Though he’s long since retired from front line refereeing duties, David Elleray was once considered to be the benchmark in the Premier League in terms of the standard that needed to be set.
His knowledge and application of the rules were second to none, and he was rightly given the biggest and best fixtures during his time in the middle.
Since hanging up his whistle, Elleray has gone on to become chair of the FA referees’ committee and the technical director for IFAB, the International Football Association Board, who are the rule makers for the game.
His credentials are unquestionable, however, his judgment has been called into question before now.
The Telegraph report that back in 2014, he was criticised after asking black referee coach, Robert McCarthy, “Have you been down a coal mine?”
That led to Elleray having to take an equality and diversity training course and being asked to apologise.
“This was, at the time, a serious allegation and investigated and acted upon by The Football Association,” CaughtOffside columnist, Keith Hackett, noted.
Now fresh allegations have emerged, which are unproven and the details of which are being kept under wraps.
“It would be interesting to know which legal company are involved and what links if any they have with The Football Association,” Hackett continued.
“It needs to be open and transparent because not only is Mr Elleray under investigation but also the FA.”
“There is no doubt that Elleray holds high office in the FA and the IFAB. When I first heard of the claim some years ago I was rather shocked.
“Mr Elleray had, for a number of years, held a position of Housemaster at Harrow School where safeguarding issues will have been high on the agenda.
“Transparency must be at the forefront of this issue given Mr Elleray’s position in football.”
It must be remembered that any accusations that are being levelled at Elleray are done so with a view that he remains innocent until proven guilty.
CaughtOffside columnist and former Premier League referee, Mark Halsey, was especially keen to underscore that particular point.
“If the allegations are proven, then the law must apply in this case because no one is above it. However, we shouldn’t look to be judge and jury until we know the full facts,” he said.
The fact that these newest allegations are being kept under wraps suggest that there is a seriousness to them that, perhaps, isn’t in the public interest at this stage.
In due course everyone has the right to understand what this is in relation too, however.