Premier League fans SLAM PGMOL’s Match Officials Mic’d up show as ‘utterly useless’ and a ‘massive cop out for Howard Webb’… with Michael Owen panned for NOT challenging the former ref

  • Howard Webb joined Michael Owen to discuss a number of VAR incidents 
  • Match Officials Mic’d Up releases conversations between refs and VAR officials
  • It’s a three-team title race… Toney could lead Arsenal to glory: It’s All Kicking Off 

Premier League fans have criticised the format of the Match Officials Mic’d Up show as ‘a self-congratulatory exercise for Howard Webb’ and questioned the selection process for the incidents featured on the program.

The 25-minute show, which is simultaneously broadcast on Sky Sports and TNT Sports, was introduced this season to give fans a better understanding of the process referees and VAR officials go through when making decisions.

Webb, a former Premier League referee, is joined in studio by Michael Owen and guides the viewers through the incidents, aided by the audio of the conversations between the referees and VAR officials, which is released specifically for the show. 

On Tuesday night, Webb and Owen reconvened for the second time this season and for the first time since the beginning of September. 

The pair debated Anthony Gordon’s controversial winner for Newcastle against Arsenal earlier this month, Cristian Romero’s sending off in Tottenham’s 4-1 loss against Chelsea and Scott McTominay’s goal against Fulham that was ruled out for offside.

Premier League fans have criticised the format of the Match Officials Mic’d Up show

Spectators believe the show would work far better if Howard Webb (left) was questioned by someone else other than Michael Owen (right)

Spectators believe the show would work far better if Howard Webb (left) was questioned by someone else other than Michael Owen (right)

But while being able to listen to the dialogues between the referees and VAR officials may be revealing for some supporters, plenty felt the format of the show failed to make the most of the material at its disposal.

‘Mic’d Up is nothing more than a self-congratulatory back patting exercise for Howard Webb in its current format,’ a viewer wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

‘It is utterly, utterly useless. Release all the audio, or don’t bother releasing any at all. Don’t pick and choose what you want to release weeks after games.’

Another added: ‘Massive cop out from Howard Webb on micd up. @themichaelowen giddy with excitement about the Newcastle calls. No real explanation. 

‘You cannot leave VAR up for subjective views it has to be fact. Hands on equals foul. Set positions. We have seen this applied since the Newcastle vs Arsenal game.’

Others felt the show would benefit if Webb were to face questions from someone other than Owen.

‘What is the point of this programme. 1 they will never admit a mistake. 2 MICHAEL OWEN why o why he will never challenge anything that Howard Webb says,’ a viewer wrote.

Another added: ‘Can we get a someone who is willing to actually question Howard Webb to do the show instead of a puppet like Michael Owen?’

Another spectator, meanwhile, suggested the show highlighted all of VAR’s deficiencies. 

‘Howard Webb just confirming what a SHAMBLES VAR is,’ he wrote.


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