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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 11, 2008

LMA to meet refs chiefs over lack of "Respect"

League managers will have talks with referees' chiefs to try to revive the Football Association's 'Respect' campaign.

A number of managers have been so enraged by refereeing decisions they have even contemplated withdrawing from the campaign.

But, following a meeting of the League Managers' Association (LMA) on Monday, a meeting will be arranged with referees' body the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to suggest a new approach.

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan insisted there was no aim to oust referees' chief Keith Hackett, but there should be fewer mistakes by match officials.

Bevan said: "If you get the foundations right, the Respect campaign will be self-regulating. At the moment, the foundations of the way it is operated is not as good as it could be.

"With the managers having an average tenure of 15 to 16 months, their jobs are on the line.''

Asked about reports LMA members wanted Hackett to be removed, Bevan insisted that was not the case.

He added: "That's not our goal - our goal is to work with Keith Hackett to tackle these challenges together. Managers have a great wealth of experience and expertise and we are looking to the PGMOL to embrace what the LMA has to offer.

"The recent individual cases have highlighted the intense pressure our members are under - look at the pressure on (Arsenal boss) Arsene Wenger before the match against Manchester United as an example.

"What managers need to see is that there is a vehicle they can work with to ensure there are less errors by referees.''

The LMA will propose fast-tracking of talented young referees, looking at the role of referee assessors and post-match appraisals, and clarifying ambiguous rules relating to offsides and hand-ball decisions.

The FA are also seeking to meet the LMA and individual managers to shore up the Respect programme.

FA director of governance Jonathan Hall said: "It has been disappointing to witness various incidents of managers publicly criticising referees over the past few weeks.

"The FA will seek to meet with the LMA and individual managers regarding the Respect programme as soon as possible and offer them a further opportunity to raise any concerns.

"The LMA were fully involved in the pre-season consultation and we welcome their continued support for the programme.''

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