Now referees are getting in trouble for their social media use
Professional Game Match Officials boss Mike Riley has banned one of his refs for three weeks over a football joke posted to his Facebook profile.
Rookie referee Mark Brown, in his debut season on the refereeing National List, was handed a suspension after publishing the gag, believed to be about Steven Gerrard and Liverpool’s slim chances of silverware this season.
Brown later removed the joke, but Riley was still eager to make an example of him. Following the high-profile Ryan Babel Twitter saga, which related to poking fun at referee Howard Webb, it is believed the PGMO wanted to show that a referee poking fun at a player was equally unacceptable.