What is the Crystal Palace vs Manchester United referee wearing on his head?

Jarred Gillett will wear a camera during Crystal Palace vs Man United. (Image: Getty)

Premier League referee Jarred Gillett will wear a camera on his head during this evening’s clash between Crystal Palace and Manchester United. The device – dubbed ‘RefCam’ – is the first of its kind to be used for a Premier League fixture.

The device will capture on-pitch interactions between players and the referee, with the footage being shown on a one-off edition of the programme Match Officials Mic’d Up. Set to be broadcast on Sky Sports, the show discusses controversial referee decisions with PGMOL chief Howard Webb.

But it isn’t the first time Gillett has been involved in a referee experiment. The Australian official was in the headlines five years ago after a video of him communicating with players during an A-League game went viral. However, Gillett – who has been a Premier League referee since 2021 – later admitted he wasn’t aware the footage was set to be broadcast to an audience.

Speaking at the time, he said: “It is interesting because the mic situation, I wasn’t broadcast live on TV in terms of when the game was being played that night and I wasn’t even aware that my comms were going to be used in the way they were after the game.

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PGMOL chief Howard Webb is keen to usher in key referee changes. (Image: Getty)

“Actually, what has been produced afterwards and put out was genuine, legitimate, and I wasn’t even aware that was going to happen so in terms of the authenticity and how the comms were, that is just our regular communication kit that we use every week. It is the same here.”

He added: “Those exchanges that happen with players are commonplace, it is just they are not heard because the broadcast of comms at the moment isn’t permitted to happen live. There is a little bit of secrecy around those sorts of exchanges that happen between players and referees. For me, that was just normal.”

It comes as PGMOL head Webb and the Premier League are exploring new methods of communicating referee decisions with supporters. In-stadium VAR explanations from the referees have been mooted, with the Premier League having discussed the possibility at April’s shareholders’ meeting.

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The announcements – which would see referees put on the big screens to talk fans through decisions – were trialled at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, having also been in place for several youth tournaments. Speaking on the Mic’d Up show, Webb revealed he’s working hard to improve the VAR experience for match-going fans.

He commented: “It does need improving, doesn’t it? When you hear the clips on shows like this it [the VAR decisions] makes sense what’s happening.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1896141/What-the-Crystal-Palace-vs-Manchester-United-referee-is-wearing-on-his-head