One of the more strange departments of the Premier League, the Dubious Goals Committee is a group surrounded in secrecy. But how does it work? And more importantly what does it actually do? In a report that has the potential to be as earth shattering as the BBC Panorama documentary exposing FIFA bungs, let’s see if we can dig a little deeper in to the Premier League’s Dubious Goals Committee.
Okay, I may have over hyped this article a little, but the panel responsible for deciding which player is awarded a disputed Premier League goal, really is amongst the most secretive in football. Scour the internet and you will find very little on who sits on the panel.
What you will find is countless accounts on how they work. According to several sources they typically meet around four times a season and review a series of goals where the goalscorer is debated. However they only consider matters where they have to decide if a goal is an own-goal or not, they do not settle disputes over goals between teammates.
The actual decision process is quite straight forward according to a Premier League spokesman. Speaking to the Guardian in 2006 he said: “As a rule, if the initial attempt is goalbound it is credited to the player making the goal attempt, however if the deflection means that a wayward effort results in a goal then it is attributed to the player who had the last definitive touch of the ball.”
So now we understand their logic, but why the secrecy? It is understood that the panel is made up of three people, who are either former players or officials who have worked in the game.
But the spokesman refused to reveal who they were, adding “Their identities are not revealed so as to protect the game’s integrity and avoid a panel member being put under pressure to make any particular decision on a goal.”
Whoever they are though, over the years they have certainly made some interesting decisions. Peter Crouch was awarded his first Liverpool goal thanks to the panel, after his strike against Wigan took a massive deflection. Nani also benefited from the panel after been awarded with the opener in Manchester United’s win at Arsenal earlier this year.
So the strangest committee in the Premier League is the most secretive, whether there is a need for the panel is another question. Which player is going to want to be credited with an own-goal? But as is football common sense doesn’t seem to exist.