Comms with Managers: Refs Warned

English referees have been warned against communicating with managers following claims made by ex-Premier League official Mark Halsey that he regularly used to text Sir Alex Ferguson





Halsey – who, like Ferguson, retired at the end of last season – has made the shocking admission in his book Added Time.

Writing about the controversy last year when fellow official Mark Clattenburg was accused of racially abusing Chelsea star Jon Obi Mikel, Halsey claimed he called Ferguson personally to garner his support.

“I took matters in my own hands and rang Sir Alex asking him to speak out,” claimed Halsey. 

“He agreed and used his Friday press conference to say he could not conceive of Mark saying such things. It helped the situation a great deal. It took time to gain Sir Alex Ferguson’s respect but in the end we had a very good relationship."

"One thing should be made clear about my relationship with Sir Alex. I may have spoken to him a lot and shared texts but he knew when I crossed that white line there were no favours."

"Players and managers would not respect you if you gave decisions based on friendship.” 

Despite Halsey’s insistence that nothing untoward came from the relationship, the Professional Game and Match Officials Ltd, the body that appoints officials for top-flight matches, have reiterated the importance of sticking to the rules.

A spokesman told the Mirror: ‘At the beginning of the season all our referees were reminded of the importance of adhering to the PGMOL protocols.'