Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe Glorious Outrage of Poor Refereeing - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The Glorious Outrage of Poor Refereeing - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The Glorious Outrage of Poor Refereeing

The past few days have reminded us that despite all our clamour for the likes of goalline technology, and video referees to help get every decision right, we all love to argue. Let’s face it – there’s nothing better than bemoaning a dodgy penalty given against you to paper over the cracks of a deserved beating. Managers in particular hide behind referees to take the heat off themselves and their team.

Endless debate is provoked by a the glorious variable of human error. To take this away from the game of football would rob the likes of 606 on Radio 5 Live of about half their show’s content. The ‘We wuz robbed!’ scenario is a wonderful part of the indignance that we all love. Do we really want to sterilise the game to such an extent? I believe it would be the ultimate concession to the influence big money has had on football. The crux of the matter is – there is now too much money at stake for any refereeing decision to be less than perfect. Money can buy you the best players, but not the best referees – only the best technology.

The gap between the rich and poor leagues would be widened even further. Who wants to be involved in a sport where the bigger teams have the benefit of television cameras at every angle to buy themselves justice, while Kidderminster Harriers v Stockport remains the victim of a wrongly given penalty or red card? The system we currently have is fine. Everton’s Jack Rodwell was unfairly sent off by Martin Atkinson in Saturday’s Merseyside derby, but 3 days later and we have justice thanks to retrospective video analysis. This analysis can be applied all the way down the leagues, as long as there at least one television camera there (even if simply for highlights packages). Why should the already far-too-wide chasm between the divisions be worsened?

We should rejoice in the fact that we care enough about a load of men kicking a ball around to want to have any wrong decision punished with a referee being struck off. Such feelings are insane, but I’m, sure referees take a sick pleasure in being the bad guy. Each Saturday night they probably sit back with a glass of wine, pop their favourite sports news channel on, and chuckle to themselves at the mess they create. I hope that mess never gets cleared up.

Gerard Walton



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