We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…
Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has claimed that pundit referees like Dermot Gallagher on Sky Sports and, to an extent, Peter Walton on BT Sport are paid by the PGMOL and not the broadcasters.
He claims that this means they toe the official line when discussing incidents from Premier League games.
Gallagher does the popular Ref Watch segment on Sky Sports each week while Walton is on the commentary team at BT Sport.
Walton was on the comms team for the Leeds clash with Man City and gave his verdict on the controversial Liam Cooper incident.
Cooper was initially awarded a yellow by referee Andre Marriner before it was upgraded through VAR to a red.
On BT Sport, Walton said it was a yellow and then changed his mind when the VAR decision was announced.
Gallagher said it was a red card, while backing Marriner over other decisions in the game.
Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News Hackett said, “I think someone said he [Peter Walton] should work for a lumber company because he sits on the fence.
“Absolute nonsense. That a referee should on first count see that [the Cooper challenge] as a yellow.
“I think part of his salary comes from the PGMOL, he’s like Dermot Gallagher, they’re in the pay of the PGMOL. Gallagher is paid by the PGMOL, not Sky.
“As a consequence, I think both of them are too close to their former colleagues.
“In that particular role they really have to put an expert eye on it and say it as it is.
“It was a red. When I saw Marriner had given Cooper a yellow I said to myself, ‘Well, you’ve got that wrong.’”
Officials are in the headlines more than ever with the controversies over VAR this season.
The overwhelming opinion seems to be that Cooper’s challenge was a red, even if most saw it as a yellow in real-time.
It means that he’ll be missing for Leeds for the next three games.
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