Ex-Fifa official: Martin Atkinson in desperate need of training amid Man City referee news
Keith Hackett has admitted he has major concerns over Martin Atkinson as he is set to take charge of Wolves’ game with Man City next week (11 May).
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee insisted the time was right for Atkinson to retire as Man City’s trip to Molineux looks set to be one of his final games as an official.
The Telegraph reported last week (28 April) that the 51-year-old will hang up his whistle at the end of the season alongside Jon Moss.
It is claimed Atkinson will coach the select group one referees, who take charge of top-flight fixtures.
The Premier League confirmed today (3 May) one of his final games as a referee will be when Wolves welcome Man City to Molineux later this month.
“I think they needed to retire,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
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“With them, there should be Andre Mariner, Graham Scott who is 53 and Kevin Friend who is 50. For me, six would have gone with Mike Dean.
“That might be a bit heavy but that’s because there has been a lack of coordination and planning going forward.
“In the case of Atkinson, they’ve got to give him some training.
“Not every player makes a good coach so what training have they been giving him in the last year or two to prepare them for when they retire?”
Atkinson has already refereed 23 Premier League games this season.
He has been in charge of four Man City games, most recently the 0-0 draw away at Crystal Palace (14 March).