Here is my five point plan for improving refereeing standards. 1. Video Technology. Just get it done. There is no excuse. For all the fears about interrupting the flow of the game, it wouldn't necessarily make that much difference. The referee would manage the game as normal, but a second referee watches the game on a delayed feed. If there is a moment that is contentious, he or she can see a reply of the incident within seconds and radio the referee to say they have missed one. Most other situations where there is scope for a mistake - who got the last touch on the way out, did that goalscorer use his head of his hands - lead to a break in play anyway. 2. Change the rules of retrospective punishment. It's ridiculous that retrospective action can't be applied when a referee has seen an incident. He might have seen it, but failed to clock the severity. While we're doing retrospective, I've never agreed with the way bans work. If a player cops a ban for an incident why should the team the following week benefit from this, and the team sinned against get nothing? 3. Fuck context Most problems in refereeing are caused by an unequal application of the rules depending on where an offence was committed, is the fixture televised, what minute of the game the offence occurred in. Most referees consider their duty is to manage the game. It isn't. It is to the apply the laws of the game, and a foul should be a foul regardless of its context. How often do you hear a pundit say 'it would be a foul anywhere else on the pitch, but it needs a bit more for a penalty' or 'the referee has been sensible in keeping the game flowing'. If a player goes down the back of someone's leg on purpose in the first five minutes of a televised fixture, he should be off the pitch. Nothing is being ruined for the neutral. That's just the fucking rules. I'm sick of yardogs kicking the shit out of Coutinho because they know the referees will give them allowance for being shit at football. 4. Forget about simulation I can't stand faux moralising in football. The very presence of a referee, a fixture in the sport for 150 years, suggests that players not being trustworthy to apply the rules on their own isn't a new thing. The moralising about diving (with its overt xenophobic undertones - notice how foreigners 'cheat' but English lads 'find contact'?) is hysteria over nothing, and I'd spare refs from having to make judgements on players intentions, when by far the easiest thing to do is give the penalty if it's a foul and just fucking wave play on if it isn't. If we're handing out cards for trying to con the referee, where do we stop? Is appealing for a throw in when you know you touched it last a yellow? How about pretending you are more injured when you aren't. Watch a match and note all the times the players try to deceive the ref. Focussing on one particular form of deception but not the others is daft. 5. Obligatory post match explanations Shielding referees from scrutiny for their decisions does nothing to help them improve. Sitting referees in front of the media to explain their decision would humanise them and diffuse lower expectations that they must be all-seeing robots. When referees are shielded from scrutiny, and treated as unapproachable, that only breeds resentment, which in turn creates pressure and more mistakes.