Ex-Premier League referee fumes after what he's heard from Johnson at Sunderland

Keith Hackett has told Sunderland boss Lee Johnson to demand a one-to-one meeting with the head of the EFL referees Mike Jones.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-FIFA and Premier League official agreed with Johnson’s assessment that the standard of refereeing has deteriorated this season.

The Sunderland manager felt he was the victim of poor officiating as Sunderland were not awarded a penalty when Alex Palmer brought down Ross Stewart on the edge of the penalty box as Sunderland crashed out of the play-offs on Saturday.

He told the Chronicle he wanted a meeting with the Referee’s Association to discuss all of the poor decisions his side have been on the wrong end of this term.

“What he’s talking about is not the Referee’s Association, that’s wrong,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“He actually means the PGMOL. At the beginning of every season, the PGMOL hold regional meetings where Lee Johnson and other managers from the Championship, Premier League and EFL meet. The PGMOL give a series of lectures.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“I’ve seen some really poor refereeing this season and I do think we’re not in a good place. Lee Johnson’s not somebody who blames referees that often. He’s not a regular at it.

“My view with Lee Johnson is that he’d be better off putting a series of clips together where he has his concerns and he can go through the right channels and have a debate with them.

“He won’t be awarded the time at the meetings, he needs to have a one-to-one with Mike Jones, who’s the head of referees at the EFL.

“Nobody’s been more critical of referees than me so I do think the standard of refereeing has gone downhill.”

In other news, Kevin Phillips predicts a top Sunderland star to be offered a new deal after a £19,000-a-week report.