The PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Board) are at the centre of a huge controversy after it was revealed that EastEnders star and professional cockney Danny Dyer was actually in charge of VAR for Sunday’s clash between West Ham and Manchester United.
Paddy Power has discovered that Dyer, who is a lifelong Hammers fan, was inside Stockley Park filming for a forthcoming Channel 5 series called “Whose the Bas***d in the Black?” a satirical look at how refereeing has changed since the inception of the Premier League when the official due to be in charge of VAR for the big clash at The London Stadium was suddenly taken ill after a dodgy feed of jellied eels.
Dyer, who claimed to have run the line a few times for his local Sunday pub side offered to help, leaving match referee Martin Atkinson totally confused.
“When Ronaldo went down for his first penalty claim and I allowed play to continue, nobody told me that Mr Dyer had taken over VAR duties,” Atkinson told us, “so when I heard this chirpy cockney shouting in my ear to “Carry on playing Martin, no need to refer it up the apple and pears,” I was astonished there was no intervention from the video ref.”
Atkinson had a tough afternoon in East London, turning down two more penalty claims from the Portuguese superstar. He wanted to set the record straight however, by telling us that “All I could hear all bloody afternoon was someone singing I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles in my headset and this really threw my concentration.”
“When Cristiano went down for the second time, I was then told “you won’t Adam-and-Eve it, the pitch-side monitor only gone and broken down,” and was told for the third that the VAR had popped out to pay the pizza delivery guy and hadn’t even seen the incident.”
The most dramatic moment of the game came right at the death when the home side, having seen last season’s on-loan hero Jesse Lingard come back to haunt them and score what seemed like the winning goal for the visitors, were awarded a controversial penalty after England full-back Luke Shaw was alleged to have handled the ball inside the area.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to give when Shaw handled until the VAR said he needed a “Dicky Bird” and that his “china plate” had fixed the monitor. When he said I should “consider my decision” and that “well-connected figures from Walford Underworld knew where I lived, I knew something wasn’t right,” the official confirmed.
Premier League chiefs are understood to be furious with Sunday afternoon’s events with an unnamed source telling us that this kind of situation was “unacceptable at the top level of English football,” claiming that if things continued in this vein, how long would it be before we had the likes of “Paddy McGuinness in charge of a World Cup Final? Ant n Dec at ST James’ Park? Or Piers Morgan reffing an Arsenal game – if they’ll let him in.”
It seems as though Dyer left a lasting impression following his unscheduled stint behind the cameras on Sunday however and despite having to suffer a huge backlash, PGMOL Managing Director Mike Riley told us earlier today that he was considering, “fast-tracking Mr Dyer through the selection process so he’s able to officiate in the EFL at least next season as he’s clearly better than most of our members already.”
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