa. Interesting. AND the committee has decided that the incident with Villa is not going to play any part in the following match when the two teams face off again. This is where I’m bothered by the proof of “player safety.” It should be named “integrity of the game,” in that it was a stupid action by Villa that could bear itself with a dumb foul or worse in a match not even a fortnight later. IF something happens with Villa on the discipline front, whether that is being fouled or committing one, we will all wonder whether it has something to do with the last match.

I’m further annoyed by the manner in which MLS has handled this, and the PRO for that matter. They both have basically said that the referee was wrong about the red, but they do not want to change the call either. It shows a divide in their standards at a time when the standards are under more scrutiny than ever. Smooth move <slow clap>

Mark Clattenburg, Good Decision

If you listened to me recently on the podcast, I mentioned that getting Mike Dean and Martin Atkinson against lesser clubs was a good thing. It meant that we would miss them for the Derby. So what if we only got 4 points from Boro and Sunderland. Getting Mike Dean or Atkinson in the Derby might well have meant we’d be level on points with the Scum.

It’s Clattenburg’s Sixth North London Derby on Sunday. Arsenal lead the way with three wins, and Spurs have won a pair. Arsenal won the first, at the lane, in 2007 by a score of 3-1. Arsenal won the second just over two years later, improving with a 3-0 win at Emirates. Fun fact, the strikers scored the first and third goals for Arsenal with the middle goal scored by Fabregas in both matches. Spurs won the third match, this one at the lane 2-1. That was the game with the Danny Rose wonder goal. Spurs won the fourth match 2-1 at home. The fifth match was an FA Cup match at the Emirates where Arsenal won 2-0. This match is the coin match. Remember when Theo flashed the two-nil to Spurs fans after tearing his knee?

PRO Theo

Clattenburg matches are not without incident, and not without intrigue. That said, he generally got it right in all of those derbies. Given the pattern of results, two Arsenal wins, two Spurs wins, and one Arsenal win, another Arsenal win should keep the patter going.

Statistically Arsenal have a slight Mark Clattenburg Advantage. 37 matches, 24 wins, 4 draws, 9 losses. Spurs – 38 matches, 20 wins, 7 draws, 11 losses. Arsenal have been awarded 10 penalties by Clattenburg without giving one up. I’ll take those numbers and hopefully I will still have this smile on my face after the match on Sunday.



About Author

Morgan Rubes

Morgan is our Arsenal contributor, the former Chairman of Arsenal Canada, and the lead writer of "The Third Yellow", the only referee blog on the internet. We look at Morgan as the villain of the show: listen and you will see why.

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