Former Premier League official offers frank verdict on Daniel Farke's referee complaints

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has claimed poor officiating played a part in Leeds United's failure to achieve promotion last season. His comments come on the back of Whites boss Daniel Farke revealing in April that he had received numerous letters of apology from the referees' body PGMOL due to errors made by officials.

United finished the regular league season in third position, missing out on automatic promotion by six points. Farke again questioned the standard of refereeing again following the first leg of their play-off semi-final first leg with Norwich City after Junior Firpo saw an effort chalked off for a marginal offside call. He went on to say United would have secured automatic promotion if VAR was in operation in the Championship.

“You could argue that most probably those six letters cost Leeds many points, that could have seen them have automatic promotion,” said Halsey told The Real EFL. “It brings an argument. Do we want do we want VAR in the EFL? I would say no, not under its present implementation in the Premier League as it’s so inconsistent.

Read more: EFL's Leeds United promise will be tested within seven days after 'landmark commitment'

“Howard Webb is a good friend of mine, but as the boss of the PGMOL, I would be very unhappy with having six complaints coming from Leeds United about my referees. If Howard is sending those six letters of apology for wrong decisions, then there’s a massive problem with the standard of officiating at that level, isn’t it?

“We have got a problem. I’ve seen some good referees in the Championship. There are some good referees, some good up-and-coming referees all over. But it’s the training, education, leadership, and direction to get these referees up to speed. I think he's got to look at his backroom team.

“When a new manager comes into a football club, He changes the whole backroom. He brings in his own people; Howard has not done that yet. I think that’s what needs to happen. I think the people underneath him who are working are not good enough to bring the referees up to how we used to be a few years ago.”