Blogs & Opinion


Assessing the refs

David looks forward to Thursday night's show...

Features - David Jones Posted 9th October 2012 view comments

We were some way into our discussion on mental health issues on last week's FF Show when I asked PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle whether he could understand why some footballers chose to self-harm.

Clarke took a moment to gather his thoughts before revealing that he had tried to take his own life when he was a struggling player ravaged by alcoholism at QPR.

It was a shocking revelation for our wider audience and for me as someone who's known and worked with Clarke for several years, but never quite knew the extent of his personal battles with depression.

Man in the middle: former referee Riley will be on this week's FF Show

Man in the middle: former referee Riley will be on this week's FF Show

After going to our next break Clarke sat deep in his thoughts. I asked him if he was okay. "I've never admitted that publicly, not even my teammates knew that," he said.

He was visibly upset but we moved the discussion onto the issue of funding projects to help in this contentious area and Clarke returned to the role in which he's more comfortable, as the PFA chairman.

There are so many issues we hope to tackle. Such as tackling. And simulation. And why we never hear from refs after a game.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

THE FF SHOW
10pm, Thu, Sky Sports 1 HD
Click here to remote record

As an episode it was very revealing: only by talking openly and honestly about mental health issues can the process of recovery begin and Clarke still has some work to do of his own.

But he, Darren Eadie and Vincent Pericard were all incredibly brave, discussing their own problems and working so hard to help others.

The programme touched a nerve and we had a fantastic response from viewers, perhaps suffering from depression, who realised they no longer had to suffer in silence.

As our guests said, depression is not a lifestyle choice; it chooses you regardless of race, creed, colour, class or pay packet.

Issues

This week we have a very different show for you.

Mike Riley is head of the Professional Game Match Officials - the refs! His remit stretches far and wide but in a nutshell he looks after the 16 referees and 32 assistants who officiate in the Premier League.

Hopefully we will all learn something about the kind of preparation and assessment that goes into a match day, while, of course, there are so many issues we hope to discuss, such as tackling, simulation and why we never hear from refs after a game.

Ninety minutes may not be enough, especially as we're throwing Steve Harper, a Premier League goalkeeper and an amateur referee himself into the mix, along with the always interesting and considered Steve Coppell.

I do hope you can join us.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Graeme Souness

Im-pressed by Bayern

Graeme Souness explains why Bayern's pressing game will yield many more positives than negatives....

Guillem Balague

Choose Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal is ideal to replace David Moyes at Manchester United, says Guillem Balague....

Latest News RSS feeds

Real edge out Bayern

Karim Benzema's first-half strike secured Real Madrid a 1-0 win in the semi-final first-leg against Bayern Munich.

Liverpool set to strengthen

Ian Ayre is confident Liverpool will be able to attract their top targets in what promises to be a busy summer.

Moyes 'lost players' support'

Sky sources understand that David Moyes lost the support of his senior players before his sacking on Tuesday.

Januzaj to represent Belgium

Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj has chosen to represent Belgium at international level.

Chelsea trio charged by FA

Chelsea trio Jose Mourinho, Rui Faria and Ramires have all been charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

Features

Andy Walker: Rangers fans deserve more than just promotion

Andy Walker: Rangers fans deserve more than just promotion

Sky's live showing of Saturday's home game with Stranraer should be a carnival atmosphere for every Rangers supporter as they celebrate seeing Ally McCoist and his players raise the SPFL League 1 trophy.

Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Italian keeper Simone Scuffet

Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Italian keeper Simone Scuffet

Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe, in partnership with Wyscout, looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.

El Nino's return

El Nino's return

Some see Fernando Torres as a figure of fun but he saved face in front of his own, writes Adam Bate.