Intriguing new change proposed by Man United’s Ralf Rangnick could be in place next season

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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick’s proposal to allow Premier League referees to train alongside clubs could be given the green light next season as concerns over the standard of referring in England’s top division intensifies. 

The Daily Mail state, that Rangnick made the suggestion while addressing a recent summit between other managers in the league and head of Professional Game Match Officials Board Mike Riley and believes that referees and players training alongside each other would improve what looks to be a deteriorating relationship.

The German also suggested that the idea would help the players to get to know the officials better, which could improve relationships on the field of play.

The idea has started to gain some traction and has been backed by several referees including former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg.

The Newcastle native told the Daily Mail that this idea has been around for a while now, stating:

“This was floating around back when I was a Premier League referee,

“The idea was we’d go to a local club – someone whose games we weren’t allowed to oversee.

Manchester United players interact with Match Referee, Martin Atkinson. 

“For me, that would be Newcastle United. So I’d go in, train with the squad, referee their small-sided games, sit down with the players, listen to feedback and give them feedback of my own. I thought it would improve our relationship and I still think it’s a great idea now.”

On the surface, this does sound like an amicable solution to what is a growing problem in the world’s most popular league but there are concerns with the idea, which Clattenburg also addresses.

The ex-official said: “The only problem with this plan is the fuel it would give to conspiracy theorists. Say Michael Oliver trained with Newcastle then made a controversial call that went against one of their relegation rivals, there would be an outcry.”

This is almost certainly to happen, as fans often get separated from common sense when it comes to the teams they love and when so much is on the line.

It could also happen subconsciously, for example, where a referee does not send a player off because he has previously seen in training that the player in question, is the cliche, not that type.

It is thought that the PGMOL are mulling over the idea and could give it the green light for the start of next season. Plans would include referees permitted to use the facilities at clubs while also overseeing training matches to try and get players to understand their role better.

The idea sounds promising but it has its flaws. Football fans are usually conservative when it comes to their game, as seen with VAR, but we should not knock this idea until it has been tried because things are not improving when it comes to the standard of refereeing in the Premier League.

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