Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe Fergie Paradox - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The Fergie Paradox - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The Fergie Paradox

They say that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. But perhaps a fairer observation would be that power warps one’s perceptions about oneself and absolute power warps those perceptions absolutely.

Take Sir Alex Ferguson for example; self-proclaimed socialist and son of working-class Govan in Glasgow. One of the key tenets of socialism is the necessity for everyone to chip in and help society and help each other though perhaps the Fabian Society (founders of the modern Labour party) forgot to add that referees and the media were not part of society, either that or some reading in between the lines is required to understand this fundamental truth.

Let us take this last’s week refereeing saga as an example. Last Saturday, Wayne Rooney committed an act of physical assault on another professional which the referee took no action over. Cue Mike Phelan (basically a human-shaped voice recorder loaded with Fergie’s opinions) to say that it was not the job of any of the management staff of Manchester United to referee the game, knowing full well that if the elbow was in the other face, Mark Clattenburg would be getting a few pointers on how to do his job. Doublethink is clearly alive and well.

For lovers of irony, the situation went full circle on Tuesday in the aftermath of the United-Chelsea game where Ferguson, aggrieved about perceived refereeing injustices against his team, promptly told the referee how to do his job and undermine him completely by saying he was basically biased, using the media to convey this serious message about the integrity of the world’s best league TM rather than perhaps, a personal letter to the FA or to the Referee’s Association expressing such concerns. Que sera, eh?

Which leads me on to the subject of the media. Another socialist ideal is that every person is treated equally and has access to the same opportunities as the next man. Unless you are a viewer of Match of the Day or a viewer/reader of whichever media outlet Ferguson refuses to speak to next, this week, MUTV. If you get your information from one of these outlets and want to know the information from the manager, well, screw you Ferguson kind of says.

Ferguson also controls his club like a personal fiefdom whereby certain members of the press are banned from club press conferences should a journalist publish a story disparaging towards the club or the man himself, fair treatment of all men indeed.

But the ultimate paradox about Ferguson is that he doesn’t seem an at all bad person; always being on hand to help out a fellow manager in need, usually being the first to call a recently sacked manager and giving fellow managers the fruit of the United youth system to polish.

Perhaps this serves to undermine his socialist ideals, where he seems to be more protecting and advancing the causes of people in a similar bracket to him (managers) and helping out similarly powerful friends, a (whisper it) Tory kind of outlook.


As a follow up to last week’s blog post, regarding IFAB ‘s (International Football Association Board) meeting at Celtic Manor and the agenda of the weekend, you will be glad to hear that some stuff has been announced.

Firstly, extended testing on goal-line technology is to be continued for the next year with a view to it being in place in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, should a workable system be found. Using the system at the 2012 Euro Championships was ruled out although the five-man refereeing teams seen in European club competitions may be used.

Secondly, as of July 1 this year, snoods have been banned from football on the grounds that they are dangerous and players “risk hanging [themselves]” according to Sepp Blatter. Which begs the question, if hanging one’s self is such a risk, why wait until July to ban it? Furthermore, shoelaces are routinely used to hang oneself, they should also be banned. As should; necklaces for referee’s whistles, goal nets, football shirts and ties for managers as they all pose the same risk.

Lastly, the trialling of a spray to be used on football pitches to mark out the 10 yards a player can be from a free kick and corner when it is being taken is to be continued in South America, a concept I like. First of all, because it is practical (as the spray disappears after 30 seconds or so), secondly as it will help the game and help referees and thirdly as I imagine referee’s store the spray in some kind of Batman-esque utility belt. The belt will also come equipped with mace spray to ward off head-vein-throbbing morons who shout at referees for no reason.

You can follow Dan on Twitter at!/Dan_Whiteway

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