Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Friday, January 07, 2005

Football Football Football

Even non-football fans must have heard about the "goal that wasn't" at Old Trafford by now. Hapless United keeper Roy Carroll spilled the ball about four feet over the line but managed to claw it back without a goal being awarded. Both referee and linesman were too far upfield to see that the ball had crossed the line.

I'm not one to be critical of referees. Alright, I booed Andy d'Urso off the park last Saturday but on the day it's all part of the fun of the fair, and he had made a dreadful decision to send off Rangers' main man Paul Furlong (a decision which has just been overturned on appeal). By and large though their job is made extremely difficult by players who cheat at every opportunity and the media, especially the type who wait until they've seen slow-motion replays from four different angles and then slam the poor sod who has one chance from one angle in real time. On my way to the game last weekend I was in the car listening to the woeful Alan Green, who spent most of the game being extremely sarcastic about referee Dermot Gallagher only to break off and complain that he [Green] didn't have a TV monitor for slow-motion replays. Incidentally the main point of contention in that game, Tiago's handball, looked like a good decision to me as the forward clearly fouled him first.

Anyway where was I. Predictably this has lead to more calls for video replays. You could use them for goal-line decisions I suppose, but it seems to me that it would be cheaper and easier to have an extra official on each goal line on the opposite side to the linesman, to assist with goal-line and penalty decisions. In the end I have to give credit to Tottenham (man it was hard to type that) for taking it like men and getting on with the game, although as a Spurs fan replied today to a suggestion to replay the game "No thanks, we're happy with a point". Sensible chap. Incidentally some of the more whingebag managers ought to think twice about calling for video replays. If they couldn't slate the officials all the time, they might have to take some responsibility themselves.

Another thing that struck me while I'm here. You keep hearing how relegation can cost a club "£20 million". West Ham and Leeds are just two clubs who have had to clear out virtually all their players after relegation. But if this is the case, how come established Premiership clubs don't seem to have a pot to piss in ? How come David O'Leary is saying today he has no money to spend ? How come Southampton have to sell James Beattie to be able to bring in anyone at all ? How come Manchester City are reportedly £40 million in debt ? They must be paying the earth in wages. The final notice is in the post, it might be a few years, but it's coming, the whole thing's going to go pop. What goes up ...


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