Ref Anthony Taylor Reaps Rewards of Incompetent Leeds TV Display   –   by Rob Atkinson


Anthony Taylor, TV Star

Since a performance of appalling ineptitude in the televised Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United clash last month in the Championship, referee Anthony Taylor has become a bit of a TV star. The fact that Taylor’s most embarrassing mess-up at Hillsborough was to the detriment of the Whites may not be totally unrelated to his subsequent prolonged spell in the limelight.

United manager Steve Evans was understandably incandescent with rage after Taylor contrived to allow a set piece to proceed while Wednesday’s Fernando Forestieri was making his snail-paced way off the pitch, having been substituted. Leeds, two down at the time, scored a perfectly good goal which was initially awarded and then sheepishly chalked off by Taylor. Evans described the bumbling official as fit only for an Under-9s league and it was easy to understand his frustration. It was a case of extremely inept match management that arguably denied Leeds a deserved route back into a fixture they were actually dominating – albeit from a losing position. 

Since then, it seems that Taylor has been on our screens more often than the ubiquitous and even more annoying Katie Hopkins. And this after the kind of cock-up that might have been expected to see him relegated to League Two fixtures on the  rainiest, bleakest midweek evenings. Could it be that such discomfiture heaped on Leeds United, never exactly the establishment’s favourite club, caused more chortling than concern in the corridors of power? Might it perhaps have amused certain Leeds-hating gentlemen in grey suits and influential positions, to the point where they felt it appropriate to rub some salt into an open wound?

It’s easy if not exactly appetising to imagine the violent shade of puce which must disfigure Steve Evans’ face every time he sees Taylor on his TV set. As manager of Leeds United, though, he can expect to have his blood pressure raised by instances of callous disregard and blatant micky-taking by the game’s rulers. It goes with the territory. 

Still, it’s odd in the extreme that Taylor should have become quite such a small-screen idol after such a very humiliating faux pas. In other circumstances, he would surely have experienced the wrath of his superiors. But, it was Leeds – did that make the difference?

Taylor’s latest centre-stage appearance was in yesterday’s Tale of Two Cities clash between Manchester‘s finest and surprise package Leicester at the Etihad. A plum fixture, to be sure – one that any referee would covet, let alone a man so recently exposed as a bumbling incompetent. During proceedings, we were told by the commentators that Taylor had taken a brief break from his busy TV schedule to attend a UEFA course. It seems that our favourite ref will be seeing much more action in Champions League matches next season. The mind boggles. Let’s hope he’s learned the rudiments of match control by then. 

Call me paranoid if you wish. But remember – there’s nothing like people getting at you, or your favourite team, for 50 years or so, to engender a feeling that the world’s against you. Anthony Taylor’s unlikely late season stint in the spotlight is persuasive evidence that, for Leeds United, this is still very much the case. 

7 responses to “Ref Anthony Taylor Reaps Rewards of Incompetent Leeds TV Display   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Pingback: Ref Anthony Taylor Reaps Rewards of Incompetent Leeds TV Display   –   by Rob Atkinson – sportsdroid

  2. Great piece Rob. I was beginning to think that it was just my imagination that everytime I tuned into a live match, Anthony Taylor appeared to be officiating – I’m loathe to use the word refereeing as I don’t think he merits any association with the term and it’s meaning. Like you said, it does make you wonder…


  3. Maybe the FA are preparing the groudwork for new rules to backdate referees’ decisions. Look out England, they might award the 1966 World Cup to Germany, retrospectively, or strike off Geoff Hurst’s goal and pick up play in the 11th minute of extra time.


  4. Philip of Spain.

    Yep,paranoids the word Rob.


  5. It does make you wonder Rob. Last I heard Refs performance was reviewed by assessors so what the hell happened to Taylor. Technically he got the decision right but should not have restarted the game with the substitution still in play. I am sure the consequences were conveniently overlooked in the assessment .
    Jeff Winters made it clear he hated Leeds after he hung up his whistle so that explains his behaviour . With Taylor I hope it’s incompetence and nothing more sinister. Paranoia. MOT


    • Eddiegraysshoulderdrop

      As a club we have a history of dubious referee decisions, the lads that invaded the pitch after Mr Tinklers bizarre decision to allow a goal that should not have been awarded did so because of the sense of total injustice and not as some precursor to our infamous service crew. My age precluded me from watching Don’s wonderful “Dirty Leeds”. A team that was as skilfull as it was brutal, but they too had the weight of the establishment as well as the Dave Mckay and Chopper Harris’s to deal with. Paris 75, Bairdys exclusion from our wonderful cup run in 87 , the imposition of Bowyer and Woodgate and the vindictive points deduction,has seen Leeds Utd singled out for special treatment by the powers that be. I can vividly remember police confiscating a banner that read “UP YOURS TED CROKER- WE ARE HERE” from a group of lads at the Hillsborough semi final, a message to the then self styled FA politburo that seemed to delight in inflicting sanctions and fines on our beloved but much aligned club. Truth is today we are no longer a threat on the pitch so we have to “settle” for the likes of Sky TV to treat us with derision and disdain, assisted by their lapdogs at the FL.


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