Sweet F.A. – My Election Campaign

On behalf of the Chairman elect, I Chief Executive, would like to propose the following changes be made to football in the British Isles. My campaign is coming from a common sense prospective, and is not solely intended to make myself and my team look busy.

These proposals would be for the good of footballers, their clubs and most importantly, the fans who (mostly) make a maximum effort to support their clubs both financially and emotionally. I hope you will read this with interest and an open mind.

The proposals that I put forward to the electorate are detailed into five concise sub-headings, thus making it a clear and simple campaign. We all look forward to hearing your responses to the following proposals:

Proposal 1:

Rules to be made clearer, so that a yes/no answer is applicable.

There are several rules within football that allow for a certain amount of judgement, usually on the part of the referees and officials. Whilst common sense can prevail in some situations, there are others that need a firmer definitive answer.

For example, the offside rule should allow for a simple outcome, but unfortunately, officials, pundits, players, managers and fans are constantly battling over whether a player is active or not, whether it’s your arm, leg or head that is the offside part of the body and so on.

This proposal will be helped by the introduction of ex-professional footballers on a committee to discuss current rules with referees. For instance, a footballer and a referee may have completely opposite opinions of what constitutes a “dive”; momentum is a word used too often by footballers claiming innocence, but maybe they have a case.

Ex-footballers will help referees to understand the difference between a genuine fall and a purposeful dive, and also explain that you can’t jump without raising your arms.

Proposal 2:

A compulsory post-match press conference made by the referee and officials.

In this day and age, there are constant pressures on referees to get everything right all the time. Realistically, this isn’t possible and therefore many fans and players alike are left with a sour taste in their mouth over decisions that didn’t go their way during the 90 minute proceedings.

Whilst Proposal 4 will deal with making decisions more accurate, this proposal means that all officials will take part in a short press release after the match to explain any judgements that may be questionable or controversial.

If necessary, audio and video clips can be used for news programmes and football highlight shows to give fans an insight into the brains of the officials, so that we can then say: “Oh yes, I sort of understand now”! It should also allow for healthy debate between officials and club representatives, and eradicate financial fines for calling the referee names.

If managers and players have to talk to the press after a match, then why shouldn’t referees too? They are a vital part of the game, and it is their decisions that ultimately predict how the game can go.

Proposal 3:

For traditions of football in Great Britain to not be forgotten.

It has come to our attention that football isn’t what it used to be, mainly with reference to the Premier League. There are a few minor changes that have been made that mean traditions are slowly being lost, and replaced with modern twists that don’t please those who have attended football matches for many years.

For example, the introduction of the yellow ball has been mentioned as something that has taken away from the traditional feel of a football match in winter. There was nothing wrong with the orange ball, and changing was unfortunately a case of fixing something that wasn’t broken, so that should be reinstated.

Other recent introductions to football that are unnecessary include music playing on the PA system after a goal has been scored and handshaking before a match.

Whilst we understand that the excitement of music and seeing your team score a goal creates a highly charged atmosphere, surely the same could be said for spontaneously singing your own team song and maybe shouting “yes” a few times. For this reason, music will not be accepted at football grounds unless it is pre-kick off or post-final whistle.

Handshaking- yes, it’s very nice and friendly, but what happened to the days when teams used to run out of the tunnel to a crowd roar, rather than slowly walking out and forming an orderly line? Please note that here, we are not condoning any unfriendly play during the 90 minutes, but purely getting the match to a high tempo start.

Proposal 4:

Technology to be used in a sensible and appropriate manner, so that decisions are correct.

Modern technology is marvellous. It can eradicate human error in order to change a vital decision that may prevent relegation for a club, which would subsequently lose that club tens of millions of pounds.

Similarly, majorly incorrect decisions can cost clubs the title, a European place or a slot in the play-offs, so why not give referees and officials a little help along the way.

The main argument against bringing technology into football is that it would take too much time to watch video evidence and make a correct judgement. For this reason, the use of technology should be slightly limited; only some situations will allow for the use of video evidence, and teams limited to a number of “challenges”.

We do not wish to make referees redundant in football, but simply want to offer more help.

Simple goal line technology may not be needed in all matches, but in those where it can be used, it will be instrumental. Technology is already being tested, and will be introduced as soon as possible. Other possibilities include a camera on the penalty area to cut down wrongly given penalty kicks, and an offside trap.

Proposal 5:

Financial affairs to be regulated to be fair for all clubs and players. This is to include wage capping, foreign ownership laws and penalties for club debts.

Unfortunately, the current economic situation in the UK has led many to question debts in football, large wages and foreign buyers. There are to be limits on such matters, but this proposal should be fair to all clubs. Footballers earn large wages, some of which exceed their value to the club.

There seems to be a vicious circle where rich foreign owners come in and overspend. This may be viable in the financial books of the club, but brings an unfair advantage to these clubs who haven’t really done much to deserve better football. NB: We have no particular clubs in mind here…or do we?!

Debt is also crippling football clubs across the football leagues. While clubs in the Premier League can handle such debts (even though they will probably never be free of them), clubs in lower leagues struggle to manage their debts and therefore put themselves in danger of administration.

Fines for a certain amount of debt in relation to the club, in the Premier League particularly, will reduce this matter. This is to be introduced slowly, but not painfully, we will also continue with the penalty point’s deduction process currently in operation.

So as not to appear as complete spoil sports, this proposal will only limit foreign ownership and not completely outlaw it. A mixture of British and non-British companies (or individuals) will be acceptable, just as long as the debt is kept to a minimum.

We would like to thank you for taking the time to read these proposals. We hope you will respond with good humour, because at this organisation, we like a good laugh from time to time.

By Lucy Woolford

Read more from Lucy at www.lucywoolford.com

2 Responses to “Sweet F.A. – My Election Campaign”

  1. newsmediaimages Says:

    I agree with you sir !

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