Vital Football

Respect the Ref? You're having a laugh…

Respect the Ref? You're having a laugh…

It's a term that's been banded around for the last few years, but for me, a lot more has to be done in the two-way street that is football for me, as well as many fans across the country, to respect the Football Association and especially, the Premier League.

In a fortnight that's seen Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard give 'V signs' to a Wigan Athletic player, the Scouse legend also performing an act of malice against Portsmouth's Michael Brown and even on Wednesday, two Chelsea players raise their elbows to Tommy Smith and Ricardo Rocha without serious punishment leaves many questions unanswered.

The Premier League is a competition famed for being the 'best in the world' above the likes of La Liga and Serie A, however for it to still be making schoolboy mistakes concerning its member clubs leaves a lot to be desired. Especially, when it allows a club to be bought by not only one, but two 'billionaires' who have no money, yet take no blame for it.

Referees have been the subject of much controversy in recent weeks, too. For example, in one game a referee could give a straight red for a foul in the box (much like last week against Thomas Vermaelen), yet in another game somewhere else in the country, the penalty could be awarded with just a yellow card, or even no punishment at all.

So why does this happen? Well, referees are human, therefore mistakes happen. But when the chance of video assistance is turned down, to help save the face of not only the Premier League but also divisions worldwide, making referees' and linesmen jobs easier, well.. to me that's a complete farce.

Progression occurs everywhere, in all walks of life and you can take one of two choices. You either sink, or you swim.. Well, I'm hoping that UEFA and Sepp Blatter have packed their armbands, because this ocean just got a little bit more rocky.

I'm sure no matter what club you follow, Premier League or otherwise, you'll have similar sentiments towards the FA and Premier Leagues incapability to run as a governing body.

The move for the Premier League this week to further punish us for 'breaching rules and regulations' is a complete farce in my eyes. Yes, we were unable to pay our players on time. Yes, we were also guilty of failing to pay clubs their instalments of agreed payments for transfers on time, yet to charge £1million from a club who have no money as a result of a lapse from said prosecutors for me, doesn't add up.

Should the Premier League have actually come up with a competent 'Fit and Proper Persons' test, to properly investigate those looking to invest in a club, we wouldn't be in half the mess that we are. Striking enough for me, is that how none of these quite seemingly overpaid egg-heads at FA headquarters never thought that 'investment' and 'financial' never triggered the thought 'let's make sure they have some money!'. Shambolic, truly.

On a similar note, I'm desperate for West Ham United to get relegated with us, as the fact that they've not even had an embargo placed upon them, regardless of the fact they're in a very similar situation to us, stinks of West Ham fans' in the FA boardroom. Step forward, Sir Trevor Brooking. How are we, as paying fans' who try and support our clubs supposed to 'respect' the FA, even when they show a clear lack of just that for their members.

Next, I'd like to discuss another form of 'one rule for them…'. How is it that when a manager or player slates another, the FA intervene with a fine and a warning, yet when Dave Whelan criticises Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez and his side, and also when West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan openly talk about Portsmouth's problems when the club are trying to keep some dignity, yet go unpunished? Well, what's going on there then?

For me, the Premier League need a good, hard look at themselves. A complete overhaul is needed to try and make teams down the bottom of the league even able to compete against those further up the table than themselves, before the game goes into a complete meltdown.

I for one am delighted to be getting at least one year away from this division, to be able to gain a little more scope on the subject. To get away from a league of divers, cheats, money-dominated values and disrespect of paying public to me sounds like the best offer I've been made all season…

Till next time,

Dan Brett

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Writer:Dan Brett
Date:Friday March 26 2010
Time: 5:15PM


What an excellent, thoughtful, well balanced article Dan. A lot of us agree with you but don't quite have the words
26/03/2010 17:48:00
I partly agree, but can't accept the last part, I want us to be in the PL . I don't want us to be ground sharing with Havent & Waterlooville like it's clear some do based on some mythical old days where owners weren't power mad egotistical people who loved owning football clubs.
26/03/2010 17:55:00
Slight non punctuated rant going on there.
26/03/2010 17:58:00
Fantastic article Dan. One more point to make. What numpty made a rule that football creditors have to be repaid in preference to the HRMC. That's nearly cost us our club. What makes the football fraternity more important that us taxpayers? And I think it means that if we have, say £10 mill to pay off debts, but we still owe someone for a transfer fee, we're not allowed to pay the taxman. Someone needs to be strung up FFS!
26/03/2010 17:59:00
What is required to make this league good again? Well for 1 thing Refs should be judged, not a game by game approach, but over a period of games, and if constant same mistakes are made, fine them, yellow card them, red card them... so they get bans too? And also, get rid of this crap excuse, that once a ref has "Had a word" with a player the PL cant do anything. If the punishment has failed to be applied, or found after to be light, the PL should up the punishment. They resind cards, so should issue them too.
26/03/2010 18:00:00
Actually Russell I could do with a break from the prem. I think we'll enjoy our football more in the championship. But I;m talking about a few years in the championship then back to the prem - not starting the club again in the Wessex League and sharing with Havant&Ville.
26/03/2010 18:00:00
Great Article! The FA and officals the last few weeks have been a joke.
26/03/2010 18:10:00
Hi Tracy, correct me if I am wrong haven't said anywhere that people who are happy we are relegated also want us to start again at the HAWKs, I've been going for 35 years, only a small part of which was in the PL; I won't stop next season. My rant was caused because I do believe ( and seem to recall I wasn't the only one) that there are some who believe that some actually wanted to use our precarious position as a reason to make planB become plan A, this was repeated again in town last night. The PL is not perfect but the Italian, Spanish, French leagues are as bad and worse.
26/03/2010 18:33:00
Hi Russell - sorry I obviously misunderstood you. I have also heard people suggest we should give up and just go to "Plan B", which is ridiculous. I don't know about the foreign leagues, but I just know I'm not very happy with the Premier League right now.
26/03/2010 19:39:00
Last para says it all for me. Nice stuff Dan
26/03/2010 20:49:00
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