Premier League refs limber up in their new outfits.

by Chris Tobin

In a week when again a frenzied storm has been whipped up by supporters and backed-up with media vitriol against individuals and clubs within the footballing world – with said storm set to engulf, the elite, the good and the damn right average of an industry intend on creating a rod for its own back – CHEATING could well be the straw that will break this camel’s back.

If the realisation were that clearly these typically prima-donna types are determined to continue with a “Sell my grandmother” attitude whilst amassing bags full of spondoolies, or whatever currency they use in Spain. Then possibly greatness will be exchanged for an epitaph that will include such words as Deviant…Diver…Deceitful …and Conman.

Fantastically inspiring with a football at its feet, brilliant with brain milliseconds ahead of its peers – This modern day con merchant is however more than understanding of its crimes, I am at pains to call it HE as it rolls around concentrated on its triple-salco, using each game as a perennial practice session to perfect its gymnastic skills.

Whilst the protagonist’s stands towering over the fallen idol waving an imaginary prison sentence in the guise of a red card – encouraging the referee to pass verdict with the help of this most biased member of the jury, distasteful does not do this sort of criminal justice.

We can only speculate how former greats would be discerning such acts of clear deception, and how it has now manifested itself as the norm – These acts of criminality against our beloved game.

I like to think of a Bill Shankly quote on describing how he would personally treat those whose effort may well be questioned on a footballing field;

“If a man who is playing in front of the public, he’s being well paid and he does not dedicate himself to the job – I would be hard on him, if I could I would put him in jail, out of the road of society because he is a menace”

It would get my mind ticking over and reflecting on those that really have been criminals – Those few who would indeed sell their Grandmother along with a deception of their adoring footballing fans around the globe, all for a few lira or some pretty greens.

In 1982 Paolo Rossi would not only secure a coveted World Cup winners medal, but would also be top the scorer in the tournament and be awarded The Golden Ball as player of the competition, a unique treble. – Along with his place in Italian sporting history.

Whilst playing for Perugia, Rossi would be involved in a betting scandal that would rock Italian football, on being found guilty Italy’s top marksman would be banned for three years – In a typically footballing U-turn the Italian FA would reduce this to a two year ban allowing Rossi to take part in The World Cup finals of 1982….and the rest is indeed history. We could well write our whole article on the Italians and its very own history with match fixing…Fergie would have a field day.

Britain’s very own football betting scandal occurred in 1964 when three Sheffield Wednesday players, Peter Swan, Tony Kay and David Layne were all imprisoned for taking part in match fixing incidents. In a Sunday People sting they would tell how they would throw matches including losing 2-0 to Ipswich. All would be banned from the game and unfortunately for them unlike their Italian counterpart they were of no interest to Alf Ramsey in the upcoming 1966 World Cup.

How many times have you joined the hordes singing “Cheat…Cheat….Cheat” or similarly “You don’t know what you’re doing” toward the man in black with slightly balding head and protruding beer belly hanging over his shorts – Well in 2005 German referee Robert Hoyzer would know exactly what he was doing, when aiding a criminal gang in match fixing. Hoyzer would admit his guilt in a scandal that would engulf The German 2nd and 3rd tier of The Bundesliga; it would later be found that these acts of betrayal had gone back as far as the 1970s.

Supposed heroes are letting down devotees willing to patronise with worship those very people intend on embarrassing those very fanatics. Supporters are not stupid and will not blindly follow such antic obsessed players. So they are not in any way compared to those committing actual criminality, but they have become distrusted in the same manner.

Most top footballers clearly lack grey matter, but as hollow as their tiny brainless heads are, surely they understand the disservice they are doing to themselves and their teams. As they quickly assume the dying swan position forgetful that around there are a mass of highly expensive cameras, which will catch every movement that their expensively recruited bodies make. These guys would be great in Big Brother as they clearly have a lack of understanding as to how a T.V. camera works.

The backlash has begun with referees and lines people or whatever those despicable people are now called, I include the female one, and not because she is skirt, but because she is no less garbage than her male counterparts – I await the day that they give a flag to an actual blind person….I digress. The point is most referees are now so apt to actually give any penalty, hand ball, or even goals themselves unless they are completely convinced. They are now so wary that they are indeed being conned, by experts in the art of deception.

I would like to see next season our officials sponsored by 118 118 with the tag line “I’ve Got Your Number” and if the F.A could replace the Anti-Racism thing kick it in…. kick it out…kick it all about – with “Kill a cheating bastard campaign” .Obviously this could be implemented at junior roots level first, like a trial.

Do away with yellow and red cards for diving, alternatively give the referee stickers emblazoned with 118 118 and if these players dive – stick it on their foreheads, we will all know what it means and the Football Association could get some obviously needed advertising revenue – Officials could be given bonuses for giving the stickers out like a sales incentive, and give the girl with the flag some stickers too, in case the referee misses someone play acting, she could tippy-toe on the pitch & slap onto any offenders head, so play does not have to be haltered.

Anybody who does that imaginary yellow card thing, you know that thing Pepe does every few minutes at Real Madrid, make him wear a 118 118 vest so that people think he is the referee – so all can question his parentage, and sing to him that he is going home in an ambulance, and of course his very own sticker saying “Kick me hard in the ass, the ref won’t mind”.

Finally to completely put a stop to these cheats- Let’s give Sky Sports very own Geoff Shreeves his own show where instead of hassling Mancini, Dalglish, Wenger and Ferguson at the end of games asking for comments on diving and cheating, he does a kind of Beadle’s About – Not quite as shit as Rio Ferdinand’s version. Where Geoff interviews these criminals as Shankly would call them. At the end of the game Geoff would grab these clowns by their hair or genitalia and show them their crimes live on TV. I see a kind of Geoff Shreeves does Judge Judy show and as the player scuttles away all embarrassed by his antics – Geoff would chase him down the tunnel with his mike in hand and plant a huge red sticker on his arse saying “YOU’VE BEEN SHREEVED”.

Beat a show like that Simon Cowell.

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