Jurgen Klopp, the manager of Liverpool, is one of several Premier League managers who have served touchline suspensions this year.
PGMOL president Howard Webb feels that managers’ and players’ conduct toward referees this year “has not been good enough.”
This season, the issue has gained attention as a result of several high-profile incidents. Jurgen Klopp and other Premier League managers who received red cards served touchline suspensions.
The referee’s assistant was abused by Liverpool manager Klopp during a match against Manchester City in October, and he was given a one-match suspension. Over his behavior toward referee Anthony Taylor during the game at Anfield, Klopp was initially fined £30,000 by an independent regulatory commission.
The German was then removed from the sidelines by an independent appeal board after the Football Association deemed that the punishment was too lenient. A Football Association investigation into comments Klopp made about referee Paul Tierney following a match against Tottenham Hotspur last month is still pending. Klopp is also anticipating the outcome of that investigation.
Webb said on BBC Radio 5 Live, “We need everyone in the game to support a movement toward a more respectful environment. It’s obvious that it wasn’t adequate. Everyone agrees that we need to be more aggressive when dealing with behaviors that are below acceptable levels.
“I believe that referees have been using a conciliation style for a while; I certainly did. I didn’t want to react hastily and ruin the game at hand.
“However, in the grand scheme of things, that hasn’t worked out so well, and we need to work together to consider how we can reverse the trend—which needs to be reversed. Everyone here agrees with that.”
The former Premier League official continued, “There has been a group of people from all aspects of the game coming together for quite some time now to look at participant behavior and come up with some steps that we think will make a difference and those will be implemented during the close season.
“We will be outlining those to the clubs, the managers, the players, the media, and everyone else involved.
“I sense a stronger desire for this to occur now than there was previously. We have an excellent league and product, so we don’t need some of the recent behavior to persist.”