Mauricio Pochettino wants managers ‘involved in decisions’ around referee reform



Mauricio Pochettino believes Premier League managers should be invited to play a more active role in helping shape refereeing guidelines.

Chelsea have been involved in a number of controversial fixtures this season, most notably the frenetic 4-1 win away at Tottenham earlier in November in which Spurs had two players sent off, five goals were disallowed and VAR made nine interventions across a match that lasted over 110 minutes.

Pochettino has previously complained that the league’s request to meet with coaches in the week before the beginning of the season to discuss changes allowed little room for constructive input from managers and their clubs.

The current campaign has seen a barrage of complaints directed at on-field and VAR officials, with referees coming under almost unprecedented scrutiny following a string of errors, particularly relating to the influence of the video referee on the decision-making process.

“We all have full respect for the referees, we understand perfectly that their job is really tough,” said Pochettino, whose team face Newcastle at St James’s Park on Saturday.

“But the problem is you get frustrated sometimes during the game because of the VAR. The referee is not responsible sometimes. You cannot complain to the VAR. That is a problem.

“I’m going to try and control more my emotions. I think all the coaches respect the referees because they’re in a really difficult situation.

“I think sometimes we are frustrated. I think coaches need to be more involved in the decisions, and to work together during the season.

“It is not (ideal) to arrive the week before the start of the Premier League season and say, ‘OK, the new rules are this. What do you think?’. Nothing, because you have already made the decision. Like the rule that there can only be one coach (in the technical area). Why?

“England was always different about the relationship with the referee. You can talk, you can (previously) have four people in the dugout. Which way do we want to evolve in the Premier League?

“England is different. Not only because you drive on the right (of the car), but because of the relationship in football. It is the gentleman’s game.”

Despite those frustrations, and the ongoing confusion surrounding the proper implementation of VAR and its interpretation of the game’s rules, Pochettino acknowledged that the emotional side of football is ultimately what props up the business side of the sport.

“I think people look at football and understand that it is a big business,” he said. “The sport is very honest, with rules. But around that it is a business that we cannot stop.

“If the sport doesn’t produce that emotion it is producing, it is difficult to talk about it in this way, to have the chance to have good salaries, to give also to society.

“Football provides people with happiness and that is the most important thing. We are all part of this business.”



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