Sunday, October 21, 2007


The English Football Masonic Association

The whole notion is daft, laughable, barely credible. I mean as if there is some unseen body lurking in the corridors of footballing power that descides everything. Who gets the brickbats in the media, who gets the roses, who gets the dodgy decision. Straight from a tuppenny hapenny paperback. Everyone knows this is England, fair play chap and all that. As if there can be shady deals brokered in smoky rooms.

Then you watch yesterday's Merseyside Derby and you wonder. Liverpool's first pen, ok some ref would give it, others wouldn't. Whatever happened took place outside the box but hey, we're talking Liverpool and they and iffy penalties go together like fish and chips. But as referee Mark Clattenburg was brandising a yellow card for the offender Tony Hibbert, Liverpool's captain and current media golden boy Steven Gerrard had a word. They yellow was put back and the red brandished. What was all that about? Stevie G threatening to ban the ref from the next lodge meeting?

Later were to come two sure fire penalties that Clattenburg didn't see. Ok, one you can put down to a bad day at the office but two? And that last one was deadset. Carragher tackled Lescott to the ground and then pleades his innocence and Clattenburg falls for it? He fell as easily as Lescott. Carragher of course was lucky to be on the pitch. His earlier histrionics which had him armwaving latino style should have earned him red. But Clattenburg yesterday was in no mood to give Everton anything. Believe me if it wasn't an own goal by Hyypia, if an Everton player had got the last touch he would have been offside.

I don't like blaming refs and for Everton to have won yesterday would have been an injustice. They miss Cahill and Johnson while Yakubu is yet to get going but their manager, David Moyes, will be feeling a bit cheesed of with Clutterback, I guess the offical won't be getting a Boots voucher this Christmas from Goodison Park.

Yesterday's game highlights a serious issue, jesting aside about dodgy influences. There is much talk of goaline technology to assisit the officials get the decisions spot on, and I have always opposed this. But even if such technology were in place yesterday it would not have helped Everton. We don't need goaline cameras. Perhaps what we need is a second official up with the cameras who can ajudicate or call a decision when the ref gets it wrong. Let's face it, one reason ex players love being pundits, and not managers with all the responsibility that comes with that, is it gives them a chance to heap scorn on the ref with no comeback and with the benefit of a higher viewpoint and action replays. Give the ref a hand and allow him the same luxury. Decision making can be almost instataneous and it would also allow officals greater scope o see what goes on off the ball.

Great idea? Simple and, given modern technology, easy to implement. And of course it would give TV broadcatsers more influence on the game!!!

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